United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona sets out to provide comprehensive services to individuals with disabilities and their families. Ensuring its members enjoy “Life without Limits,” the organization imparts physical and developmental support as well as educational growth. Camille Rose Marie Ridley, director of Marketing & Development, discusses how readers can contribute and UCP of Central Arizona’s goals for the remainder of 2022.
What prompted the start of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona? UCP was founded by parents who loved their children and dreamed of a life without limits for them. Seventy years ago, a group of parents founded UCP because they were told their children with cerebral palsy should be kept away from society. The parents refused to accept this and believed in a society where their children were equals and able to contribute to the community instead of being shut out of it. They advocated for their children and helped the community recognize the power and strength behind their children. At UCP, families of people with disabilities were welcomed and given the needed resources and support to life a full and positive life.
What is the greatest reward in being involved with the nonprofit? One of the phrases that drives UCP of Central Arizona is “A life without limits.” To me, a life without limits means a life in which the individuals and families we serve can be anything they set their minds to become. Therefore, the motto of UCP is “Life without Limits.” While we recognize that no one is without limits – they should only be those that cannot be removed and never placed by artificial means. Every life is precious, and every life has value at UCP of Central Arizona. We will continue to remove obstacles and offer a life without limits to all who pass through our doors.
What is the biggest challenge the nonprofit faces? Closing the cost of care gap is our greatest challenge. We strive to ensure UCP of Central Arizona continues to provide top-quality services with limited reimbursement. For example, the cost to provide therapy and services to a child is approximately $110 per visit. These costs do not include billing, human resources, staff costs, etc., which add up quickly, leaving roughly $550,000 that must be secured to meet the cost of care gap for client services annually. UCP of Central Arizona continues to find sustainable solutions to meet the community’s needs and garner support to meet those needs.
Has the pandemic affected the needs of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona? Throughout the pandemic, starting in 2020, UCP of Central Arizona had to limit community exposure, operate with reduced program hours and could not reach capacity due to vital safety PPE measures. Some UCP clients and members have not returned to congregate settings due to the climate of the pandemic as it pertains to health and wellness. COVID-19 caused many staff members to get ill and had them out of the office at the height of COVID-19. We had to move operations to a remote work setting to ensure safety and keep our doors open.
What are your goals for the remainder of 2022? UCP of Central Arizona will continue to deliver high quality and innovative services strategically that touch more individuals and families based on the community’s needs. Leveraging our national research efforts and technology and being on the cutting edge of bringing new services like ZeroG Gait & Balance System technology to the Valley will remain a high priority.
How can readers help? Consider making a monthly donation to ensure individuals with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders continue to thrive. Your gift impacts infants, children and adults, empowering them to live as independently as possible.