In 1990, a group of community members, some with disabilities, determined a community need to enhance disability awareness, increase community inclusion opportunities for the disabled and to expand services and support existing community efforts and activities to disabled adults seeking accommodations, accessibility and other Independent Living services in Douglas County. They began meeting to develop grass roots peer support services and to work toward resolving issues they had identified and to network the community to identify other needs of the disabled population in the local community. From these grassroots meetings, outreach activities and relationships grew what we now know as the Umpqua Valley disAbilities Network (UVdN).
The agency ultimately gained 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation status in 1994; concurrently it became a Center for Independent Living (CIL); one of seven CIL’s in Oregon. UVdN became a Greater United Way Member Agency in 1996. In December of 2008, UVdN permanently relocated to its present location, 736 SE Jackson St. in Roseburg. This property, formerly owned and occupied by the Association of Retarded Citizens (The ARC of Douglas County), was donated to UVdN through the dissolution of The ARC’s 501C-3 non-profit status in October 2008.
UVdN provides consumer services, which are designed to empowering persons with all types of disabilities to achieve the highest level of independence that they choose. As stated in the by-laws, (article III, sections 1 & II):
“It is the intention of this corporation to engage in any legal activity that promotes awareness of the special needs of persons with disabilities and their attempts to function within society. The corporation will also develop personal support group’s and services for persons with disabilities and for their care givers, families, and friends to promote better coping and exchange of experiences.
It is also the intention of this corporation to promote and coordinate the different agencies that serve persons with disabilities to insure that their special needs are met.”