September 2, 2016

Welcome, Opie!

I didn’t start my day thinking I was going to be reading about spirit animals and totems, but here we are.  Recently, we were brainstorming ideas for a fun “mascot” for our organization.  Playing off of the alliteration of our Open Options name, we joked about “Opie the Otter.”  I guess we joked about it too much because the idea really stuck.  Plus, Ollie the Ocelot just didn’t roll off the tongue.  Alliteration aside, we wanted the animal to have symbolic meaning to our organization and in particular our values. We came up with the following acronym that incorporates our core and aspirational values: O             Open, authentic, and truthful T              Takes responsibility, recognizing mistakes and apologizing with humility T              Trustworthy and accountable for results E              Earnest and unselfish concern for the well-being and happiness of others R             Respects the dignity of every person and every role A quick visit to […]
May 27, 2016

What’s with the name change?

In January 2015, our organization announced our rebranding from United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Kansas City to Open Options UCP. The Open Options UCP name represented a transition from the rich history of the national United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) network to a new identity acknowledging the increasing diversity of the people we serve. After using this name for several months, we reached a decision point regarding our “United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Kansas City” identity, for multiple reasons: • The name led many to believe we just served people with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. In fact, our organization serves people with a broad range of disabilities – physical, intellectual, and otherwise. Cerebral palsy represented less than 10% of the total population we serve. • The name led many to believe we were the “CP specialists” with unique expertise in both information, referral, and support services for people with cerebral […]
April 16, 2016

What Is Full Potential Friday?

As a community, we realize our full potential by embracing everyone, regardless of ability or disability. A significant part of my duty as CEO is to inspire others to “join the cause.” This includes sharing our organization’s work and giving people an opportunity to contribute in a way they find personally meaningful. In their work, Grant and Crutchfield refer to “inspiring evangelists,” people that can support mission achievement and provide testimonials of the organization’s work, spreading the word and adding new members to the network. In an effort to increase awareness of both our organization and disability issues overall, we are excited to begin a new venture which we are calling “Full Potential Friday.” This is an opportunity for our organization to go out to local businesses and do a 20-30 minute informative, engaging presentation on the history of disability services, disability etiquette, and how people can partner with our […]
February 24, 2016

What Makes Us Unique?

What makes us unique?  This is a difficult question but one that any nonprofit organization should be able to answer.  In times of turbulence, unknowns about government funding, and an increasingly competitive environment for fundraising dollars, nonprofit organizations are tasked with identifying what makes them stand out among myriad competitors.  As I ponder this question for our organization, I believe we are unique in our determination to provider supports and services that are tailored to each specific individual we serve.  Rather than a “one size fits all” model, we customize our service delivery in a person-centered manner. To understand if we are meeting our objectives, we must be able to get meaningful feedback from the people we serve.  Are they happy?  Are there things they would like for us to be doing that we are not?  What can we do to maximize the effectiveness of our services and support that […]