From our first project in 2002 when we served roughly 60 families, to now connecting with nearly 12,000 families and friends across the state, we count it all joy to be able to do this work and appreciate your generous support.
FACT Oregon believes in “a whole life” for families and individuals experiencing disability. This means a life that is beautifully ordinary, with close friends and relationships, a good job with a competitive wage, and one in which an individual is a member, participant, and contributor in their community.
With this in mind, we examined the scope of our work and recognized that, while providing families across the state information, resources, and support in the area of education, families want and need the same quality information, resources, and support for other aspects of a whole life, such as how to access your local parks and recreation, community of faith, or other community activity. This resulted in a new mission statement with expanded scope: Empower Oregon families experiencing disability in pursuit of a whole life through expanding awareness, growing community, and equipping families.
To describe our vision for expanding awareness (#ExpandingAwareness) in Oregon, FACT Oregon will:
- Actively promote that disability is a natural part of the human experience among families, at schools, and in Oregon communities.
- Teach families, children, teachers, and community partners the importance of self-determination and having high expectations for all people experiencing disability.
- Work to ensure Oregon citizens, schools, businesses, and community partners know and appreciate that people with disabilities are our neighbors, teachers, employees, employers, parents, and friends.
FACT Oregon is a premier resource for parents when it comes to formal systems and special education! During the 2015-16 school year, our Support Specialists connected with 2,570 families and 222 professionals. A whopping 34,356 people explored our web resources. We welcomed 2,835 families and 953 professionals to trainings on topics like assistive technology, the IEP process, advocacy, communication, behavior, person-centered planning, school transitions, and formal service systems.
We are so proud of our impact, and want to do even more! Here is our vision for equipping families (#EquippingFamilies):
- FACT Oregon will offer high-quality interactive web modules for ALL of our training topics! You will have 24/7 access to this resource.
- FACT Oregon will offer new trainings for parents across the state, expanding our focus from special education to new “whole life” topics.
- FACT Oregon will have dedicated staff following legislation and public policy to ensure that 1) the disability voice is always heard, and 2) that families like yours can actively participate in legislative advocacy
- FACT Oregon will roll out its new professional in-service library, and will offer training to teachers and businesses on best practices in parent engagement, behavior support, person-centered planning, student-led IEP meetings, and more!
Finally, we know that people with and without disabilities thrive when they are connected, welcomed, and included in their communities. Here is how FACT will be growing communities (#GrowingCommunities) for Oregonians experiencing disability:
- FACT Oregon will partner with non-disability businesses and organizations across the state, and help them identify and remove attitudinal, real, or perceived barriers to full and meaningful participation of individuals experiencing disability.
- FACT Oregon will work with parks and recreation agencies, childcare providers, schools, and others so that all people can feel welcome and supported in their community.
- FACT Oregon will encourage and support parents to dream big dreams for their children, including that they be welcomed in the same places as anyone else.
- FACT Oregon will empower families across the state with knowledge of person-centered planning, supporting them in discovering their children’s strengths, gifts, and capacities to access community life.
At this time of year, we reflect on that for which we are thankful, and FACT Oregon is thankful for YOU! We can’t do this amazing work across the state without you. Oregon’s need is greater than our resources, but with your support, you can make whole lives possible for Oregon families experiencing disability!
Your generous, tax-deductible donation will see FACT Oregon through this exciting stage of growth. Please give today by calling (503) 786-6080 or visiting www.factoregon.org/support.