United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of services to children and adults with cerebral palsy. It’s currently advocacy organization and provider of nonprofit services to those afflicted with cerebral palsy and their families.
UCP was founded in in 1949 after a man named Leonard Goldenson decided to create a way for people with cerebral palsy and their families to have resources and services. During the 1940s, resources were limited for people with disabilities, but Goldenson wanted to give people from low-income families, people scared of their disabilities, or people who needed help understanding cerebral palsy, a place to go to find help.
Golden, who was once president of United Paramount Theaters and ABC Television, went into a business venture with other professionals, all of which who had children with cerebral palsy, in order to improve their lives as well as any other children the disorder.
Over the course of the next numerous years, thousands of families and many advocates joined UCP, leading the organization to its success today.
What Does UCP Do?
Through more than 80 affiliates nationwide and in Canada and Australia, UCP provides a myriad of services to children and adults with cerebral palsy, including:
- Health and wellness awareness
- Support groups and training for parents
- Summer activities and other recreational activities
- Assistance with traveling
- Public advocacy, involving spreading education regarding cerebral palsy
- Financial Resources
- UCP and Assistive Technology
Assistive technology (AT) is equipment and products that help disabled children improve their functional capabilities. AT can be anything from alternative augmentative communication devices, van lifts, to small AT products such as Velcro-attached grips so children can hold eating utensils and/or pens and pencils more easily. There is an array of AT that can benefit children with cerebral palsy.
UCP offers the UCP Elsie S. Bellows fund, a national program offering grants to help people buy AT equipment. According to UCP, examples of AT products and equipment allowed under the grant program include (but are not limited to):
- Van lifts
- Hearing aids
- Electric wheelchairs
- Manual wheelchairs
- Computer equipment
UCP Life Labs
UCP’s grassroots program, entitled Life Labs, helps develop, support, and identify different ways to help people with cerebral palsy have a better quality and productive life. The programs receives help from various businesses, other grassroots organizations, networkers, investors, corporations, and more, in an attempt to bring innovative ideas to help people with cerebral palsy to life.
World CP Day
UCP is also part of World CP Day when generally takes place in October of each year. World CP Day is a global project in which education and awareness is spread throughout the world regarding cerebral palsy.
In addition to UCP, World CP Day is led by nonprofit charities across the world, in over 30 countries.
My Child Has Severe Cerebral Palsy. Can UCP Still Help?
UCP provides help and resources for children with all types of cerebral palsy, ranging from mild to severe.
How Can I Join UCP and Get My Child Help?
The best way to get your child help is to join a local UCP affiliate in your area. Each UCP affiliate provides an array of different services, including charities and events geared towards your area. Use the official UCP resource page to find an affiliate in your area.
UCP and Respite Care
UCP has joined with affiliates to support caregivers with a variety of respite care services and other support organizations.
According to the official UCP website, the following organizations can provide families with more information on caregiving support services.
National Family Caregiver’s Association
The National Family Caregiver’s Association (NFCA) is an organization that advocates and provides education for people who care for someone with disabilities, old age, or with a chronic illness.
National Alliance for Caregiving
The National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit agency for caregivers that provides large database of searchable articles as well as access to free studies.