Founded in 1996, UCP Wheels for Humanity increases access to mobility and improves quality of life for children and adults with physical disabilities living in developing countries. 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:
mobility programs that provide properly-fitted wheelchairs, in line with World Health Organization (WHO) standards;
empowerment programs that increase access to economic opportunities for people with disabilities through job skills and business development training;
advocacy initiatives to promote the integration of wheelchairs and other assistive devices into health and insurance systems;
therapy-focused programs that train physical therapists to WHO standards and strengthen rehabilitation standards of care.
In all cases, we aim to build sustainable, community-based systems that will provide effective, long-term supports for people with disabilities.
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 75 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.
Lori Anderson, President & Chief Executive Officer
United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (UCPLA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Lori Anderson as the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 21, 2019. As UCPLA celebrates its 75th anniversary, Lori replaces the previous President and CEO, Ronald S. Cohen, who has retired after leading the organization for over 30 years. “Our Board did a lot of due diligence in identifying a candidate for the President and CEO, and I am excited about the selection of Lori. My knowledge of her reputation and fine work in the field make her an outstanding successor,” stated Ron Cohen.
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.
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
Patrick Amarante, Development Assistant
Yasmin Garcia, Technical Advisor
Leesa Hagen, Director of Finance & Operations
Tom Hoeberling, Finance Manager
Michelle Kayaleh, CLASP Project Coordinator
David Murphy, Executive Director
Perth Rosen, Director of Programs
Gregg Cantos, CLASP Logistics & Supply Chain Coordinator
Kate Selengia, Institutional Partnerships Advisor
Jason Vargas, Accounting Assistant
Qing Qing (Jade) Zheng, Programs Associate
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