Started by a group of parents who saw few true opportunities for their children with cerebral palsy, United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland has grown into a support system for people with a wide spectrum of disabilities.
The organization keeps its founding mission in mind at all times, and today, it works hard to meet the evolving needs of some of the community’s most vulnerable yet promising members through a continuum of services ranging from early intervention for infants to lifelong adult residential and vocational supports.
Patricia Otter, president and CEO of UCP of Greater Cleveland, makes sure that the organization operates under five core values. The organization is always client-centered, collaborative, compassionate, devoted to excellence and demonstrating integrity. The organization maintains that every individual with a disability has the right to thrive and to be as independent as possible within the community he or she resides.
UCP provides services to more than 1,200 individuals with disabilities from Cuyahoga County and the surrounding area each year across all lines of age, gender, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. In addition to direct client services, UCP contracts with local businesses to provide work opportunities for disabled individuals at the agency headquarters and in the community.
UCP has more than 125 individuals with a range of disabilities enrolled in employment programming and engages a full staff to train, place and support these clients. Collaborative business partners are given appropriate training in working with disabled individuals as well as policies and procedures for partnership. To ensure that high-quality standards are met, UCP maintains an extensive follow-along process that includes response planning, an annual survey and an evaluation.
The organization considers clients to be the heart of the agency, not simply a facet. The expectation of 100 percent excellence transcends from the board of directors to the direct care staff and is evident in all UCP facilities. Through the example set 60 years ago, UCP continues a legacy of empowering individuals with disabilities to do more.
HOW TO REACH: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland, (216) 791-8363 or www.ucpcleveland.org