United Cerebral Palsy
About United Cerebral Palsy
UCP Timeline of Achievements
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About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) was founded more than 60
years ago - in 1949 - by parents of children with cerebral palsy. Today, UCP
is a leading service provider and advocate for children and adults with
disabilities. Since its inception, UCP has been committed to change and
progress for persons with disabilities and strives to ensure the inclusion
into every facet of society - from the web to the workplace, from the
classroom to the community - to ensure a life without limits for people with
One of the largest health nonprofits in the U.S.,
the UCP mission is to advance the independence, productivity and
full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network.
This includes approximately 100 local service providers, known as
"affiliates," reaching more than 176,000 individuals and their families
daily in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and the U.K. (Scotland).
We strive to build a better world for tomorrow-today.
The backbone of UCP is the services that are provided by our affiliates.
Affiliates' services include housing, therapy, assistive technology
training, early intervention programs, individual and family support, social
and recreation programs, community living, state and local referrals,
employment assistance and advocacy. Each affiliate offers a range of
services tailored to its community's needs.
The national office in Washington, DC, supports the
affiliate network through fundraising, marketing and communications, best
practices and programmatic support. The UCP national office also advocates
on behalf of individuals with disabilities; advances federal disability
public policy (Disability
Policy Collaboration); provides information and referral; and develops
forward-thinking initiatives and programs like
Life Without Limits and
My Child Without Limits.
UCP Timeline of Achievements
UCP is among a select group of nonprofit organizations
invited to the White House in May to discuss ways to address the unique
challenges facing military families, build stronger civilian-military
community ties, while engaging and highlighting the service and sacrifice of
military families. Known as Leadership 18, a
forum of the largest human development nonprofit CEOs aiming to improve
strategic leadership and inspire collective action to improve people's lives
and the conditions in which they live
UCP and the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and
Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) celebrate a new partnership by co-hosting a
fall forum in September, featuring a panel of leading researchers,
medical experts, technologists and futurists who explore advances that are
changing the ways that people with cerebral palsy and other developmental
disabilities live their lives.
UCP and affiliate Capability Scotland commemorate the
20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and 15th anniversary
of the Disability Discrimination Act in the United Kingdom, with an event
hosted by British Ambassador, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, and Lady Sheinwald at the
British Embassy Residence in Washington, DC. The evening honors efforts of
those who created the landmark laws and continue to work to achieve a life
without limits for people with disabilities.
UCP launches the interactive, future forecasting,
role-playing immersive experience, Ruby's Bequest as part of its Life
Without Limits initiative. The program demonstrates that the community,
instead of government, will find strategies to create the future of
My Child Without Limits in
UCP launches My Child Without Limits in April.
Emmy-nominated actress Cheryl Hines becomes a member of
UCP Board of Trustees.
Dozens of "Focus Groups in a Box" are sent to
organizations across the country, envisioning how a future that includes a
life without limits for people with disabilities.
UCP affiliates in more states, including Massachusetts
and Texas. Alberta (Canada) affiliate begins hosting Rides Without Limits,
Walks Without Limits and Laughs Without Limits.
Limits initiative launches in April, beginning a far-reaching dialogue
about how people with disabilities can become fully integrated in society.
UCP and TNT presents the original film, Door to Door,
featuring former UCP Board of Trustee William H. Macy, who portrayed Bill
Porter, a celebrated salesman with cerebral palsy.
UCP ranks 18th in Non-Profit Times' list of Top 100
UCP announces William H. Macy as UCP Ambassador.
UCP joins forces with The Arc of the United States in
establishing the Disability Policy Collaboration, focusing on mutual
legislative and legal supports to improve the lives of individuals with
disabilities and their families.
UCP launches www.ucp.org.
UCP launches a new television event, Star Fest, to
replace the UCP telethon. Star Fest features sports celebrities such as Pete
Sampras, Monica Seles and Bob Costas, Dan O'Brien, entertainment notables
such as Tyra Banks, and hosts Charles Perez, Brian Austin Green, Audrey
Landers, Paul Williams and "Downtown" Julie Brown.
Washington Watch, a bi-monthly newsletter for the
disability community on important happenings in the nation's capital
affecting people with disabilities, is launched by UCP.
UCP becomes one of the first national charities to merge
onto the information superhighway by establishing a national World Wide Web
presence. (It has evolved into the site you are on now!)
UCP wins the American Society of Association Executive's
prestigious Summit Award for its ADA Report Card on America and its impact
on improving the lives of people with disabilities nationwide.
Three new publications expand UCP's outreach to persons
with cerebral palsy and their families: UCP's Basic Bookshelf, a brochure
describing more than 15 books, available through the UCP Materials Mailing
Center, that are of particular interest to children and adults with cerebral
palsy and their families; Walk With Me, a book written by an eight-year-old
who has cerebral palsy; and Each of Us Remembers: Parents of Children with
Cerebral Palsy Answer Your Questions, a manual for parents who have just
learned that their child has cerebral palsy.
The first National Invitational Colloquium on Aging and
Cerebral Palsy is held in conjunction with UCP's Annual Conference in
UCP leads the fight for amendments to the Rehabilitation
Act that vastly improves access to employment services for individuals with
severe physical disabilities.
UCP conducts its first ADA Report Card on America , a
national survey monitoring the effectiveness of the Americans with
Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, which has become an annual survey
conducted by UCP.
Casual Day, one of UCP's most successful national
fundraisers, is launched with Levi Strauss & Co. as the national sponsor.
Casual Day, an event still conducted by UCP affiliates today, encourages
office workers to dress casually at the office for a day in exchange for a
contribution to UCP. This program helped American businesses pioneer the
acceptance of "Casual Fridays" and helped fuel the trend of casual dress in
UCP is a major leader in the passage of the Americans
with Disabilities Act which, for the first time, extends basic civil rights
protections to persons with disabilities in the areas of employment,
transportation, public accommodations and telecommunications.
UCP plays a significant role in the passage of the
Technology-Related Assistance Act, which created new incentives for states
to improve access to assistive technology for children and adults with
UCP's "Like a Person" theme is highlighted through two
notable achievements: the TV public service announcement featuring actor
Tony Danza wins the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped
Award, and the new film, "Like a Person", wins first place at the 18th
Annual Film/Video Festival of the Public Relations Society of America.
Comedienne Geri Jewell and Producer/Director Tom Ritter, both well-known individuals with cerebral palsy, appear on UCP's Weekend with the Stars telethon, providing positive, successful role models for people with cerebral palsy.
A meeting is convened at the California Ames Research Center between NASA's scientists and engineers, university deans and professors, medical professionals and lay people, leading to the transfer of space age technology to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Some benefits included applying lightweight space materials to make wheelchairs more mobile, using remote control devices to help disabled limbs move, developing multi-directional conveyances to allow people with disabilities to surmount obstacles including stairs, and using an astronaut's sensory device to enable people who are blind to cross streets safely.
Isabelle and Leonard Goldenson, along with Dr. William Berenberg and other doctors and scientists, addressed the Brademas Congressional Appropriations Committee, which resulted in public funding for orthopedic equipment and making public buildings, telephones, transportation and parking spaces accessible to people with disabilities in the United States.
Research funded by UCP isolates the rubella (German Measles) virus and developes a vaccine for the disease. The vaccine is licensed and distributed to immunization programs in public schools.
UCP allocates $581,230 to research. Dr. Brewster S. Miller, UCP's national Medical Director, predicts: "Major breakthroughs in the field of cerebral palsy are not only possible, but may actually happen in the near future."
New laws are passed by state legislatures benefitting people with disabilities. Congress steps up neurological research and appropriations. Professional seminar programs are intensified.
UCP takes the lead in planning a Joint National Conference on Vocational Guidance of the Neurologically Disabled. Increasing numbers of civic, fraternal and professional organizations support the work of UCP.
Isabelle Goldenson convinces Dr. Sidney Farber at Harvard Medical School of the need for research into the prevention of cerebral palsy. Dr. Farber brings in 14 of the top medical scientists from across the country, including Dr. Houston Merritt, Dean of Columbia's Medical School, and members of the National Institutes of Health, to form the United Cerebral Palsy Research & Educational Foundation.
Karen by Marie Killelea is published and becomes the first widely read book about a mother's experience with a child with cerebral palsy. It hit the best seller list in only four weeks.
A grant-in-aid program is initiated to train therapists and teachers and thus cope with shortage of professional personnel working with people with disabilities.
The first UCP telethon, called "Celebrity Parade," is held in Chicago. It lasts 15 hours and raises a total of $972,106.
The name of the organization was changed to United Cerebral Palsy, and affiliates across the nation were formed.
Today United Cerebral Palsy, the organization is incorporated as the National Foundation for Cerebral Palsy.
12,000 people assemble from the U.S., Canada, Europe and South America to attend the first Cerebral Palsy Conference.
An advertisement placed in the New York Herald Tribune seeking parents of children with cerebral palsy interested in improving services for their children, generates 350 responses from families in New York City and the surrounding area.
Leonard and Isabelle Goldenson work with Mary Lasker,
Anna Rosenberg and Florence Mahoney to help establish the National Institute
of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of
Health. The Goldensons each appointed to four-year terms on the advisory
board for the Institute. Source www.ucp.org
History of United Cerebral Palsy
Don't Know What You're Missing
Socks & Dignity
William H Macy on My Child Without Limits.org