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United Cerebral Palsy

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Title: United Cerebral Palsy  
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United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)
Founded 1949
Founder(s) Leonard and Isabel Goldenson, Jack and Ethel Hausman
Headquarters 1660 L Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
Key people Stephen L. Bennett, President and CEO
Bruce Merlin Fried, Chair of the Board of Trustees

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is an international nonprofit charitable organization consisting of a network of affiliates. UCP is a leading service provider and advocate for adults and children with disabilities. As one of the largest health nonprofits in the United States, the UCP mission is to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network.[1]


UCP was founded in 1949 by Leonard Goldenson (who would later become Chairman of the broadcast network ABC) and his wife Isabel, and Jack and Ethel Hausman. United Cerebral Palsy pioneered the use of fundraising telethons.[1]

Service provider

UCP through its almost 100 local affiliates across the United States,[2] and in Canada, Australia [3] provide a broad array of services and resources to children and adults with developmental disabilities acquired at birth or as a result of injury. Each affiliate provides a different menu of services tailored to their local needs and capabilities, but often include education, employment, health & wellness, housing, parenting & family training and support, sports & leisure, transportation and travel assistance.[1] With a combined budget of more than $750 million for research, public policy advocacy and direct services. System-wide, an average of 85 percent of all revenue is dedicated to programs.[4]


In addition to raising money for services and research, UCP also engages in public policy advocacy, including promoting the right of people with a disability to vote, and the provision of services. In the United States, UCP was one of the catalyst organizations advocating for the adoption of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990. More recently, UCP has been on the cutting edge of disabilities rights with programs such as Life Without Limits, a national initiative to empower people with disabilities to envision and build a better future for themselves and their community. UCP leads the Life Without Limits initiative in cooperation with former Congressman Tony Coelho (D-CA). Another significant initiative is called Don't Block My Vote, which was launched in 2004 to help engage people with disabilities and their supporters in the election process.

Calls for a name change

In April of 2013, United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland announced it would change its name from UCP to Unified Community Connections, in order to make more clear the clientele served by the organization.[5] 

In 2013, several high-profile advocates for those with cerebral palsy called on UCP to change its name.[6][7] A petition, written by Michele Shusterman of CP Daily Living states that "Some individual affiliates may have programming that has a particular focus on the CP community, but this is not part of their UCP's national mission, nor a requirement of their affiliates. Contrary to what people believe, UCP does not maintain any formal commitment to fund medical research within the US, nor do their federal advocacy initiatives specifically target the unique needs of the CP community." 


UCP is led by a 25-person Board of Trustees and President/CEO Stephen Bennett. The headquarters is in Washington, DC.


UCP meets the standards of the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau/Wise Giving Alliance.

See also

  • 's Ticket to Work Program
  • National Institutes of Health/ National Institute of Neuroligal Disorder and Stroke


External links

    • Life Without Limits
    • My Child Without Limits
    • Don't Block My Vote
  • Herald and Review, March 4, 2008 Celebrity dance partners step out to aid United Cerebral Palsy
  • KPHO Television News, March 27, 2008 – Copper Thieves Hit Cerebral Palsy Facility. 'Loss Of Therapy Troubling,' Official Says
  • The New York Times, Saturday, November 20, 1954. United Cerebral Palsy Reports Increase In Research Funds, Topping $500,000
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