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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UCP WHEELS FOR HUMANITY ANNOUNCES MAJOR EXPANSION WITH FIRST AFFILIATE, $1.7 MILLION USAID GRANT
Washington, DC (February 27, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), an international service provider and advocate for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities, is proud to announce the expansion of The UCP Wheels for Humanity Program with a new affiliation with United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida. UCP is also pleased to announce the UCP Wheels for Humanity has been granted $1.7 million by USAID to expand services and programs in Indonesia; providing more wheelchairs for those in need, “side cars” for motorcycles and long-distance travel for wheelchair users, enrich sports programs for the disabled population, increase advocacy efforts, and partner with the University of Gadjah Mada on a two-year study on the effects of providing wheelchairs and services in Indonesia.
Press releases that follow:
About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services 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.
Affiliate in Sunshine State to replicate successful LA model
Miami, Fla. (February 1, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida (UCP), a service provider and advocate for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities, is proud to announce the expansion of The UCP Wheels for Humanity Program with a new affiliation, United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida Wheels for Humanity. Established in 1947, United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida has maintained an active and respected presence in the South Florida community. It started when a group of parents came together to seek help for their children with cerebral palsy. The only available option was to send their children to an institution, which the families did not want to do. The parents founded their own organization and raised funds to provide therapeutic and vocational services for children with special needs.
Today, United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida offers comprehensive services every day throughout the year. Services offered consist of early intervention, integrated preschool, after school care, speech, physical and occupational therapy, adult vocational workshop, supported employment program and residential facilities for children and adults with special needs and other disabilities. From infants to senior citizens, children and adults participate in programs that will help them lead independent and meaningful lives.
Dr. Joseph Aniello, President & Chief Executive Officer of UCP of South Florida, said he is proud to start the international organization UCP South Florida Wheels for Humanity as part of the broader services he and his team provide.
“Too many people with disabilities in the world go without the most basic of resources to lead independent lives,” said Dr. Aniello. “We believe this partnership with UCP Wheels will allow us to expand our efforts to those who need us most, and we’re excited to do all we can to help those in developing nations get the wheelchairs they need.”
UCP Wheels for Humanity (UCP Wheels), which has a distribution center in North Hollywood, California, refurbishes donated wheelchairs and hand fits them for children and adults with disabilities in developing nations. UCP Wheels then partners with international health-care organizations to identify those in greatest need. With a team of volunteer health care professionals, each recipient is individually fitted to the wheelchair that best fits their needs. Since 1996, UCP Wheels has helped more than 50,000 people with disabilities in more than 68 developing nations to gain increased mobility and dignity.
United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida is hoping to replicate this model and to increase this international endeavor.
“We are excited to expand the reach of the UCP Wheels model by partnering with Dr. Aniello and his staff in South Florida,” said Dr. Ronald S. Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of UCP Wheels for Humanity and President and Chief Executive Officer of United Cerebral Palsy of Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (UCP). “UCP of South Florida has a strong record of serving people with disabilities in the Sunshine State. We are excited to see that same level of care expanding to equip even more people in developing nations with wheelchairs, enabling increased independence and mobility.”
Stephen Bennett, President & Chief Executive Officer of UCP, said the expansion of UCP Wheels with the creation of UCP South Florida Wheels for Humanity speaks to the broader mission of UCP. “This is about so much more than wheelchairs; it’s about creating greater independence and a life without limits for people with disabilities. That has been at the heart of UCP since our founding more than 65 years ago. On behalf of the entire affiliate network, we want to congratulate Dr. Cohen and Dr. Aniello for this dynamic partnership and hope that this is just the first of many new UCP Wheels affiliates in our network.”
About United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida
United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida serves over 1,300 children, adults, and families in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach & Mid-Coast Counties. From Early Intervention programs to employment skills training, supported employment, education and after school programs, UCP serves individuals with intellectual disabilities on a daily basis. Those served have been diagnosed with Down syndrome, mental retardation, spina bifida, autism prematurity, hearing and speech delay, and other diagnosis. For more information, please visit www.ucpwfhsfl.org.
Los Angeles, Calif. (February 21, 2012) – UCP WFH started UCP Wheels for Humanity Indonesia in 2009 with a grant from USAID of $1.6 million. The Indonesian UCP WFH manufacturers children’s wheelchairs and distributes and custom-fits them to poor disabled children in Indonesia.
UCP Wheels for Humanity will receive an additional $1.7 million from USAID to expand its services and programs in Indonesia and provide more wheelchairs for those in need.
“Before we established UCP Wheels for Humanity Indonesia, the children with severe disabilities could not go to school or play with friends,” says Ronald Cohen, CEO of UCP WFH. “They spent their day laying on a floor. Mobility meant being carried on their mothers’ shoulders. Today, because of the USAID assistance, children now attend school, see eye-to-eye with their siblings, play and just act like a child.”
In addition to manufacturing wheelchairs, the UCP Wheels for Humanity Indonesia team will design and produce a side car for motor-cycles that can transport a wheelchair. As a result of the new funding, the organization will be able to enrich the disabled sports program, the advocacy efforts, and will partner with the University of Gadjah Mada to conduct a two-year study on the effects of providing wheelchairs and services in Indonesia.
“We are very proud of our partnership with UCP Wheels for Humanity”, said Robert Horvath, USAID’s Manager of Special Programs Addressing the Needs of Survivors. “Two years ago their project was the first-of-its-kind in Indonesia. Today, the work being done establishes a model for wheelchair provision and service in developing countries.”
For additional information about UCP Wheels for Humanity receiving $1.7 million grant from USAID to expand operations in Indonesia, please contact Brian Miller at 818.255.0100 ext. 224.
ABOUT UCP Wheels for Humanity (UCP WFH)
UCP WFH provides mobility across the developing world. The organization refurbishes donated wheelchairs and rehabilitation equipment to industry standards in the Los Angeles location, and works with world-class service providers to custom-fit wheelchairs to children and adults with disabilities in developing nations. In the Indonesian location, UCP WFH manufactures pediatric positioning wheelchairs and provides them to the children of Indonesia. Both locations together distribute approximately 7,000 chairs per year. UCP WFH is funded solely through contributions and grants and is a subsidiary of United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.
ABOUT United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties UCP is one of the largest service providers in California, operating over 41 program sites throughout five counties in Southern California. These programs include adult day programs, individual support services, group homes, independent living apartments, and therapeutic programs for children with autism. UCP provides services to nearly 1,100 children and adults with developmental disabilities daily.
ABOUT the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
USAID is an independent federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. Their work supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth, agriculture and trade, global health, conflict prevention, humanitarian assistance and democracy.