Founded in 1996, UCP Wheels for Humanity increases access to mobility and improves quality of life for children and adults with physical disabilities in less-resourced countries. UCP Wheels makes strategic investments in communities by leveraging existing capacities and empowering local stakeholders. Based on the needs of each region in which we work, we offer one or more of our direct-service or capacity-building programs. These include the provision of appropriately fitted wheelchairs and empowerment programs, as well as advocacy and training initiatives that create sustainable, community-based systems to support long-term change.
What We Do
Our mission is to promote greater inclusion for people with disabilities globally, through mobility, therapy, advocacy and empowerment.
Why We Do It
- More than 70 million people worldwide need a wheelchair. The majority of these people live in less-resourced countries.
- Less than 5% have access to a properly fitted chair due to inefficient health systems and services, and unequal distribution of income for people with disabilities.
- People with disabilities in less-resourced countries face barriers to health care, education, and employment opportunities. They are excluded from everyday life and from full enjoyment of their human rights.
Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
UCP Wheels for Humanity is a subsidiary of United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (UCPLA). UCPLA has grown significantly since its inception in 1944 and is now the largest nonprofit provider of direct-care services for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in Southern California. The organization’s commitment to the founding mission of advancing the independence, productivity and full citizenship of children, teens and adults with developmental disabilities and those with similar service needs is unwavering. With 40 programs and service sites across four counties in Southern California and a staff of more than 600 professionals, UCPLA is able to provide support and services to more than 1000 individuals and their families each day. For more information about UCPLA visit www.ucpla.org.
Ronald S. Cohen, PH.D., CEO
Ronald Cohen has served as the Chief Executive Officer of UCP Wheels for Humanity since 2007 and since that time he has been instrumental in the growth and diversity of the organization. Cohen is also the CEO of UCP Wheels’ parent organization, United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties. He established the first community-based group homes for non-ambulatory children with behavioral disorders in the state of California, and is responsible for developing the wide continuum of services UCP provides today. He is highly regarded as an expert in the field and has testified numerous times before the United States Congress and the California Legislature.
David Murphy, Executive Director
David has 20 years of experience as a Director of international NGOs. Before his appointment as UCP Wheels’ Executive Director, he served as a Country Director in Ethiopia, Somalia, Afghanistan and Kenya for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and was also Executive Director of IRC’s San Diego Chapter.
Maryam Ali-Lothrop, Grants Manager
Alby Delgado, Development Assistant
Leesa Hagen, Director of Finance & Operations
Tom Hoeberling, Finance Manager
Michelle Kayaleh, CLASP Project Coordinator
Vivien Minton, Marketing & Communications Manager
David Murphy, Executive Director
Perth Rosen, Director of Programs
Eckehardt (Ecki) Schulze, CLASP Global Sales Manager
Jason Vargas, Accounting Assistant
Qing Qing (Jade) Zheng, Programs Associate
Board of Directors
Carol Ann Haake
Matthew Johnson, Chairman
Venus Nicolino, Ph.D.
David Rocklin, Secretary
Laura San Giacomo
Peter William Shapiro
Leona Shapiro Katz
Julia Sevilla Somoza
Koorosh Zartoshty, Treasurer