Giving the Gift of Inclusion

By Stephen Bennett, President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy

Each year around the holidays, there seems to be a new ‘it’ toy or videogame that everyone is clambering for—and this year is no different, with Sony selling one million new PlayStation 4 consoles in the first 24 hours they were available. For the many Americans who identify themselves as gamers, or video game enthusiasts, this isn’t a surprise. But for many, the following statistic will be: of an estimated 200 million American gamers, approximately 40 million are gamers with disabilities.

For these gamers, and especially those confined to a hospital or rehabilitation setting, video games offer a unique opportunity to interact across physical locations and limitations. Given the right equipment, gamers of any ability can play nearly any game, compete against other gamers and become a part of the many thriving online communities. This leveling of the playing field can be very appealing, and is the motivation behind one of UCP’s new initiatives: making accessible video gaming available to people with disabilities through mobile, accessible video game stations. Spearheaded by our Life Labs team, a technology and grassroots-focused initiative, these Accessible Gaming Stations can be placed in hospitals or other settings, enabling anyone to play the latest games and interact with other gamers online— giving the gift of inclusion to many who thought they would never be able to play and interact with such a vibrant community. This kind of innovation shows how something as simple and as commercialized as a video game can open up a whole new world to someone.

These gaming systems will also offer an additional benefit to gamers with disabilities: they can be used for rehabilitative purposes, provide important social interactions and help to build self-confidence. Video games can also help improve memory, focus, spatial reasoning, critical thinking and reaction time, all important areas of development and especially critical for children and young adults. Beyond all of these immediate benefits, video games’ place in normal American life makes their accessibility an important matter of inclusion for all.

People with disabilities can spend a considerable amount of time in hospital or rehabilitation settings and, during these times, encounter difficulties playing video games stemming from caregiver or facility-related limitations. “Video games offer a way for these individuals to be engaged, learn and interact with others while having fun,” says Marc Irlandez, Director of UCP’s Life Labs. The Life Labs team is proposing to build an Accessible Gaming Station (AGS) prototype, a self-contained compilation of gaming equipment designed to address the physical, knowledge and time constraints that often prevent patients from playing video games. It is aimed at maximum accessibility, portability, safety and durability, and could be easily replicated. “This is the kind of project that Life Labs loves to work on— the AGS is a unique blend of technology and accessibility that could make a real difference in the life of someone with a disability,” says Irlandez. 

So this holiday season, let’s rethink consider the commercialization of video games and systems in a more positive light, and recognize their potential for creating a broader and more inclusive society. These gaming stations would provide not only a variety of rehabilitative benefits, but also the opportunity to be part of a diverse and thriving online community—making them truly a gift of inclusion. This is an extraordinary opportunity make our mission of a life without limits for everyone a reality, and we are so excited about its potential.

The Accessible Gaming Station is just one of the many exciting projects we’re working on at UCP. Be sure to check out what else our Life Labs team is up to, and stay tuned to UCP for more exciting updates!

 

UCP HOLDS FIRST INTERNATIONAL DESIGN-ATHON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

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

UCP HOLDS FIRST INTERNATIONAL DESIGN-ATHON

More than 100 hackers, makers and inventors gather to design and create accessible design prototypes

Washington, D.C. (November 9, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)’s Life Labs, a technology and grassroots-focused initiative dedicated to identifying, developing, and supporting ideas that will make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities, hosted the two-day 2013 Enabled by Design-athon event.

Held in partnership with UK-based Enabled by Design and Futuregov, the Design-athon is an international innovation event with a focus on disabilities. Hackers, designers and inventors from around the country came together at theDesign-athon to hear from experts, discuss the issues surrounding the need for more accessible, attractive and easier to use products for people with disabilities, and to build functional, scalable prototypes. The incredible prototypes built over the two days demonstrate just how quickly products can be designed, personalized and built to better fit with people’s lives and their needs.

More than 100 individuals from a variety of fields participated, including: NASA, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the World Bank, Google, the George Washington University, the University of Maryland, the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Marymount University, the Corcoran College of Art + Design, the University of Michigan, Syracuse University and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Together, the participants listened to guest speakers, took part in an immersive usability workshop— where they completed a range of empathy activities involving the use of crutches, visual impairment simulation glasses and gloves of varying thicknesses to simulate altered dexterity, to help gain a better understanding of what kinds of products would make a difference for people with disabilities—and worked in teams to create their own prototypes. A panel of judges, including representatives from Google, Enabled by Design, FutureGov and Adobe, awarded the top prize to “Sous Chef,” a mobile kitchen island with variable height, and the people’s choice award to “Springboard,” a device that combines a cutting board with any knife to help stabilize the food preparation process.

Participants in this exciting event include teams from:

  • NASA
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • World Bank
  • Google
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)
  • Marymount University
  • Corcoran College of Art + Design
  • University of Michigan
  • Syracuse University
  • Cerebral Palsy Alliance

“United Cerebral Palsy is thrilled to have hosted this year’s exciting and hugely successful Design-athon. Many of the prototypes built today have the potential to be fully developed, brought to market—and to change the lives of people with disabilities. In just its first year in the United States, the Design-athon has proved that it is not only a great opportunity for discussion and collaboration, but is truly an inspiration for innovation among some of our country’s top science and technology experts,” said Stephen Bennett, President and CEO of UCP. “The 2013 Design-athon is just one of the initiatives that our Life Labs team is working on, and we look forward to more incredible events, partnerships and progress in the future that help to advance UCP’s mission of enabling a life without limits for people with disabilities.”

“Enabled by Design is proud to have bought the format of the Enabled by Design-athon to the US— and of all the participants, speakers and sponsors who have helped to make it happen. This event, now in its second year, embodies what Enabled by Design is about: creating a movement for accessibility for the masses, the belief that good design can help people with disabilities live more independently and building a diverse community of people with an active interest in accessibility,” said Denise Stephens, Founder of Enabled by Design. “It’s fantastic to see so many talented and imaginative designers coming together in support of accessible design, and we look forward to working with United Cerebral Palsy in continuing to build and expand the Design-athon in years to come.”

“At FutureGov, we are passionate about innovation in public services, social problem solving and utilizing technology to facility change. Driven by our openness to new opportunities and willingness to work with others, we are excited to partner with Enabled by Design and UCP’s Life Labs for the 2013 Enabled by Design-athon. This event is a great example of the kind of work that we seek to do on a daily basis, bringing smart, creative people together to address issues in creative ways that produce immediate results,” said Dominic Campbell, Founder and Director of Futuregov. “We applaud all of the participants for a job well done, and urge everyone involved to continue innovating, designing and pushing for change.”

To learn more about the Enabled by Design-athon, please visit www.enabledbydesignathon.org.

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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.

JOIN UCP IN CELEBRATING WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY DAY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

JOIN UCP IN CELEBRATING WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY DAY 

Share your ideas and help to change the world for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities

Washington, D.C. (October 2, 2013) – Do you have an idea that could change the world for the 17 million people around the globe living with cerebral palsy (CP)? Now’s your chance to submit your idea, and it may become reality.

To celebrate the second annual World Cerebral Palsy Day on Wednesday, October 2, people are being asked to suggest something that if developed, adapted or changed, would make life easier for people with CP and other disabilities. You can film or write your idea and submit it on the World CP Day website— the only requirement is that it takes one minute or less to watch or read, and be sure to vote for the ideas you think are best!

More than 260 ideas have already been submitted, ranging from a gym modified for people with disabilities to portable, lightweight ramps to increase accessibility for individuals in wheelchairs. Last year, a team that built a solar-powered wheelchair won the top prize. At the end of October, three ideas will be selected for the shortlist—and inventors, creators and hackers will have the chance to bring your ideas to life. The best creations will compete for a share of $50,000 in prize money.

With an estimated 17 million people around the world that have CP and another 350 million people that are closely connected to a child or adult with CP, there should be no shortage of ideas. UCP urges everyone who has cerebral palsy or any disability, or is connected to a child or adult with a disability, to think about the daily challenges they face, come up with ideas to solve them, and submit those ideas online.

“United Cerebral Palsy is thrilled to be celebrating the second annual World CP Day, and we hope that you will join us and our partners around the world as we work to change the world for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, former President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “It’s easy to get involved by spreading the word, submitting your ideas and voting for the ideas you think will make a real difference for people— and maybe your idea will be chosen to be brought to life!”

To submit an idea, go to www.worldcpday.org through October 31.

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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 ON NEW DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RULE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

UCP ON NEW DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RULE

Washington, DC (September 20, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released the following statement in response to a final rule from the U.S. Department of Labor aimed at tightening the Fair Labor Standards Act by significantly narrowing the “companionship exemption” to give nationwide minimum wage and overtime protections for in-home, direct support caregivers.

“While we understand that the new rule from the Department of Labor is intended to ensure that direct support caregivers are being compensated fairly for their work, there are serious potential consequences to these changes for individuals with disabilities.  Many of the services that these caregivers provide are reimbursed by Medicaid—which in many states does not allow for overtime.  This new rule may limit the services and supports that can be provided to individuals with disabilities living in the community, and ultimately result in more people with disabilities winding up in costly institutions,” said Stephen Bennett, former President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “To avoid this unintended outcome, it is imperative that state Medicaid agencies take advantage of the delayed implementation of this rule to set reimbursement rates that will enable organizations like UCP to continue the in-home, community services and supports that people with disabilities need.”

# # #

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 RESPONDS TO LONG TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS COMMISSION REPORT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

UCP RESPONDS TO LONG TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS COMMISSION REPORT

Washington, DC (September 19, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released the following statement in response to the Commission on Long-Term Care’s Final Report to Congress.

There are currently an estimated 12 million Americans in need of long-term services and supports, and that number is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years. To address this growing need, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program was created— but unfortunately, it was repealed as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

In its stead, the Commission was established to address the issues surrounding long-term care, specifically service delivery, the workforce requirements and financing, and required to produce a report within six months. The Final Report detailing their suggestions was approved by a vote of 9 to 6 on September 12, 2013. However, five of the commissioners who voted “no” released alternate recommendations that suggest financing long-term care through a social insurance program.

“While we commend the Commission for finishing its work, no easy feat given the short amount of time available and magnitude of the challenges surrounding long-term care, we are disappointed that the Final Report does not address the most critical issue: financing. Any realistic, comprehensive solution to our country’s long-term care issues must address how it will be paid for—and this report fails to do so,” said Stephen Bennett, former President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “However, we must also recognize the recommendations made by the five commissioners who voted against the Final Report. Their proposal, to create a public insurance program that would supplement existing private insurance and family caregiver options, is a feasible starting point to addressing the long-term care crisis our country is facing and should be taken seriously. Overall, the actions of the Commission should serve as a stark reminder of how complex the challenges surrounding long-term are, and how urgent the need is to take action.”

# # #

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 CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

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

UCP CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

Landmark legislation signed into law 23 years ago 

Washington, DC (July 26, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released the following statement today in observance of the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), into law. This landmark piece of legislation stated that all Americans, regardless of ability, were afforded the same access rights.

“The signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act was a tremendous step forward for all Americans, and particularly for the disability community, but there is still much progress to be made in achieving the equality in access the law guarantees. In areas such as education, health care and employment, United Cerebral Palsy and many others in the disability community are still working to ensure that Americans with disabilities have the supports, services and access they need,” said Stephen Bennett, former President and CEO of UCP. “And so today, twenty-three years after the ADA made history, we urge everyone to keep fighting, advocating and pushing for the fair and full citizenship for people with disabilities.”

Learn more about UCP and how we are working to ensure a life without limits for people with disabilities, and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

# # #

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 OF GREATER CHICAGO, SEGUIN SERVICES TO MERGE

CONTACT:

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

 

UCP OF GREATER CHICAGO, SEGUIN SERVICES TO MERGE 

Local adults and children with disabilities will have more access to services and supports

Washington, D.C. (June 4, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is pleased to announce that one of its affiliates, UCP of Greater Chicago, and Seguin Services are merging to create one non-profit organization dedicated to serving people with disabilities: UCP-Seguin of Greater Chicago.

For the past three years, UCP of Greater Chicago and Seguin Services have worked together in a collaborative relationship to provide the best supports and services to people with disabilities in the Chicago area. The merger, effective as of July 1, 2013, will make a wider range of services and programs available, particularly in the areas of technology and family support.

John Voit, President and CEO of Seguin, will become president of UCP-Seguin of Greater Chicago. Paul Dulle, PhD, President and CEO of UCP of Greater Chicago, will continue to be involved, providing ongoing consultation and becoming chairman of a new foundation under consideration by both organizations. UCP of Greater Chicago and Seguin plan to maintain their current staff and facilities.

“The entire UCP family is excited about this merger and how it will benefit the Chicago community. Both UCP of Greater Chicago and Seguin have provided excellent services and supports for years, and together they will be able to do even more to ensure a life without limits for people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, former President and CEO of UCP. “This merger is a smart, forward-thinking move that will expand and enhance the good work already being done, and we look forward to all of its positive impacts.”

“From our first collaboration, we recognized a natural synergy between our organizations and saw many potential advantages to joining forces,” said Dulle. “This merger is a win‐win for both teams and especially for the population we serve with advanced technologies, family support, as well as programs and services.”

“This merger will position the combined organizations for considerable growth, enabling us to offer a broader scope of services and enhanced programs to children and adults with disabilities,” said John Voit, President and CEO of Seguin. “Because we serve similar populations, we anticipate achieving this growth while reducing overall costs.”

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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.

About UCP of Greater Chicago

United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Chicago (UCP) is a nonprofit human services agency. UCP Chicago’s mission is to advance the independence of people with disabilities, enrich their lives, provide support to their families, and advocate for their inclusion in every facet of community life. For more information visit www.ucpnet.org.

About Seguin Services

Seguin Services is a charitable not‐for‐profit agency serving metropolitan Chicago, always striving to integrate, enrich, and empower people with disabilities. Seguin creates job opportunities and housing options that lead to greater independence, so that men and women with developmental disabilities can live, work, and socialize as their neighbors do. In addition, Seguin provides safe and loving homes for children who have disabilities and serious medical or emotional conditions. For more information visit www.seguin.org.

Joining Forces: UCP and Sprint Relay

Over the years Sprint Relay has responded to communication challenges in the lives of people with speech disabilities. UCP is excited to be in partnership with Sprint Relay to help promote the products and services of Sprint Relay while furthering UCP’s efforts to advance the accessibility movement for people with a spectrum of disabilities. This partnership will raise awareness of these various services and products available through Sprint Relay that can help people with a variety of hearing difficulties and people who have speech disabilities to communicate with friends and family and live as independently as possible.

Sprint is the largest and most technologically advanced Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) provider in the nation with more than 22 years of experience. Sprint Relay services are provided to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or who have a speech disability, and give these individuals the ability to communicate on the phone or internet. Sprint’s experience in this field ensures Sprint Relay users receive quality service regardless of the type of relay service they are using. Sprint Relay service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no restrictions on the number of calls placed or the length of calls. For more information, visit www.sprintrelay.com. Users with a speech disability can go to www.sprintsts.com.

“Sprint Relay and UCP share a common vision that technology can be harnessed to open up the world to individuals with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “UCP is excited to be partnering with Sprint Relay to help raise awareness of the services they provide that can really make an incredible difference in the day-to-day lives of so many people.”

“Sprint has always been committed to making communication possible for all of our customers, including those with speech disabilities. Sprint Relay delivers on this promise through our new partnership with United Cerebral Palsy who is a recognized advocate serving 170,000 clients and families every day. We look forward to working together to raise awareness about Speech-to-Speech Services available” said, Mike Ellis, Sprint Relay Director.

If you need more information about the Sprint Relay Service, please do not hesitate to contact the Sprint TRS customer service at 800-676-3777 (voice), 800-676-3777 (TTY) or send an email to Sprint.TRSCusSer@sprint.com.

UCP ELECTS SEVEN TO BOARD OF TRUSTEES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

 

UCP ELECTS SEVEN TO BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Individuals bring diversity of experience and knowledge to continuing efforts to ensure a life without limits for people with disabilities 

 

Washington, D.C. (May 20, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) elected seven members to its Board of Trustees during its 2013 International Conference in San Diego, CA last month.

“We are extremely grateful to all members of our Board of Trustees for their passion for UCP’s mission and their commitment to the people we serve,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of UCP, in announcing the selection of Trustees.

The newly elected members of UCP’s Board of Trustees are listed below. To view the complete list, please visit ucp.org/about/board.

Actress, Producer and Director Cheryl Hines is a two‐time Emmy nominee for her role as Cheryl David on HBO’s Golden Globe Award‐winning series Curb Your Enthusiasm, the brainchild of Seinfeld co‐creator Larry David. Hines can currently be seen starring in the hit ABC comedy series Suburgatory opposite Jeremy Sisto and Jane Levy.

Last year, Hines filmed a co‐starring role in the feature film PASADENA, produced by Midway Films. Hines co‐stars opposite Peter Bogdanovich and Alicia Witt. Hines’s feature film directorial debut, Serious Moonlight was released through Magnolia Films two years ago. The film premiered with critical acclaim at the Tribeca Film Festival. The late Adrienne Shelly, who directed Hines in the critically acclaimed Waitress, wrote the screenplay.

Hines’s additional television projects included a co‐starring role in the live action/CG adaptation of the Nickelodeon hit animated series The Fairly Odd Parents and television movie A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner! opposite Jason Alexander. She had major story arc on the ABC drama series Brothers and Sisters and a starring role opposite Megan Mullally in the ABC Television Network series In the Motherhood, a single camera comedy series chronicling the hilarious ups and downs of motherhood.

Hines has also produced and directed several television projects including Executive Producer and creator of the NBC television series School Pride, a proactive, alternative series that told the stories of communities coming together to renovate their aging and broken public schools. She also produced the award‐winning comedy series Campus Ladies for the Oxygen Channel and the Starz Networks original comedy series Hollywood Residential.

Hines is one of Hollywood’s busiest film actresses with starring roles in a number of critically acclaimed feature films and box office hits including The Ugly Truth, RVWaitressThe Grand and Bart Got A Room.

Hines previously served on the Board of Trustees of UCP from 2006 – 2012, and has been tireless in her support for the individuals whom UCP’s affiliates serve.

 

Pamela Talkin was sworn in on July 16, 2001 as the tenth Marshal of the Supreme Court of the United States and is the first woman to hold the position.

Talkin came to the Court after six years as the first Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Compliance, the independent regulatory agency created by the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, which applied eleven of the nation’s labor and employment laws to Congress. There, she promulgated procedures and regulations for the application of the laws, managed all operations of the Office, and acted as liaison between the Office and Congressional members, committees, and legislative branch agencies including the Architect of the Capitol, the Capitol Police, and the Congressional Budget Office. Talkin also served as President of the international Association of Labor Relations Agencies.

From 1989 to 1995, Talkin was a Presidentially‐appointed, Senate‐confirmed member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Previously, Talkin was the Chief of Staff at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Assistant Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board’s San Francisco Region (Northern California and Hawaii). Talkin was also the National President of the NLRB Union, which represented over 2,000 professional and clerical employees.

Talkin began her career as a Spanish teacher and guidance counselor in New York City high schools. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Spanish from the City University of New York at Brooklyn College. She has done postgraduate work at the City University of New York and at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has been re-elected to a new three-year term.

 

Gloria JohnsonCusack is the Executive Director of Leadership 18, an alliance of Chief Executive Officers responsible for leading some of the country’s largest and most well respected charities, non‐profits, and faith‐based organizations.

Johnson‐Cusack brings more than 20 years of management, political and strategic communications expertise informed by leadership positions in the private sector, U.S. Congress, national presidential campaigns, municipal and federal government, and the White House.

Johnson‐Cusack previously served as Senior Vice President at GMMB, a D.C.‐based strategic communications and advertising firm focused on cause marketing. In this role, she advanced issues on behalf of key nonprofit organizations and foundations.

In the public affairs arena, Johnson‐Cusack served as Director of the Office of Congressional Relations at the Peace Corps, Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office of National Service, and Director of Constituent Relations at the Corporation for National Service. She was Chief of Staff for the D.C. Office of the Inspector General and was policy advisor to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Senator Albert Gore, Jr.

Johnson‐Cusack holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College, Columbia University and a master’s degree in public administration from the Key Executive Management Program at American University. She is a founder of the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership program at Brandeis University, media trainer, church lay leader and breast cancer survivor and advocate. She is married with one adult daughter. She has been re-elected to a new three-year term.

 

Christobel Selecky is a chief executive and entrepreneur with nearly 30 years experience in the health care industry. She currently provides strategic consulting and advice to management teams, companies, and investors currently in or seeking to enter the healthcare field focusing on strategy and business plan development, disease and care management program development and assessment, sales and market positioning, product planning, public policy analysis and strategy, and CEO/Senior Management advising. She also serves on the Board of Directors of National Healthcare Services, the venture capital arm of Memorial Healthcare Services, a preeminent, non-profit healthcare system located in Southern California.

Selecky most recently served as President, CEO, Chairman, and member of the Board of Directors of LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, which she led from 1996 until 2009. Under her leadership, LifeMasters raised more than $60 million in venture capital, grew to $130 million in annual revenues, employed more than 1,200 people in seven locations, provided care and disease management and health improvement services to more than 1 million program participants nationwide, won numerous industry awards, and counted some of the largest and most well‐respected health plans, employers, provider groups, labor unions, and government entities as its clients.

A veteran in the field of managed health care, her career began at FHP International Corporation, an entrepreneurial, privately held staff‐model HMO. While at FHP, Selecky saw the company through its conversion, public offering and rapid expansion. She has also served on the boards of both the California and New Mexico HMO Associations and The Medical Quality Commission.

Selecky received a master’s degree in public communication from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University and a B.A. with high honors in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Delaware. She has been re-elected to a new three-year term.

 

Eric Hespenheide is a senior partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP with over 25 years of distinguished leadership and client service experience. He serves as the Global Leader of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) member firms’ Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Services Group and managing partner of the global Internal Audit Practice.

Hespenheide is leading efforts in marketplace research, coordinating an integrated service offering and helping clients solve complex challenges with sustainability programs. His leadership has led to significant growth, resulting in the practice being widely recognized as a leading provider of internal audit services among Fortune 1000 companies. In addition, he currently serves as the Lead Partner or Advisory Partner on a number of global engagements in a variety of industries.

Hespenheide joined the Detroit practice of Deloitte & Touche LLP in 1977 and was named global managing partner of Internal Audit Services in 2001. Prior to 2001, he served as the Assurance and Advisory managing partner for the Great Lakes Region and as an audit partner for large global manufacturing companies.

He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. Hespenheide has twice served on the Board of the United Cerebral Palsy, chairing the finance, audit and nominating committees. Hespenheide was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation. Hespenheide also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at Louisiana State University, and has been actively involved in working with the Institute of Internal Auditors since 2001, serving as a board trustee for the IIA’s Research Foundation. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of internal auditing at various forums around the world.

 

Ian C. Ridlon is General Counsel and Director of Legal Services at the Rhode Island Interlocal Risk Management Trust. Prior to joining The Trust, Ridlon was in private practice with a large national law firm where he engaged in insurance defense work, commercial and environmental litigation, and labor and employment work. He also successfully appealed the termination of benefits to children with developmental disabilities in a precedent setting matter before the Vermont Supreme Court.

Ridlon has been involved with United Cerebral Palsy on the state and national level for more than 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.

Ridlon is a graduate of Bowdoin College and Vermont Law School. He currently resides in Rhode Island with his wife, Patty, and his three boys, Conor, Brendan, and Aiden. He has been re-elected to a new three-year term.

 

Dr. James T. Bennett graduated from Tulane School of Engineering and Tulane Medical School. A New Orleans native, he maintains his relationship with Tulane Engineering as a member of the Advisory Board for BME curriculum. His orthopaedic residency was at the University of North Carolina, AI DuPont Institute and a Fellowship at Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta.

Bennett’s interest in computer assisted navigation stems from former Chairman of Tulane Orthopaedics Dr. Tom Whitecloud’s work in developing Stealth navigation. Bennett’s practice is primarily scoliosis although he maintains his interest in Pediatric Orthopedics in general. Bennett has been re-elected to a new three-year term.

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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 UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA AS WINNER OF WORLD CP DAY INVENTION CONTEST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

 

UCP ANNOUNCES UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA AS WINNER OF WORLD CP DAY INVENTION CONTEST 

Team designs solar-powered wheelchair, awarded 1st prize of $20,000

Donates chair to man who submitted idea, funds to help advance World CP Day

Washington, D.C. (May 10, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) and its international partners have announced the winner of the first annual World CP Day invention contest: a team from the University of Virginia, who created a solar-powered wheelchair.

World CP Day was established in 2012 as a way to raise awareness and support for people living with cerebral palsy around the world. Through the “Change My World In One Minute” contest, people can submit ideas for something that would make a real difference in the lives of people with cerebral palsy—and an incredible 473 ideas were submitted. From these, three final ideas were selected: a fold-up motorized wheelchair, a documentary on cerebral palsy in the 21st century and a solar-powered wheelchair. The public was then invited to submit proposals for a chance to win $25,000 and to bring their ideas to life.

The team from the University of Virginia, led by Dr. Mool Gupta, included six students: Dennis Waldron, Duncan McGillivray, Craig Ungaro, Ankit Shah, Maria Michael and Kyung Kim, and was primarily constructed at the National Institute of Aerospace’s Research and Innovation Laboratories Facility. The concept for the wheelchair was inspired by the design of retractable roofs on convertible cars and utilizes lightweight yet robust materials with high efficiency solar cells. This innovative combination enables the wheelchair to increase its range by more than 40 percent over battery usage, and to run a one mile per hour indefinitely without consuming any battery charge. Operated by a single switch, the wheelchair includes standard components as well as USB power outlets.

Awarded $20,000 for their first prize invention, Dr. Gupta and his students decided to use the prize money to refine and ship the wheelchair to the man who posted the suggestion online, Alper Sirvan, who has cerebral palsy, and donate the remaining proceeds back to UCP to help advance World CP Day in the years to come.

“UCP is thrilled to present this award to the University of Virginia for their creation of a solar powered wheelchair as part of the first World Cerebral Palsy Day’s Change My Life in One Minute invention contest, which focused on concrete, attainable ideas that could change people’s lives. We are very proud to say that, together with the incredible efforts of the University of Virginia, Dr. Gupta, and all of the students and partners involved, one of these ideas has been brought to life,” said Stephen Bennett, former President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “And it is truly inspiring to hear of the University of Virginia’s decision to use the prize money to send the wheelchair to the man who inspired the idea and return the remaining funds. I applaud these extraordinary individuals for their work, and appreciate their efforts in helping to ensure that people living with cerebral palsy can live their lives to the fullest.”

“This team of graduate and undergraduate students have created a device that will truly benefit those with disabilities,” Engineering School Dean James H. Aylor said. “The students on the team are excellent examples of the type of engineer we strive to produce in the U.Va. Engineering School – innovative leaders who are agents of change in society. I am thankful for the World CP Day organization for giving them this opportunity and for the National Institute of Aerospace for providing laboratory space.”

# # #

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.

About the World CP Day Campaign:
World Cerebral Palsy Day is an innovative way for 17 million people with CP to tell the world what they need to make their lives better and it’s a way to turn some of those ideas into reality. World CP Day was piloted in 2012. From 1 August, people with cerebral palsy, their families and friends posted ideas online for something that could be created, developed or modified that would change the world for someone with cerebral palsy. Ideas were posted as text or video. Each idea needed to take only 1 minute to read or watch. From World CP Day, September 4, people were encouraged to go online, review the ideas and vote for the concepts that could have the greatest impact on people’s lives. At the end of September, the World Cerebral Palsy Day Panel reviewed the ideas and public votes. Three ideas were shortlisted for development. Social activists, researchers, inventors, and innovators were then invited to turn the shortlisted ideas into reality. They competed for a total prize pool of $25,000. The winner was announced on April 27, 013.

World CP Day partners include organizations from America, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Singapore, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, St Lucia, Sweden, Turkey and the UK.