Previous PageNext Page

Stephen Bennett, President & CEO of United Cerebral Palsy

Hello. I am Stephen Bennett, CEO and President of United Cerebral Palsy, and welcome to our Annual Report for 2012.

I’ve been here for 10 years, and I look back over this last year and think about all of the challenges we’ve faced with budget cuts and review of what not-for-profits really do in our society, and look at what United Cerebral Palsy does both for changing the world for people with disabilities and our public policy and education work, but also in what our affiliates do for families of people with disabilities in local communities across the nation.

Transitioning to Tomorrow

For us, I think that one of the biggest issues is it issue regarding the transitions of folks in their lives—to lead a more independent life, a more fulfilled life, and a life where families get the kind of support they need. So we’ve really dedicated this last year to seeing what we can do to support those kinds of efforts. And what I’m talking about is the young person who gets their first home, or that person that’s coming out of high school that gets their first real job, or that young child who gets maybe an iPad and has a way of communicating and has their own voice at a very early age.

These ideas make a huge difference, along with the whole idea of a family feeling like they’re not alone and that they’ve got support, and that there are things that we can do with them to help them and support them. These are the things that really make a difference in their lives, just like it does in anybody’s life. These are very key moments, and by focusing on those, we feel that we can make a bigger difference. And so, we’re doing this in a number of different ways. It’s like, you don’t just change the world overnight, and you don’t fix all the problems. Some of this stuff is dilemmas, and they’re not so easy to solve.

We’ve been doing things like we started a support group for families with children that are very young, and along with that support group—which is virtual, because young families go online; that’s where they are and that’s where we need to be. Aside from the direct services that we provide in local communities, we also have to be very accessible to young families.

The websites and the communities that we’ve design are designed for different age groups. The first one is called My Child Without Limits, and you can look it up online. The second one is Brave Kids, which is about kids that are five years old and older. And it gives them information they need to know about diagnosis, about treatment, about the way families can deal with things, what kind of resources are developed but also about how you can connect with your peers and get support from each other.

Transitions are key to people being able to live a life without limits, and we are dedicated to being right there at the nexus of that life change and that support for people that really need it.

Our Future

We’ve also invested a lot in technology, not money so much as we’ve invested in making it more central to everything we do: in the way we communicate, support people, and give them information. We see great opportunity there, because its part of our building blocks of the future, because that’s what we have to prepare for. The future is changing so rapidly, and that’s what we look for when we talk to our friends and tell you about what we’re doing because we want you to be part of our future. We need you to be part of our future.

We’re not going to look like what we have in the past—we’re going to constantly change, because the people that we serve are changing, the communities change, and the families change. So we really invite you to be with us, and support us and join us as we head into the future in 2013, which we are dedicating to families and caregivers, and caring about each other.


Download a PDF of the report here

youtube channel linkTwitterfacebookrss feed

Copyright © 2013

United Cerebral Palsy
1825 K Street NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006

Phone: 800.872.5827 / 202.776.0406