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 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.

LEADING CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL JOINS UCP AS FIRST AFFILIATE OF ITS KIND IN THE NATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:
Michael Hill, Senior Vice President of External Affairs
United Cerebral Palsy
202-973-7144, 202-431-3513 (cell), mhill@ucp.org

Patty Dunn, Public Relations Manager
Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare
651-229-1753, 651-245-8489 (cell), Patty.Dunn@gillettechildrens.com

 

LEADING CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL JOINS UCP AS FIRST AFFILIATE OF ITS KIND IN THE NATION

 

Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare expands network in Minnesota, beyond

Washington, DC –  (August 29, 2012) – Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare (Gillette) joins United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) as its newest affiliate and the first children’s hospital to join the UCP network in the organization’s 64-year history, the organizations announced today. UCP’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to welcome Gillette as UCP of Minnesota during a special meeting on Tuesday, August 14, 2012. This makes UCP and its affiliate network nearly a $1 billion enterprise devoted to educating, advocating for and providing support services to people who have a spectrum of disabilities.

Gillette is internationally recognized for its work in treating children who have disabilities and complex medical conditions. Its Center for Cerebral Palsy is world renowned for its medical treatment and rehabilitation services dedicated to reducing the effects of cerebral palsy through an interdisciplinary team. The hospital was cited by the 2012 US News & World Report as one of the country’s best children’s hospitals in the areas of orthopedics and neurology/neurosurgery. Gillette serves approximately 4,000 children each year with CP at its main campus in St. Paul, Minnesota and at clinics throughout the state. Click here to download a fact sheet with additional information about Gillette.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gillette to the UCP family,” said Stephen Bennett, former president & chief executive officer of UCP. “The partnership with Gillette marks a new approach by UCP to expand our network in new and exciting ways. Gillette’s mission mirrors that of UCP, with a broad commitment to people with a spectrum of disabilities. Their reach, reputation and dedicated and accomplished team adds vast new resources to the UCP network, and we are excited for a strong partnership in the years to come.”

”As a national leader in specialty health care, Gillette is always looking to build partnerships with organizations who provide support to children who have disabilities and their families,” said Margaret Perryman, president and CEO of Gillette. “By becoming an affiliate of UCP, we will now be able to provide our patients with even more valuable resources.”

UCP is comprised of close to 90 affiliates throughout the globe that provide services such as housing, physical therapy, assistive technology training, early intervention services, individual and family support, social and recreational programs, community living, state and local referrals, employment, employment assistance and advocacy.  Gillette joins UCP as the first hospital center and points to UCP’s efforts to expand its reach through creative partnerships with organizations that provide excellence in service to people with disabilities.

“This is an important day for UCP,” Bennett said. “Just as parents in the 1940s founded UCP as a response to wanting better for their children, UCP is excited to announce a partnership that expands its reach to help even more people under the UCP banner.”

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About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services 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 Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare
Gillette is an independent, not-for-profit hospital and clinics, that is internationally recognized for its work in the diagnosis and treatment of children and young adults who have disabilities or complex medical needs. As, the nation’s first hospital devoted to the treatment of children with disabilities, Gillette’s mission is to help children, adults and their families improve their health, achieve greater well-being, and enjoy life. In a nationwide survey by U.S. News Media Group this year, Gillette ranked 12th in pediatric orthopedics and 39th in pediatric neurology/neurosurgery, an increase over our 2011 national rankings.

UCP CELEBRATES 22ND ADA ANNIVERSARY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

 

UCP CELEBRATES 22ND ADA ANNIVERSARY

Renews call for progress for Americans living with disabilities

Washington, DC (July 26, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) issued the following statement today in recognition of the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which ensured that people living with disabilities were afforded the same access rights as every other American.

“Today we celebrate the anniversary of a great moment in our nation’s history, the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, by continuing to advocate and actively push for civil rights protections and public policies that ensure fair and full citizenship for people with disabilities. The ADA is a promise that America has made to its citizens: that every man, woman and child is an equal and valued citizen,” said Stephen Bennett, former UCP President & CEO. “But we still have a long way to go, particularly in areas such as health care, education and employment opportunities, to ensure that Americans living with disabilities have the support, access and tools they need to live their lives to the fullest. So while today is a day of celebration for the disability community, it should also serve as a call to action for us all.”

United Cerebral Palsy works with its nearly 100 affiliates throughout the country to provide services to people living with disabilities every day. Additionally, UCP is working to develop and support policies that will expand access to health care and education, as well as employment opportunities and technology.

Team up with UCP as it advocates for life without limits for all by joining the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, this week, to add your voice to the movement.

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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 GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION FOCUS ON EMPLOYING PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES

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

New NGA Chair announced year-long initiative at annual meeting

 

Washington, DC (July 16, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) issued the following response to the National Governors Association’s announcement of new Chair Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s initiative “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities.”

According to the NGA’s announcement, the initiative will aim to increase employment among individuals with disabilities and focus specifically on the intersection of government, businesses and individuals seeking gainful employment. The initiative will work to develop a “blueprint” for states and businesses to help both raise awareness and outline the best policies to increase employment of people living with disabilities. Business and Congressional leaders will collaborate on this initiative and help to determine best practices and policies.

United Cerebral Palsy provides comprehensive employment-related resources and information through its nearly 100 affiliates across the country, which support employment programs, assistance to job seekers with disabilities, and work with employers to improve the recruitment and retention of persons with disabilities in the workforce.

“United Cerebral Palsy is thrilled that the National Governors Association has chosen to highlight an issue that is so critical to Americans living with disabilities. Employment is a way for these individuals to be integrated in their communities and live their lives to the fullest while providing the business community with a workforce that is eager to participate, and yet only has a 20 percent employment rate,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “By bringing together business and government, Governor Markell will be able to develop a blueprint for employment that both serves and benefits all involved. We look forward to this initiative’s work and its tremendous potential for positive change.”

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