Our MissionEaster Seals UCP creates opportunities,promotes individual choice and changes thelives of children and adults with disabilities bymaximizing their individual potential for living,learning and working in their communities.______________________Our focus must be on the potential/ the possibilities ofeach individual regardless of racial, ethnic, age, genderorientation, special needs, linguistic, or religiousdiversity.
Defining Cultural CompetenceEmbrace Differences…Find Similarities• The ESUCP person-centered philosophy acknowledges theimportance of developing an awareness and understanding of thecultural differences found among those we support and among ourco-workers.• Cultural competence encourages staff to be curious and eager tolearn and enhance their cultural knowledge, as we stay open-minded, support personal outcomes, and build responsive servicesfor everyone to whom we provide support.• Cultural differences add to the richness of a diverse environmentwithin which staff, individuals and families partner for success.
Staff ResponsibilitiesWhat is Expected of Each of Us First and foremost… be open to the cultural experiences, traditions,and values of those with whom we work and with those to whom weprovide support. Participate in individual and group supervision discussionsregarding cultural diversity with an open mind and positive attitude. Demonstrate cultural curiosity when supporting an individual orfamily by expressing interest in the traditions, beliefs, experiencesand heritage of that person or family. Acknowledge that the personal outcomes identified by the individualor family as most important will be based to some extent on acultural perspective.
Community-Based Services & SupportsIntegrating Cultural Competence• Language Assistance Services:ESUCP actively seeks bilingual and bicultural staff, includingthose who can effectively use American Sign Language and thosewho speak languages commonly found in a particular geographicarea.ESUCP staff advocate on behalf of individuals in need ofassistive technology to enable communication and full participationin the community. TTY/relay, email, and text messaging are amongthe most common and readily available communication options.ESUCP programs develop and maintain current information onlocal and regional language assistance services.
Community-Based Services & SupportsIntegrating Cultural Competence• Community Living Barriers:ESUCP utilizes the Personal Outcomes process to identifythemes and patterns of community-based obstacles that mayinterfere with an individual’s or family’s full participation incommunity services. Barriers may be more challenging whencultural issues are present.ESUCP staff must be sensitive to cultural implications whendiscussing community services and opportunities with an individualor family.The focus of Personal Outcomes on health, safety, and well-being addresses very personal issues and ones which aresignificantly impacted by culture.
Community-Based Services & SupportsIntegrating Cultural Competence• Community Networking:ESUCP sponsors community events called LOCALS—Listening to Our Community And Leveraging Strengths.Each LOCALS is an opportunity to gather an array of dataabout the community specific to Education, Employment,Healthcare, Housing, Recreation & Leisure, and Transportation.This fact-finding activity culminates in one or more communityevent involving ESUCP staff, community leaders (service providers,business leaders, government representatives, volunteers), andindividuals/families accessing our services.Working together strategies are developed to problem-solveone or more community problems identified by the participants.
Organizational OversightOur Cultural Competence Planning & ImplementationThe Quality Management Committee, a cross-departmentalcommittee which meets quarterly, will provide oversight andmanagement of our Cultural Competence Plan.The Committee will~ Develop and maintain a cultural competence outcomes guide as aresource to program and support services staff Evaluate the values and policies of ESUCP to ensure a system ofcultural and linguistic sensitivity and competence. Monitor services and supports to guarantee a commitment to theuniqueness of each person and our respect for those differences. Ensure that each program exemplifies a community resource whichprovides services based on individual needs and diagnosesincluding an awareness of and respect for the cultural preferencesof each individual and family.
Organizational OversightOur Cultural Competence Planning & ImplementationThe Quality Management Committee shares with ESUCP programsresponsibility for maintaining a culturally sensitive environment.Committee members~ Develop procedures to provide continual information to update staffon identified community resources which reflect cultural awarenessand sensitivity Identify opportunities to enhance staff skills in working with diversecultural populations Develop mechanisms to collect and use data to address disparitieswithin agency services as they relate to meeting culturalpreferences Seek methods to improve organizational cultural competence byexamining human resources, agency policies, and organizationalpractices which inhibit delivery of culturally responsive services
Cultural Competence…Begins with AwarenessGrows with KnowledgeEnhances with SkillsBecomes polished through Interaction with others