April 25-27, 2013
Omni San Diego Hotel
This year’s international gathering of the UCP affiliate network explored the changing role of families in the lives of individuals with disabilities, as well as in the UCP network. After all, UCP would not be where it is today had it not been for a group of parents in the 1940s who were committed to pioneering an effort to change the world for their children. Since UCP’s founding in 1949, incredible progress has been made to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and UCP and its affiliates have been a leading force in that progress – one person at a time, one family at a time.
However, advances in research, healthcare, technology and public policy over the past 60 years have greatly impacted and advanced the lives of people with disabilities and their families. With expanded support systems, care providers and the ability of people with disabilities to live longer and more independent lives, the “family” has evolved and expanded above and beyond the traditional definition. As UCP and its affiliates have expanded and developed a wide spectrum of programs and services, UCP has become a part of the family to thousands of people with disabilities, many times playing an important role in their lives from the time they are very young through adulthood.
The 2013 UCP Annual Conference explored this dynamic family model and the ways in which UCP and its affiliate network can best continue to provide and adapt to the needed supports and resources people with disabilities and their families need. In addition, the conference helped develop and strengthen the UCP affiliate family through informative sessions on governance, program development, marketing and fundraising.