Enabled by Design-athon from an OT’s Perspective

Guest post contributed by Clarice Torrey, occupational therapist and winner of UCP Life Lab’s recent Design-athon People’s Choice Award. 

 

Clarice Torrey

I nerded out a bit when I first saw @UCPLifeLabs tweet about the Enabled-by Design-athon in DC. I had already become familiar with Enabled by Design and UCP Life Labs through the wonderful world of Twitter, but this event was exactly what I’d been looking for. I’m an occupational therapist who works primarily with children who have cerebral palsy, and I want to blend my knowledge of disability with my passion for designing and making. Over the past 10+ years as an occupational therapist, I have designed and fabricated many adaptive aids and splints. The Design-athon felt like it was made for me.

Even so, I didn’t exactly know what to expect. Thursday morning I walked into the event at Google’s DC headquarters and was assigned to a team consisting of Jessica Bonness, an interior designer, educator and our team facilitator; Jessica Denson, an interior design student; Emily Flax, an industrial designer; Patricia Torres, a universal design student; and Reem Bagais, an interior design student. We started with empathy exercises to gain a better understanding of what it’s like to have a disability. For instance, we put on gloves to search for items in our purse and used earplugs/headphones to simulate a hearing impairment. The exercise that resonated the most with us was doing activities with limited dexterity and only having the use of one upper extremity.

Our question became this: How can we facilitate increased independence for people with limited to no use of one upper extremity? There are so many daily activities most people take for granted that are made possible or easier with two hands. We wanted a tool that could be worn or at least easily accessible to provide the stabilization that so many two-handed tasks require. For instance when zipping up a jacket, you can complete the task with only one hand, but it will probably take you longer and you might have to use your teeth or another awkward adaptation.Empathy Exercise

As an occupational therapist, I do activity analysis so often it’s become second nature. One thing I frequently tell families is that the two hands don’t have to have equal skills in order to be functional. Almost all of us have a dominant hand that does most of the work, I usually call the other hand the “helper hand.” It’s the stabilizer. We used this information to brainstorm: How do we stabilize or grip objects? How do we attach things to our bodies?

The wall and sticky notes quickly became our friends.

As the word wearable was written on the wall, Emily saw it as “we are able” and we quickly decided that was our team name. We continued brainstorming.

Emily took the lead and we began adding to our lists and calling out some really random things. At one point, I became extremely interested in the idea of electromagnetics. I excused myself from the group for a bit to consult with some engineering/tech friends: Philip Lindsay and Darian Ahler. One of the original team ideas was a bracelet with an attachment to stabilize something. In the case of zipping up a jacket, you would reach over to one side of the jacket and activate an electromagnet to stabilize the jacket, as your unaffected hand managed the zipper and pulled it up. My friends talked me through solenoids and balloon/coffee grounds grippers. As I tried to do some research on the feasibility of something higher tech, the rest of the team continued working on other ideas.

It was a real shuffle to present to the crowd and update them on our progress. It was also a good way to keep us moving forward. It was fun to hear what the other seven teams at the event were working on. There was clearly some amazing minds coming together to come up with beautiful, functional designs to benefit all.

Our design continued to develop that first day. We had the opportunity to consult with Brett Heising of brettapproved.com. He has limited dexterity in his right hand. He told us the most difficult tasks for him were tying a tie and buttoning the top button and sleeves of a dress shirt. I simulated our design theory by using my hand to form a “clip” and stabilize the material of his shirt sleeve held together. He still wasn’t able to button the button.

I asked Brett if he had ever used a button hook, which is a common buttoning aid. He said he had, but challenged us to come up with a better design. We realized that our stabilizer had the potential to develop by adding different attachments based on the individual needs. I continued problem-solving a tool for this specific task, but it is still in development.We Are Able Prototypes

The stabilizing gripper we had designed would facilitate tying a tie though and we began to list all of the activities it would help with. It could help zip up jackets, open ziplock baggies, open other packages, hold a fork for cutting with a knife, hold paper while cutting with scissors, and hold a smartphone for the other hand to easily access.

As our first day came to an end, we felt that the palm of the hand would provide more stability than the wrist and that a low tech attachment would be more feasible. The next day we would bring various materials and clips to problem-solve what would work best. We consulted with representatives from PSC Engineering who were on hand with 3-D printers to print out a modified version of a slide clip pants hanger clip, which is the type of attachment piece we were leaning towards.

As I left the first day, I was exhausted and exhilarated. Now that we had a basic concept, I needed some hands-on inspiration. I needed to touch and feel materials and process. I walked up and down every aisle of a local Wal-Mart letting my brain work through the possibilities. I bought ribbon, chain and leather bracelets, yarn, a crochet hook, metal picnic tablecloth clips, and various other supplies we could possibly use tomorrow to put together a prototype. I knew it wouldn’t be as pretty as I would like, but I knew it might help us make a functioning tool.

Friday morning was crunch time. Patricia set to work on the computer animated design. Jessica worked on the slides for the presentation. With everyone’s “supply” contribution in the middle of the table some of us began playing with materials. We ended up using the tablecloth hooks and reformed them into a universal cuff. We covered the metal in leather and attached a slide-lock hanger clip. We covered the clip in Sugru for aesthetics and for greater stability at the latch.

Winning DesignWe were still making changes it was time to present to the judges, but we were proud of what we made in just a short time. This small tool had the ability to assist people with cerebral palsy, stroke, arthritis and other disabilities be more functional and independent. Our presentation went well, and I really felt that the judges and the people in the room appreciated and valued our hard work and what we had done in such a short time. We were awarded the People’s Choice Award and a Google Chromecast each! Brett talked to us about a friend in Arizona that could help with bringing our design to market.

For me, the Design-athon was an opportunity to collaborate with like-minded people passionate about design and disability. It allowed me to blend my knowledge, creativity, and passion. Designing and making adaptive aides has been one of my life pursuits, and with this experience, I feel confident that I am moving in the right direction.

 

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UCP Annual Conference

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UCP’s Annual Conference brings together over 200 of the most engaged and influential leaders of United Cerebral Palsy’s large national network (commanding a collective budget of $1 billion) to focus on our vision for people with disabilities and their families. As service providers, advocates, professionals and volunteers, the national leadership of UCP use the conference to collaborate and innovate. We will use UCP’s newly adopted strategic plan to map out our approach in the coming year.

This year’s theme centers on a unique sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Cloud Gate, or “The Bean,” as it is called, symbolizes how UCP, our vital volunteer leaders, and our 80+ affiliates reflect the individuals and families we serve. It is futuristic and awe-inspiring yet accessible, made up of hundreds of panels fused together to appear seamless: symbolic of the vision UCP has for its network and the movement for people with disabilities everywhere.

I Give Thanks Every Day

A Message from Stephen Bennett

“At this time of year, many of us start to reflect on what we are thankful for – family, friends, our home, our health. For me, being thankful is part of what I do every day. 

Stephen Bennett

UCP President and CEO, Stephen Bennett

Just like you, I am thankful for many things, not the least of which is the fact that I get to do what I do for a living. My career started in California when I served as a caregiver for people with disabilities. I was part of a sea change as large institutions were closed and many people with disabilities were able to live in their communities for the first time.

Although there were challenges, I was thankful for what I knew would be a positive change in society. When I came to UCP I was thankful that a national network existed to serve people with disabilities and their families. I was thankful that so many professionals and experts were working together to provide the essential services, support, advice and advocacy needed by 176,000 people with a broad range of disabilities every day. And, I was thankful that I could lead a national office, which would support that network with a voice in Washington, D.C, and national programs such as My Child Without Limits, which provides valuable resources and information to parents of young children with disabilities.

Tuesday, December 2 is #GivingTuesday – a day on which everyone is urged to donate to a favorite cause after the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s meant to remind us that there are always more important things in life than holiday shopping. I hope you will join us by making a donation to UCP. If you give on #GivingTuesday, the Network for Good has promised to us $1 for every $20 we raise.

I am so very thankful for you – our supporters – who donate to ensure that this organization remains strong and move forward. As we close out this year and look forward, I encourage you to get involved and continue to support UCP. ”

Thank you!

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Stephen Bennett signatureStephen Bennett, UCP President & CEO

 

#GivingTuesday

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Thank You to Our Champions in Congress!

 

UCP has long relied on several advocates in Congress to help us push for positive Federal policies for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Some of these champions – such as Senators Tom Harkin, Jay Rockefeller, and Carl Levin and Representatives Henry Waxman, George Miller, and John Dingell are retiring and passing the baton to the next generation of legislators. 

This video honors those retiring Members of Congress for their legislative successes on behalf of people disabilities and was jointly developed by six national organizations – The Arc, American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, and United Cerebral Palsy. 

On behalf of UCP, we would like to say “thank you” to these champions and we look forward to working with other Senators and Representatives who would like to continue their work to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families. 

 

Former Deputy Secretary of Labor, LinkedIn VP, Business Leader to Contribute to UCP’s Mission

 

Seth Harris

Seth Harris, Former Deputy Secretary of Labor and Cornell Distinguished Scholar

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) elected ten members to its Board of Trustees during its 2014 Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee including three members new to the organization. Seth Harris, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor, Pablo Chavez, LinkedIn’s Vice President of Public Policy and a parent of a son with a disability, and Ouida Spencer, a long-time UCP advocate and volunteer from Georgia will join seven re-elected members to lead UCP into the future.

“Our Board of Trustees plays a critical role in guiding the UCP network forward, and we are honored to welcome such a talented and knowledgeable group onto the Board this year. We are very grateful for each new member’s dedication to our mission of enabling a life without limits for people with disabilities and their families, and look forward to their contributions,” said Stephen Bennett, President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy, in announcing the selection of Trustees.

Profiles of the newest board members are below. To view the complete list including re-elected trustees, please visit ucp.org/about/board.

Seth Harris served four and a half years as the US Deputy Secretary of Labor and six months as Acting US Secretary of Labor and a member of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet before becoming a Distinguished Scholar at Cornell and joining Dentons’ Public Policy and Regulation practice. He did some consultancy work for UCP in 2007 and 2008, most notably as the designer of the programmatic work that launched UCP’s Life Labs.

While at the Department of Labor, Harris contributed to our country’s economic recovery and millions of Americans returning to work. In 2007, Harris chaired Obama for America’s Labor, Employment and Workplace Policy Committee, and later founded the campaign’s Disability Policy Committee.  He oversaw the Obama-Biden transition team’s efforts in the Labor, Education and Transportation departments and 12 other agencies in 2008.

Also, Harris was a professor of law at New York Law School and director of its Labor and Employment Law programs as well as a scholar of the economics of disability law and topics.

Pablo Chavez is Vice President of Global Public Policy for LinkedIn and the parent of a young son with cerebral palsy. From 2006 to early 2014, Chavez was a member of Google’s public policy and government affairs team, where he held several leadership roles developing and executing advocacy initiatives promoting access to the Internet and other technologies.

Before then, Pablo worked in the US Senate as a counsel to Senator John McCain and to the Senate Commerce Committee. Pablo serves on the Board of Trustees for St. Coletta of Greater Washington, which is dedicated to assisting children and adults with special needs, and serves as a board member and in advisory capacities for a number of technology-related organizations. A graduate of Stanford Law School and Princeton University, Pablo lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two children.

Ouida Spencer has been a licensed Real Estate Broker and consultant in Georgia and South Carolina for over 17 years.  Previously she worked in banking as Senior Vice President with SunTrust Bank and Group Vice President with Decatur Federal.

She specializes in locating homes that can be modified for individuals with special needs and has worked to acquire properties for over 500 people who required special accessibility modifications. Spencer is a tireless advocate for housing rights of individuals with disabilities.

Spencer was nominated to UCP’s Board of Trustees after years of dedication to UCP affiliates in her area and her other volunteer efforts. Spencer is a Member of the DeKalb Association of Realtors, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UCP of Georgia, Member of the UCP Master Board of Directors South Florida/Georgia/South Carolina, Vice Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors UCP of South Carolina and a member of the UCP Affiliate Services Committee. Other volunteer activities include serving on the Board of Trustees of the Rosebud McCormick Foundation for over 26 years.

Spencer is the Past State President of the Georgia Federation of Business and Professional Women Club’s, Inc.  She is currently serving as Treasurer of the Decatur BPW and was recently elected to the Family Extended Care, Inc. board.

A graduate of Georgia State University where she received both her BBA and MBA degrees, Spencer lives in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

 

 

Father and Son Racing Duo Inspire Teams to Get Active, Support UCP

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United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is honored to announce that Team Hoyt, Rick Hoyt of Sturbridge, MA and Dick Hoyt of Holland, MA, will serve as the 2014 Steptember event Ambassadors.

Steptember is a four-week event to raise awareness and support for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Beginning on September 3, teams from around the world will challenge themselves to take 10,000 steps a day and fundraise along the way— and nearly any activity, including biking, physical therapy and yoga, can be converted into steps. Find out more about the event and how you can participate on the Steptember website. 

Team Hoyt will lend their “Yes You Can” attitude to rally teams participating in this year’s Steptember event. Last year, over 10,000 people worldwide participated in the challenge and raised nearly $1 million. Team Hoyt is committed to helping make this year’s event an even bigger success!

Rick Hoyt may use a wheelchair, but that has not stopped him from competing in over 1100 athletic events across the past 37 years. Together, Rick and his father Dick are known across the disability community and race circuit as Team Hoyt. They have run in 70 marathons – 32 of them being the Boston Marathon – and have competed in over 250 triathlons. After the pair’s first race in 1977, Rick said running felt like his disability disappeared. He felt free.

Rick was born in 1962 as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy– but despite these disabilities, Rick’s mind and spirit have always been strong.  His family supported his quest for independence and inclusion in community, sports, education, and the workplace, culminating with his graduation from Boston University in 1993. 

Dick travels the country doing corporate and community presentations, educating the public about disability awareness, and promoting the Team Hoyt motto: “Yes You Can.”  Through his presentations, Dick shares his lifelong commitment to changing attitudes and educating others on the world of disabilities. We look forward to seeing this message empower Steptember affiliates, participants, and supporters to adopt the same mentality between now, the event’s conclusion on September 30th, and beyond!

“Our family is personally affected by disability and we know first-hand what perseverance can accomplish. Joining in the Steptember campaign, like a entering a marathon, is a way to show the world what you can do once you have committed to something,” said Dick Hoyt. “When asked to be a part of Stepember, Rick and I accepted right away, as this campaign aligns with the Team Hoyt mission of empowering people with disabilities”

“Dick and Rick Hoyt are the perfect ambassadors for Steptember. They truly embody their motto – “Yes You Can” – and show individuals with disabilities, their families, and the people who care about them how to ‘live a life without limits,’” said Stephen Bennett, President and CEO of UCP. “We are proud that they are on board to help inspire us all to take 10,000 steps a day toward an admirable goal.”

 Team Hoyt

For more information about Team Hoyt and the duo’s 37 years of racing, please visit their website at www.teamhoyt.com.

 

 

 

2013 WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY CHALLENGE BEGINS TODAY!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

2013 WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY CHALLENGE BEGINS TODAY!

More than 1,500 participants commit to 10,000 steps a day to raise awareness and support for people with CP and other disabilities

Washington, DC (September 4, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) announced the launch of the second annual World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Challenge today, an international health and fitness event to raise awareness and support for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

The World CP Challenge is a month long campaign that encourages people to get active while supporting a great cause. Throughout September, more than 4,000 teams worldwide will challenge themselves to take 10,000 steps a day. Each of the steps—or bike rides, or yoga classes, or physical therapy sessions, as nearly any activity can be counted—will propel the teams up virtual mountains and track their progress. Teams can compare their progress against others from around the world, racing each other up the seven tallest mountains and spurring their efforts to new heights. And together, the teams will help to raise critical support for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

Already, more than $50,000 has been raised in the U.S., and more than $500,000 internationally—but we still have a long way to go. Join the thousands of participants and World CP Challenge Ambassadors, Team Long Brothers, and help raise support for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities today! Sign up is open through Wednesday, September 11. At the end of the month, the World CP Challenge will culminate on October 2 with World Cerebral Palsy Day, a global innovation project to change the world for people with cerebral palsy

“UCP is very excited to kick off the second annual World Cerebral Palsy Challenge! This month promises to be an incredible, worldwide effort to raise awareness and support for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. The World CP Challenge is such a great way for anyone, regardless of ability, to get involved and make a real difference for people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, President and CEO of UCP. “We look forward to seeing each team’s progress throughout the month, and to finishing strong on World Cerebral Palsy Day on October 2. Good luck to everyone, and see you on the mountain!”

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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 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, 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

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, 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.