Having cerebral palsy can make everyday tasks difficult, but that doesn’t mean a person is debilitated. When people realize this and make an effort to be more accommodating, amazing things can happen. United Cerebral Palsy understood this back in 1949, and has grown from a group of concerned neighbors and family members to a comprehensive organization offering support for individuals with developmental disabilities across the country.
One of the most important things that UCP does is act as a resource to educate the public about the needs of their neighbors with CP. Advocating for those who simply need to be recognized to be included has made a significantly positive impact in communities nationwide.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of permanent movement disorders that affect movement, balance and posture. One of the biggest misconceptions, and platforms UCP tries to combat, is that it is a disease. It is not a disease but a movement disorder; it does not progress and it is not communicable. However, the effects of it, such as muscle spasticity, can stay the same or get better or worse over time. Because of the areas it affects, the use of a wheelchair might be needed.
What Does UCP Do?
Aside from spearheading accessibility advocacy efforts, UCP works to change public policy for the rights of individuals with disabilities and work with other organizations toward community inclusion. Another of its many services is finding a community living option for adults with disabilities to live in. There is a wide range of options to ensure a match for every individual’s needs. Children’s services are also available after school and in the summer for children with disabilities up to 21 years old. The family-centered program is focused on play that helps development of motor skills but also independence and positive self-image.
Get Involved with UCP
Getting involved in an extraordinary organization is easy. While donations are accepted and appreciated, even more valuable than materials is your time. Volunteering to aid in special events, as well as day-to-day operations would mean the world to this charitable organization and help you make a difference in your own community.