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need, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program was created— but unfortunately, it was repealed as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.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, 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.”

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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.

WORLD CP CHALLENGE ANNOUNCES TEAM LONG BROTHERS AS 2013 AMBASSADORS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

WORLD CP CHALLENGE ANNOUNCES TEAM LONG BROTHERS AS 2013 AMBASSADORS 

Connor and Cayden, who has CP, compete as a team in triathlons 

Washington, DC (August 30, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is thrilled to announce that the Team Long Brothers, Connor and Cayden Long, will serve as the 2013 World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Challenge Ambassadors.

Connor, 10, and Cayden, 7, compete in triathlons and were named the 2012 Sports Illustrated SportsKids of the year— but they are more than just an active pair of brothers. Cayden has spastic cerebral palsy, and cannot walk or speak. Connor pushes Cayden in a stroller, pulls him in a raft and tows him behind his bicycle in each race. And along the way, this amazing duo has shown that anything is possible with the love and support of their friends and family. 14 triathlons later, Team Long Brothers has truly embodied their motto to “Keeping Rolling!”

Team Long Brothers’ next competition is the World CP Challenge, four-week event to raise awareness and support for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Beginning on September 4, teams from around the world will challenge themselves to take 10,000 steps a day— and nearly any activity, including biking, physical therapy and yoga, can be converted into steps on the World CP Challenge website. Last year, nearly 7,000 people worldwide participated in the challenge and raised an incredible $774,399. Team Long Brothers is committed to helping make this year an even bigger success!

“Our family is so honored to see the boys as the ambassadors for the Challenge, we hope that other families will see the importance of being active and healthy as much as we do, and the great thing about this challenge is anyone can take part and it will help families and individuals living with the everyday challenges of Cerebral palsy,” said the Long family. “So always remember to Keep Rolling!!”

“We are thrilled to have Team Long Brothers as ambassadors for the World CP Challenge. Their story shows that, with the support they need, anything is possible for people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, President and CEO of UCP. “Connor and Cayden are an inspiration, and we look forward to watching their progress throughout the month—and hope we can keep up!”

For more information about the Long Brothers and their story, please visit their website,www.teamlongbrothers.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.

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, 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.”

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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 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.

UCP PRESENTS 2013 AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

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

 

UCP PRESENTS 2013 AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE 

Awards recognize exceptional achievements, activities and dedication to UCP’s mission

Washington, DC (May 2, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) has announced the honorees for the 2013 Awards for Excellence, which recognize UCP affiliates, individuals and companies whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission to educate, advocate and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities.

The 2013 Awards for Excellence were presented at UCP’s 2013 International Conference, “Redefining Family: Supporting the New Caregiver Community,” which explored how families have evolved and expanded above and beyond the traditional definition 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.

More than 150 affiliates, partners and allies participated in this year’s conference, which featured UCP’s Celebrity Ambassadors, Emmy-nominated actress Cheryl Hines and actor RJ Mitte, known for his role as Walter White Jr. in the Emmy-nominated AMC drama Breaking Bad. Actress Meredith Eaton, known for her breakout role in the ABC hit series Boston Legal, and granddaughter of one of UCP’s founders, Nina Eaton, also helped to present the awards.

“UCP is thrilled to recognize so many extraordinary leaders who are striving each and every day to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “The Awards for Excellence honor our affiliates and partners who are committed to advancing the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities—and we are proud to stand with our honorees today.”

The eight 2013 UCP Awards for Excellence were presented to the following recipients at the Opening Reception and the Awards for Excellence dinner and presentation during UCP’s International Conference, held last week in San Diego, CA.

The Kathleen O. Maul Leadership Award is presented to an exceptional executive director in memory of Kathy Maul, a remarkable executive director at UCP of Suffolk who died young and left a legacy of leadership ability and strong commitment to UCP.

Edward R. Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of UCP of New York City, was recognized with the 2013 honor for his dedication and long history working to improve the services and supports provided to people with disabilities, including: part of the Medicaid Redesign Team, responsible for overhauling New York State’s massive Medicaid system; serving on the Steering Committee to implement the People First Waiver, a partnership between New York State and the federal government to reconstruct the Medicaid funding system for New York’s citizens with developmental disabilities, to provide them greater choice and access and reduce costs; leading the InterAgency Council (IAC) in New York City, a coordinating body and trade association consisting of over 150 agencies providing services for people with developmental disabilities; and serving as CEO of UCP of NYC since 1989, during which the affiliate has grown to a budget size of more than 107 million and provides services to more than 14,000 children, adults and their families throughout New York City.

The Employer of the Year Award recognizes a business or agency that has made an outstanding contribution to employing people with physical disabilities or has supported the training and hiring of people with disabilities, and created an improved work environment. Employees with disabilities must be fully integrated into all aspects of the workplace.

Nominated by UCP of Central Florida in recognition of their long relationship with the company, Publix Supermarkets in Lakeland, Florida has demonstrated a commitment to diversity and helping people reach their full potential through meaningful employment. Publix sets a precedent for all workers to respect diversity and to be mindful of disabilities, including requiring all managers to attend diversity workshops entitled “Developing Cultural Competence.” In addition, diversity training and disability awareness are incorporated into new associate trainings, creating an inclusive and understanding community where everyone is valued. Publix offers an inclusive work environment that only sees abilities, not differences.

The Ritter Legacy Award recognizes an affiliate that has produced exemplary communications through a variety of media that increases public awareness about people with disabilities, the programs of the affiliate and the national UCP brand. The award also recognizes the affiliate’s appropriate use of the official UCP logo, colors and messaging.  The 2013 Ritter Legacy awardee is UCP of the North Bay for its 2012 Annual Report, “Season of Gratitude Holiday” Ask Program, which reached out to donors in a way that emphasizes personal impacts that each individual can make in supporting UCP programs, and the Who We Are & Where We are Going PowerPoint Presentation, which is a quick and effective way to share information about all of the affiliate’s programs. UCP of the North Bay consistently develops communications that convey their mission, vision, and many facets of their services, and is honored for their innovative communications and powerful promotion of their programs. 

The Outstanding Youth Award is designed to honor a young person who has significantly enhanced the lives of people with disabilities through caregiving, volunteerism, advocacy, innovation or fundraising. This year’s awardee is Katy Fetters, nominated by UCP of Orange County. Fetters is an ambitious and motivated young woman. Her blog, Teen Cerebral Palsy, connects young people living with CP. She creates a safe space for people to share their experiences and get support from one another. Her honesty and positivity make her a wonderful role model for young people who are learning to be self-advocates. Fetters is also an active volunteer and ambassador for UCP of Orange County, and inspires teens to embrace their disabilities and challenge themselves to live a life without limits. 

The Nina Eaton Program of the Year award recognizes a program of a UCP affiliate that has made an extraordinary contribution to the quality of life of people with disabilities, enabling them to become more independent, productive, or integrated into the family or community through a particular program.  The 2013 award is presented to Ability Connection Oklahoma for their New Voices program. 

New Voices is an assistive technology program that pairs non-verbal children (and some adults) with an Apple iPad with comprehensive language software that fosters communication efforts. One of the unique aspects of the program is that the iPad is theirs to keep, which facilitates more growth and progress in their ability to communicate. 

New Voices is making it possible for children and adults to gain more independence and confidence. Some children are learning to speak for the first time or communicate with teachers, family and friends. Enabling communication through technology allows children to participate in school and other activities with greater ease, and promotes inclusion. Thanks to the digital technology, voices that were once silent are now heard, with one recipient of an iPad writing “you have made the possibilities limitless for me.”

The Ethel Hausman Volunteer of the Year award recognizes an exceptional individual who, through volunteering, has made an outstanding contribution to UCP. This year’s award is presented to Jay Kapp, nominated by UCP of Georgia. His dedication to advancing UCP’s mission extends the legacy of his father, the late Charles Kapp. Charlie was a senior sales executive with Miller Brewing Company, and his daughter Dana had cerebral palsy. Charlie was a long-time supporter of UCP and fostered Jay’s involvement with UCP. Jay wishes to instill these same values in his two children. Kapp is an exemplary leader that has proved an excellent ambassador for UCP of Georgia, and has served on the Board of Directors for his affiliate since 2001. As the owner of the company Kapp Koncepts, Kapp utilizes his marketing, design, and management expertise to increase the visibility of UCP of Georgia on the local and state levels. Additionally, he attends the Miller Coors-Charlie Kapp Golf Challenge held each year by UCP of Southeast Wisconsin; the event is now in its 17th year.

Kapp’s personal commitment to UCP is evident in the hundreds of hours he volunteers annually and his work to help UCP of Georgia expand its services, and he truly embodies UCP’s mission through his service. 

The Universal Accessibility Design Award recognizes an individual, business, government or governmental agency that has provided leadership developing a universally accessible environment by creating new tools modifying the environment, enhancing independent living or achieving a barrier-free environment.

Gina Hilberry, from Cohen Hilberry Architects in St. Louis, Missouri, represents UCP as its delegate to the ICC ANSI 117.1 Standards Development Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Wheeled Mobility Task Force. The ICC, or International Code Council, was created in 1994 to develop a single set of comprehensive and coordinated national model construction codes and standards. Section 117.1 addresses access for people with disabilities. The specifications in this standard make sites, facilities, buildings and elements accessible to and usable by people with such physical disabilities as the inability to walk, blindness and visual impairment, deafness and hearing impairment, reaching and manipulation disabilities and reacting to sensory information. The intent of the 117.1 Standard is to allow a person with physical disability to independently get to, enter, and use a site, facility, building, or element. This section deals with the details of design and construction that can have a profound impact on the ability of people with disabilities to live and work in the community.

In 2012, the ICC began a multi-year process to update 117.1. Hilberry, as UCP’s delegate, has shepherded the Wheeled Mobility Task Group in the critical job of applying recent research on the expanding size and variety of wheelchairs and scooters to the basic building blocks of accessibility that have been the U.S. standards for over 30 years. Thousands of buildings across the country will not require individual advocacy because the state requirements for access will already be in place, thanks largely to Hilberry’s work. And, if history is any guide, the ADA’s federal accessibility standards will, over time, incorporate equivalent expanded requirements. Hilberry has spent her architectural career dedicated to improving the standards and policies that enable people with disabilities to move freely and independently in their homes and community. It is the job of architects to make the built environment work for all of us, and Hilberry has truly brought honor to her profession, using the tools of architecture to persuade the powers that be to do what is right.

The Life Without Limits Award honors an individual with disabilities who has demonstrated leadership and achievement of such caliber as to be a significant role model to people with and without disabilities. This year, UCP honors Geri Jewell, nominated by UCP of Tampa Bay.

Throughout her life, Jewell has consistently broken barriers for people with disabilities.  While best known as “Cousin Geri” on the NBC sitcom “The Facts of Life,” Jewell’s life is symbolic of breaking many barriers for people with disabilities. She was the first person with a disability to have a regular role on a prime time series, and her portrayal was not one to be pitied but one that placed people with disabilities on par with other “typical” characters.

She was among the first comics with a disability to have her own regular stand-up routine, paving the way for Josh Blue and the many others that have come after her. She went on to appear in Emmy Award-winning movies, on Sesame Street and most recently on the HBO hit series, “Deadwood.” In 2011, Jewell released her autobiography, I’m Walking As Straight As I Can: Transcending Disability in Hollywood and Beyond. This candid memoir details her experiences from her traumatic birth in Buffalo, New York, to her rise to stardom as a stand-up comic to becoming a television star and documents the harsh realities of show business by recounting the relentless discrimination and abuse she suffered at the hands of people she trusted, and how she rose above it all.  It has recently been recorded as an audio book, making her story even more accessible to others.

Beyond her roles on TV and screen, she is a tireless advocate for people with disabilities, speaking to corporations, government agencies and the media about the importance of treating people with disabilities the same way we all want to be treated. Jewell is famous for her uncanny ability to captivate the hearts of her audiences by using humor to facilitate attitudinal change. She brings to her presentations her personal experiences in life, which in turn allow people to gain insight into the prospect of seeing disability in a totally different light, creating hope where there is none, and joy where there is pain. We are honored to present Geri Jewell with the 2013 Life Without Limits Award for the many ways she has served as a pioneer for the civil rights movement 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.

UCP RELEASES NEW REPORT ON STATES SERVING AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

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

 

UCP RELEASES NEW REPORT ON STATES SERVING AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES

New format highlights states’ successes with managed care and employment initiatives

Washington, DC (May 2, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released the 2013 Case for Inclusion today, an annual report that tracks the progress of community living standards for Americans living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD).

The 2013 report, in addition to data from all previous reports since 2006, is available on UCP’s website using a robust new web module and design at http://www.ucp.org/the-case-for-inclusion/2013/.

Each state and the District of Columbia (DC) is analyzed and ranked based on five key outcome areas: promoting independence, tracking quality and safety, keeping families together, promoting productivity, and reaching those in need. Since 2006, these rankings enable families, advocates, the media and policymakers to fully understand each state’s progress or lack of improvement, and help to protect programs and services against unwise funding cuts, as well as guide future reforms to promote inclusion and enhance the quality of life for these, and ultimately all, Americans.

This year’s report highlights the progress that has been made, including:

·      38 states now meet the 80/80 Community standard, a dramatic increase from just 14 states in the 2007 report.

·      As of 2011, 13 states have no state institutions to seclude those with ID/DD. 10 states have only one institution each.

·      Since 1960, 209 of 354 state institutions have been closed, leaving just 149 remaining.

·      21 states now meet the 80% Home-like Setting standard (80% in settings with 1-3 residents).  This is up from just 17 states in the 2007 report.

·      34 states participate in the National Core Indicators, an increase from 24 in the 2007 report. 

·      15 states were supporting a large share of families through family support, up from just 10 states in the 2007 report.

The report also identifies problems, such as:

·      All states still have room for improvement, but some states have consistently remained at the bottom since 2007, Arkansas (#50), Illinois (#48), Mississippi (#51) and Texas (#49).

·      Just ten states have at least one-third (33%) of individuals in competitive employment. This is a downturn from 2007, when 17 states met this standard.

·      Waiting lists for residential and community services are high and have grown from 138,000 people in 2007 to 268,000. At this level, a growth of 44 percent would be needed to meet the need for services. 

New in the 2013 Case for Inclusion is highlights of three case studies—two that examine trends in managed care for those with ID/DD with reforms in Kansas and Massachusetts, and one outlining the success of Washington State in promoting competitive employment through its Employment First policy and practices.

Kansas:

·      KanCare represents one of the most aggressive and comprehensive Medicaid reforms affecting those with ID/DD, directly integrating work, health and community; broadening the scope of benefits; and prioritizing competitive employment and improving health outcomes.

·      As of January 1, 2014, individuals with ID/DD will be able to chose from the three private plans currently offered to Medicaid enrollees, all of which fully integrate medical and behavioral health benefits and home and community-based services.

·      KanCare will focus on specific outcomes to determine success, including: increased competitive employment; improved life expectancy; integration of physical health, behavioral health and home and community based services; and improved health.

Massachusetts:

·      The first state to implement a statewide pilot program (called a demonstration) for all dually eligible individuals, including those with ID/DD, Massachusetts aims to improve coordination of care, actual health outcomes, and overall quality of life for Americans with developmental disabilities.

·      Individuals with ID/DD will have new benefits available through the ICO plans, including restorative dental services, expanded personal care assistance, and greater access to durable medical equipment, and the program defines its success on actual outcomes.

·      Although the actual outcomes tracked have yet to be determined, some of the possible measures to be included include access, person-centered care, integration of services and enrollee outcomes.

Washington:

·      Washington State’s Employment First policy supports employment and day program funds targeted for working-age adults and ensures that after nine months of employment services the individual may choose community access programs.

·      By focusing its efforts on this narrow window of time, Washington’s leaders and advocates addressed the difficult goal of finding a job directly through leadership, training and innovation, and clearly defined goals.

·      The impact of this was profound: in seven years, the number of individuals competitively employed rose from 4,440 in 2004 (before the policy) to 5,562 by 2011.

“The Case for Inclusion is a valuable tool for United Cerebral Palsy and advocates across the country to use as we work to advance the civil rights protections and public policies that help support individuals living with disabilities, ensuring fair and full citizenship for all Americans. This year’s report shows in great detail the states are able to provide services and supports that result in better outcomes for people with disabilities, as well as three case studies that can serve as road maps to success,” said Stephen Bennett, President & CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “It is our hope that the Case for Inclusion can be used to strengthen the efforts of states and advocates to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities.”

Using the interactive website, users can:

·      Compare state & national data. 

·      View state scorecards. 

·      Interact with the ranking map. 

·      See highlights of the 2013 report, the top and bottom 10 states, most improved states and those with biggest drops, and facts about the best performing states. 

·      Learn how to use the report to advocate for areas needing improvement in states, and promote achievements that maintain high quality outcomes, like eliminating waiting lists and closing large institutions. 

·      View in-depth information about each of the states feature in the case studies: Massachusetts, Kansas and Washington State. 

·      Users can pull individual state outcomes and measures, track each state’s performance over time, and compare states among one another and to the U.S. average. The Case for Inclusion data, tables and graphs are exportable and printable as needed for personal and professional use.

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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 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, 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, 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.”

# # #

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 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, 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.”

 

# # #

 

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, 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.

# # #

 

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, 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.” 

# # #

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.