UCP ANNOUNCES WINNING IDEAS FOR WORLD CP DAY CONTEST

Three ideas chosen to help “Change my world in 1 minute” for people living with disabilities

Washington, DC (December 10, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) has announced the winning ideas for the World Cerebral Palsy Day “Change my world in 1 minute” contest, which challenged people to submit ideas that would help improve mobility, independence, accessibility, communication or social connections for people living with cerebral palsy.

Nearly 500 ideas were submitted to the “Change my world in 1 minute” contest, and more than 5,800 people voted for the ideas they thought would make a difference in lives of people with disabilities. The World Cerebral Palsy Day Panel carefully reviewed each proposal and has selected three innovative and dynamic ideas. The next phase of the contest will enable anyone to build the three final ideas and compete for a share of the $25,000 prize money and the opportunity to see their ideas brought to life.

The winning ideas from the contest are:

Solar-powered wheelchair:

Submitted by an individual with cerebral palsy, this idea would enable individuals who rely on motorized wheelchairs to charge their chairs on the go with solar energy and eliminate current battery life limitations.

Fold-up motorized wheelchair:

This idea proposes developing a motorized wheelchair that could be easily disassembled to fit into a regular car or SUV, instead of a specially modified vehicle. An individual who relies on a motorized wheelchair but does not have an adaptive van submitted the idea, stating that getting to work each day is a challenge, and a fold-up wheelchair would “make life with CP so much easier.”

Documentary: Cerebral Palsy in the 21st Century:

This idea proposes a documentary focused on the successes of people with cerebral palsy and would work to develop role models for the millions of people living with disabilities around the world.

With the final selections made, the World Cerebral Palsy Day Panel now invites researchers, innovators and inventors to create these three products. The resulting inventions will be judged on April 19, 2013, and the winners will be eligible for a share of the $25,000 prize.

“We are thrilled that so many creative and diverse ideas were submitted to the World CP Day “Change my world in 1 minute” contest. The panel reviewed each entry carefully and the final three exemplify the innovative and groundbreaking designs we think will make a real difference in the lives of people living with cerebral palsy,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of UCP. “UCP wishes every inventor the best of luck in their work, and we are looking forward to next step in this process and bringing these ideas to life.”

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About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY CALLS FOR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY TREATY

Measure fell short in Senate vote today

Washington, DC (December 4, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) issued the following statement in response to the vote in the U.S. Senate today on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The treaty was defeated by a vote of 61-38.

The CRPD is an international treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006, and signed by the United States in 2009. However, in order for the treaty to be implemented, it must be ratified by the U.S. Senate. The treaty would serve as an important link between the United States and the international disability community, and ensure that American citizens living and traveling abroad would have the same protections and access as they do in the United States. UCP and a broad coalition of advocacy groups have been working together to urge the Senate to ratify the treaty.

“United Cerebral Palsy is very disappointed that the Senate did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) today. The CRPD is a critical step forward for the international disability community, but also for the estimated 57 million Americans living with disabilities—it would help to increase accessibility, opportunity and independence on a global scale,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of UCP. “We will continue to work together with our partners in the disability community to push for the ratification of the CRPD and to ensure a life without limits for people living with disabilities around the world.”

 

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UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY URGES PRESIDENT OBAMA TO MAKE DISABILITY ISSUES A PRIORITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org

UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY URGES PRESIDENT OBAMA TO MAKE DISABILITY ISSUES A PRIORITY

Washington, DC (November 7, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama winning the presidential election.

“We are pleased to have reached the end of this campaign, and congratulate President Obama. While there are many topics to be addressed in the next four years, we urge President Obama to work towards achieving real progress on issues that have an impact on Americans with disabilities. Particularly in critical areas such as accessibility, civil rights, education, Medicaid, employment and health care, there are serious concerns to be addressed— and we urge President Obama to make them a priority,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “There are more than 57 million people in this country living with a disability today. We are a strong, diverse community and we look forward to working with President Obama as we continue our efforts to ensure that people with disabilities can live their lives to the fullest.”

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About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

Rebuilding in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Colleagues and friends,

Over the last few days, we have seen the incredible devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy impacting millions of Americans along the Eastern seaboard. The thoughts and prayers of the entire UCP network are with those that have been impacted by this massive storm, particularly our northeast affiliates and the communities they serve. As we begin the process of recovery, know that we stand ready to help in any way we can.

Individuals with disabilities often are disproportionately impacted during times of disaster. A variety of barriers may already exist, such as lack of transportation and inaccessible buildings, and other barriers are either created or worsened by the disaster itself. Our UCP affiliates were well prepared for Hurricane Sandy—but the loss of power, flooding and infrastructure problems have made providing services and ensuring the safety of their clients that much more difficult. Their commitment and dedication to both their clients and staff is remarkable, and yet characteristic of how our affiliates rise to meet each occasion or adversity.

If you are in an affected area and are in need of assistance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has information and support available. Click on the states listed below for local emergency response information.

As our UCP affiliates continue to provide assistance to those impacted in their communities, we encourage you to help support their work. Each of our affiliates in the states impacted by the storm is listed below, or use our local resources guide to determine which is in your area.

Hurricane Sandy is an unprecedented disaster and its impacts continue to be felt. It is during these times of crisis that communities must come together to rebuild. Thank you to everyone involved in the emergency response effort, our entire UCP network and all of those who are working to ensure that people with disabilities can live a life without limits.

Best regards,

Stephen Bennett

former UCP President & CEO

United Cerebral Palsy

 

How to help:

Click on the name of your state below to access local emergency information, or on the name of your local affiliate to support their work.

Connecticut:

UCP of Eastern Connecticut

UCP of Greater Hartford

UCP of Southern Connecticut

 

Delaware:

UCP of Delaware

 

District of Columbia:

UCP of Washington DC & Northern Virginia

 

Maine:

UCP of Maine

 

Maryland:

UCP of Central Maryland

UCP on the Potomac

 

Massachusetts:

UCP of Berkshire County

UCP of Metro Boston

 

New Jersey:

UCP of Hudson County

 

New York:

UCP of Nassau County

UCP of New York City

UCP of Suffolk

 

North Carolina:

Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia

 

Ohio:

UCP of Greater Cincinnati

UCP of Greater Cleveland

 

Pennsylvania:

Alleghenies UCP

UCP of Central Pennsylvania

UCP of Northeastern Pennsylvania

UCP of Philadelphia & Vicinity

UCP of South Central Pennsylvania

UCP/CLASS (formerly UCP of Pittsburgh)

 

Rhode Island:

UCP of Rhode Island

 

Virginia:

Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia

UCP CALLS FOR COULTER APOLOGY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org

UCP CALLS FOR COULTER APOLOGY

Responds to pundit’s insulting and inexcusable comments on Twitter

Washington, DC (October 23, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released the following statement today from former President & CEO Stephen Bennett in response to pundit Ann Coulter’s offensive comments on Twitter over the last 24 hours:

“Ann Coulter’s use of an outdated and insulting term for people with disabilities is outrageous and inexcusable,” said Stephen Bennett, President & CEO of UCP. “She should apologize publicly, and she should be ashamed of herself.”

 

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UCP: CONGRESSIONAL REPORT SHOWS NEED FOR IMMEDIATE CHANGE

UCP: CONGRESSIONAL REPORT SHOWS NEED FOR IMMEDIATE CHANGE 

Office of Compliance highlights inaccessibility of Capitol buildings 

Washington, DC (October 19, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released the following statement today in response to the Office of Compliance’s Biennial Report on the 111th Congress, “Americans with Disabilities Act Inspections Relating to Public Services and Accommodations.”

The report, which is required by the Congressional Accountability Act and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), examined the accessibility of the House Office Buildings, as well as bathrooms throughout the Capitol complex. The findings show that while progress has been made in making the buildings more accessible, there are still significant problems:

·      93% of curb ramps on the sidewalks are not in compliance with ADA Accessibility Standards.

·      54% of the total exterior pathway barriers are a safety risk for people with disabilities.

·      None of the bathrooms inspected met ADA standards.

“For the 57 million Americans living with disabilities today, this is more than just a report— this is stark reminder that 22 years after the passage of the ADA, the fight for basic civil rights is not over. All Americans should have the ability to access their representatives and attend and testify at hearings, but it is clear that this is not the case. We urge Congress to act immediately to correct the safety issues, and work to ensure that all of the problems are fixed,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of UCP. “The findings in this report are very disappointing, and show how much progress is still needed to ensure that all Americans have the same rights and opportunities.”

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About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

UCP ANNOUNCES NEW TRUSTEES, NATIONAL LEADERS

NORTH CAROLINA ATTORNEY TAKES HELM AS NEW CHAIR

Washington, DC (October 15, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) has elected four new members of its national Board of Trustees, and has elected four leaders to serve as officers of the Board.

The Board of Trustees plays a critical role at UCP, helping to guide the organization and its efforts to educate, advocate and provide support to people with disabilities across the country. With 18 members, including four officers, the Board is a diverse and active group that works together to move UCP forward toward its goal of creating a life without limits for people living with disabilities.

Selection of Officers

Edward G. “Woody” Connette, an attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina, will lead the organization’s Board of Trustees as its new Chair, replacing outgoing Chair Bruce Merlin Fried, the DC-based Managing Partner of law firm SNR Denton.  Connette has long had an interest in public policy and litigation related to disabilities, health care and mental health. In his legal work, he has fought to protect the rights of people living with disabilities and challenged the living conditions and institutionalization practices in North Carolina and Tennessee. He is involved in several professional organizations and has also served on the Executive Board and as President of the National Patient Advocate Foundation. Connette’s volunteer work with disability groups stretches back more than twenty years, and he played a critical role in the merger of UCP and Easter Seals affiliates in North Carolina and went on to become Board Chair for the newly created Easter Seals/ UCP North Carolina and Virginia.

“On behalf of United Cerebral Palsy, and all of our affiliates, I am delighted to welcome Woody as our new Chair for our Board of Trustees,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “Woody has been a valued part of UCP for more than two decades, and his commitment and dedication to bettering the lives of people living with disabilities is inspiring. We look forward to his leadership in the years ahead.”

“It is an immense privilege to be selected for this position with such a great organization,” said Connette. “United Cerebral Palsy is internationally recognized as a leader in the disability community, and I will do my best to help create a better day for those living with disabilities every day.”

Connette is joined by three other volunteer leaders, including:

·       Ian Ridlon, who has been selected as the organization’s new vice chair.  Ridlon is general counsel and director of Legal Services at the Rhode Island Interlocal Risk Management Trust. Mr. Ridlon has been involved with United Cerebral Palsy on the state and national level for over 15 years.  On the state level, he has been the Board Chair for several terms and has also chaired two other non-profit organizations created by the affiliate that provide independent living facilities for low income individuals with developmental disabilities. On the national level, he has previously served on the Board of Trustees and is a recipient of the 2004 Chairperson’s Award.  He has also served on numerous committees and was previously the chair of the nominating committee and the by-laws committee. and has served as a Board member for UCP of Rhode Island

·       Mark Boles will serve as the organization’s treasurer.  He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation at Frisco (Texas). With nearly 30 years experience as a healthcare executive, he has been involved with United Cerebral Palsy on the local, state, and national levels for more than 20 years, having received the Ethel Hausman Volunteer of the Year Award in 2003 and the UCP Chairman’s Award in 2004.

·       Pamela Talkin will serve as secretary of the Board of Trustees.  Talkin was sworn in on July 16, 2001 as the tenth Marshal of the Supreme Court of the United States.  Talkin is the first woman to hold the position. She was elected to UCP Board of Trustees in 2011.

New Members

These new leaders are joined by five new distinguished Trustees who were elected at UCP’s international conference this past April.  They include:

·       Michael Burke Jr., a co-founder and principal of Thrive Office, an innovative, shared workplace community based in New York City.

·       Ruth Gullerud, who retired in May as the Executive Director of UCP of West Central Wisconsin, in Eau Claire, where she has worked since 1977.

·       Melvin “Chip” Hurley, an executive with Berkeley Research Group, LLC, and former chair of the board of UCP of Central Maryland.

·       Linda Maguire, co-founder and consultant with Maguire Associates, a research-based consulting firm that has served educational clients around the world for the past 29 years. She is currently the vice chair of UCP MetroBoston and has received much recognition for her work with the UCP network.

·       Rob White, the Chief Executive Officer of Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Sydney, Australia, who has decades of leadership experience in global civil rights movement for people with disabilities.

“We are grateful to these new officers and Trustees for agreeing to serve United Cerebral Palsy in such an important leadership role,” Bennett said.  “Our Trustees are one of the main reasons that UCP is able to serve hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities each year, and we are excited to begin a new year with their leadership contributions.”

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UCP RESPONDS TO NEW REPORT ON RIGHTS OF PARENTS WITH DISABILITIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org

UCP RESPONDS TO NEW REPORT ON RIGHTS OF PARENTS WITH DISABILITIES

 

National Council on Disability’s report highlights vulnerabilities, flaws in current system

 

Washington, DC (October 5, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) issued the following statement today in response to the National Council on Disability (NCD)’s new report, “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children.”

NCD’s report examines the challenges faced by the more than 4 million parents living with disabilities in raising their families. The report identifies parents with disabilities as the “only distinct community of Americans who must struggle to retain custody of their children,” and that removal rates run as high as 80 percent among parents with a psychiatric or intellectual disability. The report details the hardships faced by parents struggling to keep their children, adopt children, or even accessing reproductive assistance and makes recommendations for how to both states and the federal government can address each.

Specifically, the NCD report recommends Congress pass legislation similar to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978, which was enacted to help keep American Indian children with their families, and would help to protect the rights of parents with disabilities and their families. Alternatively, the NCD suggests an amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws relating to child welfare, custody, adopted and reproductive technologies.

“This report highlights an awful truth: parents with disabilities are facing tremendous challenges and discrimination as they try to raise their families. The situation is appalling, and action needs to be taken,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of UCP. “We commend the National Council on Disability for this report and for their efforts to bring this unfair and unjust treatment to an end. UCP looks forward to working together with NCD and other organizations to transform our laws and ensure that the rights of all American families are protected.”

 

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About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY JOINS BROAD EFFORT TO OBSERVE NATIONAL DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

CONTACT:
Alicia Kubert Smith: 202.973.7168, akubertsmith@ucp.org

UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY JOINS BROAD EFFORT TO OBSERVE NATIONAL DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH 

 

Nationwide campaign will take place in October 

 

Washington, DC (October 1, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy today announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

The history of NDEAM traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with a spectrum of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

“Employers who ensure that inclusive workplace policies and practices are woven into the fabric and culture of the organization create an environment that encourages all workers — including those of us with disabilities — to work to their full capacity and contribute fully to the organization’s success,” said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy when announcing this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, which is “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?” The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) leads National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

“United Cerebral Palsy is proud to support National Disability Employment Awareness Month. It is important to break the preconceived notions that often hinder creating an inclusive workforce. Individuals with disabilities bring many contributions to the workplace and together we can help break down barriers to employment. A diverse workforce is advantageous to both the employees and the employer,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of UCP.

Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting the ODEP website at www.dol.gov/odep/. Additional employment resources can be found on the UCP website, and throughout the month special events and webinars will be promoted on the UCP’s Twitter and Facebook page.

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About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

UCP APPLAUDS NATIONAL FORUM ON DISABILITY ISSUES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org

UCP APPLAUDS NATIONAL FORUM ON DISABILITY ISSUES

Obama and Romney campaigns send representatives to speak to Americans living with disabilities

 

Washington, DC (September 28, 2012) – More than 500 people attended the only national event for the presidential campaigns on disability issues with more than 1,000 people watching online, reported United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), one of the more than 80 sponsors of the National Forum on Disability Issues, hosted in Columbus, OH today.

The non-partisan forum featured President Barack Obama’s campaign surrogate Edward M. Kennedy, Jr., a disability rights advocate and son of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and former Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign surrogate U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). Also participating in the forum on behalf of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was Ohio State Representative Nancy Garland (D-New Albany), and Senator Brown’s opponent, Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel.

Each participant presented the policy positions of the respective campaigns and responded to questions posed by the moderator, Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University. Many of the questions were submitted by the disability community, and focused on employment, health care, long-term care, education, and housing issues.

“United Cerebral Palsy is very excited to be a part of the National Forum on Disability Issues, which has helped engage the presidential campaigns on issues that are critical to the disability community. With more than 57 million Americans living with disabilities today, people with disabilities are not a ‘minority’ constituency but a real and powerful voice in the electoral process,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of UCP. “While we are disappointed that President Obama and Governor Romney were not able to participate, we applaud all of those who contributed to today’s success and look forward to continuing to work together in advocating for the public policies that ensure fair and full citizenship for people with disabilities.”

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About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.