Founded in 1996, UCP Wheels for Humanity advances the inclusion of people with mobility impairments globally by building and strengthening the systems that enable them to fully participate in society.
We work holistically to develop the systems that will permanently ensure that people with mobility impairments can obtain the supportive services they deserve. We believe that integrated health systems that are inclusive and meet the dynamic needs of communities will enable people with mobility impairments to fully participate in society.
Based on the needs of each region in which we work, we lead one or more interventions:
- Training & Capacity Building
- Facilitation & Standards Development
- AT Product Supply
UCP Wheels has provided more than 100,000 wheelchairs across the globe, has worked intensively with health facilities to introduce new services and make care more patient-centered, and has helped governments to improve standards of care and to provide more comprehensive health coverage. In all cases, we aim to build sustainable, community-based systems that will provide effective, long-term support for people with mobility impairments.
Our mission is to promote greater inclusion for people with disabilities globally, through mobility, therapy, advocacy and empowerment.
That has meant helping people with mobility impairments to access the physical rehabilitation and assistive technologies (AT) that they need to live more independent lives; helping rehabilitation workers become more skilled and more confident in their abilities to treat others; and helping governments to create policies that multiply our impact.
We are compelled to act because:
- There are at least 200 million people with mobility impairments worldwide, and more than 70 million are in need of wheelchairs but do not have access to them. As lifespans extend and the global population ages, mobility impairments will only become more common and the need for supportive services will grow. (Source: World Health Organization)
- People with disabilities have more health care needs but are less likely to meet those needs—in fact, people with disabilities are three times as likely to be unable to access health care as their peers without disabilities. The UN’s 2018 Flagship Report on Disability and Development found that in countries with low GDP, up to 80% of people with disabilities report poor health, and more than 50% of people with disabilities are unable to access rehabilitation. (Source: United Nations)
- Across the countries where we work, there is a lack of trained rehabilitation professionals, with as few as 10 skilled practitioners per 1 million people. (Source: World Health Organization)
- People with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries face barriers to health care, education, and employment opportunities. They are excluded from everyday life and from full enjoyment of their human rights.
- The disabled population is a vulnerable population, but it is not a fringe population—more than 1.1 billion people lives with some form of disability. Any one of us could at any point require physical rehabilitation or an assistive device.
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 ucpla.org.
Lori Anderson, President & Chief Executive Officer
Lori Anderson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (UCPLA). Prior to joining the UCPLA team, Anderson was the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Residential Services for Bethesda Lutheran Communities, overseeing the organization’s residential operations throughout the United States. Previously, Anderson served as Bethesda’s Regional Director of California. In this role, she managed referral relationships, developed an innovative, new management structure, and provided leadership for Bethesda’s programs. Before joining Bethesda Lutheran Communities in 2013, Anderson served as the Vice President of Mission Services for Goodwill in Springfield, Illinois. She also spent a number of years in New Mexico with Community Options, Inc., as their State Director and held the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Unified Health Solutions, Inc., in Dayton, Ohio. Anderson has a master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio.
Board of Directors
Matthew Johnson, Chairman
Venus Nicolino, Ph.D.
David Rocklin, Secretary
Laura San Giacomo
Peter William Shapiro
Leona Shapiro Katz
Koorosh Zartoshty, Treasurer