Posts filed under ‘News’

New Year’s Day Resolution Run

Resolution Run 2013

Over 1,000 runners are expected to participate once again in Nashville’s 10th Annual Resolution Run on January 1, 2013. Onsite registration starts at 7:30 a.m. on Demonbreun Street in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame. The race starts at 9:00 a.m. Preregistration is open through the end day December 31, 2012 at:

Preregistration fee is $35
Race Day registration fee is $40

The Resolution Run benefits the Durable Medical and Adaptive Equipment Exchange at United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee. The Equipment Exchange serves persons with all forms of disabilities, not just cerebral palsy. The Equipment Exchange at UCP provided equipment valued at $510,655 to 1435 people with disabilities last year. The Equipment Exchange is one of many programs offered to families needing services at UCP, and resources are needed for each program. For more information about United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee go to:

Contact: Deana Claiborne, Executive Director
Phone 615-242-4091 ext.102


December 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

UCP and Statewide Partners Celebrate 2000th Wheelchair Ramp

Ramp Build
Thursday, May 10
Interviews and Photos 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
916 Hermitage Ridge
Hermitage TN 37076

Deana Claiborne
Phone: 615-242-4091 ex. 102

Volunteers from Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) are teaming up May 10 with United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee to commemorate construction of the partnership’s 2,000th wheelchair ramp on to the home of a person with a disability.

The ramp will benefit Buddy, a 24-year-old young man who has a severe mobility disability.  Buddy’s disability affects his motor coordination at all levels, meaning he cannot walk or perform any tasks that involve dexterity. Buddy lives in the home with his parents who provide his living supports. He looks forward to having a wheelchair ramp so he can use a power wheelchair to enter and exit his home independently.

The collaboration between THDA, UCP and a variety of statewide organizations has addressed an immense unmet need in Tennessee for persons of low income who have disabilities and have no way to get in and out of their homes without this essential accommodation. Through the program, wheelchair ramps are constructed of people qualifications. THDA dollars have paid for lumber and supplies. UCP and the partner agencies coordinate the ramp builds and provide labor.

According to UCP Executive Director Deana Claiborne, the long economic downturn has been especially hard on people with disabilities and their families, leading to increased waiting lists in the program. “The financial pressure on families is immense when you consider home modifications, extra healthcare expenses, durable medical equipment, and caregiving supports.” A wheelchair ramp gives a person the most basic access to the community, making it possible to participate in transportation, work, school, worship, healthcare, grocery shopping, and many other activities that people often take for granted.

A well-designed wheelchair ramp ensures the safety of both the person with a disability and the caregiver who would otherwise have to lift the individual up and down steps. UCP builds ramps in the Middle Tennessee area and coordinates ramp building through a variety of partner agencies across other areas of the state.

The program needs the financial assistance of donors in order to meet the unmet need. “We just spent our last dollars in the current THDA grant,” says UCP Home Access Director John Pickett, “But we have a statewide waiting list of 122 applications.” The cost of lumber and supplies for an average ramp is $754. An additional $92,000 is needed just to acquire supplies for people on the waiting lists. That doesn’t include labor costs and the additional need, taking into account new applications that arrive every day.

May 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm Leave a comment

Wheelchair Ramps: Greater Need than Available Funds

John Pickett has to make a hard decision today: When you have a long list of people with disabilities who have immense unmet needs, which one gets the wheelchair ramp? Today, Pickett has 20 people on a waiting list in Davidson County alone, and available funds for only one wheelchair ramp. Pickett is the director of United Cerebral Palsy’s Home Access Program. Through this program, UCP and partner agencies across the state construct wheelchair ramps on to the homes of people with disabilities.

The program also provides limited home modification services such as bathroom modifications and other essential services. Pickett’s problem isn’t new. He has been doing this job since 1999. According to Pickett, there is never enough money to serve all the people who apply for the program. “We do our best to serve people on a first come, first serve basis, but there are other factors that must be considered, with safety of the applicant and the caregiver lifting them up steps being a primary concern.”

Pickett narrowed the list down to the 5 program applicants who have been waiting the longest. They range from 24 to 95 years old. They have disabilities resulting from a variety of conditions, including cerebral palsy, strokes, cancer and lung disease. What they each have in common is the need for a wheelchair ramp because they are not able to independently enter and exit their own homes without this modification and they cannot afford to pay for the ramp.

The program has just depleted the last funds in a grant from Tennessee Housing Development Agency. The average cost for lumber and supplies for a single ramp is $754. “We have 122 people on waiting lists across the state right now,” says Pickett. We need an additional $92,000 just to acquire supplies for people on the waiting lists. That doesn’t include labor costs and the additional need when you take into account new applications that arrive every day.”

The program saves money by enlisting volunteers from area businesses, church groups, civic organizations and schools to build the ramps.  “This is a program that changes lives in less than a day of work,” says Pickett.

To donate or volunteer for the Wheelchair Ramp program, contact:

United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee

1200 9th Avenue North, Suite 110

Nashville TN 37208



May 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm 1 comment

Casual Day 2011

It’s that time again!  Over 300 area businesses are supporting UCP through our 2011 “Summer Fun” Casual Day initiative. Our custom-designed prints and t-shirts can be yours for a small contribution. Contact Diane Dietrich  at 615-242-4091. Casual Day Volunteers are also needed to help with a variety of activities!

Casual Day 2011 Design

Casual Day 2011 Design

June 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

Boston University ASB Wheelchair Ramps

It’s Alternative Spring Break at UCP!  Students are giving up their spring breaks to do good work all across the US. In case you didn’t know, UCP of Mid TN has one of the largest and longest-running spring break initiatives in the country. We have colleges  and universities working throughout the community on UCP projects. Watch WSMV, Channel 4 at 4:00 and 6:00 – possibly 10:00 – for a news feature on our Boston students’ wheelchair ramp building activities.

See what Boston University has to say about the Nashville Experience!

Boston University ASB Wheelchair Ramp Build

Boston University ASB Wheelchair Ramp Build

March 15, 2011 at 1:20 pm Leave a comment

UCP Awarded Legislative Commendation

Tennessee Joint Resolution Commending UCP

Tennessee Joint Resolution Commending UCP

On Monday, we were at the State Capitol for the swearing in of the first-ever Commissioner of the new Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  Jim Henry was selected by Governor Haslam to fill this important role. Commissioner Henry is a former legislator and former Mayor of Kingston TN.  Professionally, he has years of experience in developmental disability services, and he also has a son, John, who has a developmental disability.

UCP was also honored that day in a surprising and humbling moment when in his acceptance speech, Commissioner Henry acknowledged UCP’s efforts in advocating for the formation of the new Department.  Commissioner Henry later presented UCP Executive Director Deana Claiborne with a framed copy of Senate Joint Resolution 101 honoring the disability services groups that worked together on the effort.  Special thanks to board members Cynthia Leatherwood and Donna (and Robert and Daniel) and many other UCP family members and consumers for your help at the legislature last year in attending all those committee meetings and hearings! Also much gratitude to our wonderful Lobbyist, Mary Nell Bryan!

March 11, 2011 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

Tennessean: United Cerebral Palsy provides gear to people with disabilities
By Chris Echegaray • THE TENNESSEAN

There was a six-month wait to get a correctly sized wheelchair ordered for Patricia Cullum’s 10-year-old son who has cerebral palsy.

But Cullum, of Brentwood, went to the equipment exchange program at United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee and found a wheelchair that fit Samuel, and it was free.

“He had outgrown the wheelchair, and it was unsafe,” Cullum said. “The one we had from UCP worked perfectly for the six months, and it didn’t cost a dime. Then, we returned it. They help a lot of people.”

United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee helps children and adults with all types of physical disabilities.

The organization’s equipment exchange program provides recycled medical and adaptive equipment to patients who can’t afford it. The organization serves 3,000 people a year.

The demand for medical equipment is unusually high this year because so many people had to leave their equipment behind to escape the flood in May, said Margaret Eighmy, director of the equipment exchange program.

There is a waiting list of 550 patients who need 1,200 pieces of medical equipment, Eighmy said. The program, she said, always needs wheelchairs, shower seats, benches, walkers and bedside commodes.

First come, first served

People apply for the service, and they can get, for instance, a donated wheelchair or other piece of equipment on a temporary basis, Eighmy said. The equipment is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“This helps people who are trying to keep the lights on,” she said. “They have to pay the rent. This makes life easier and safer.”

All the programs at United Cerebral Palsy promote independence of people with disabilities and also help family members and caregivers, Eighmy said.

The program gets refurbished, therapeutic and adaptive medical equipment, which must be in working condition when donated.

Cullum said she’s been using the equipment program since her son was 3. Bathing and toilet aids cost $500 each and insurance will not cover that cost, she said. “It’s a blessing to go in there and find equipment you need at the moment,” she said. “Insurance won’t cover bath support, even though it’s an everyday necessity.”

Bennie Sears, 35, has spina bifida and has used the program since he was 8. Sears was involved in UCP’s programs, including wheelchair basketball and soccer.

Now, Sears volunteers for UCP.

“They’ve helped me a lot,” he said. “I’ve been there all my life. They came out and built a ramp for me.

“They have helped so many people. They are good to everyone. I had to give back.”

On New Year’s Day, UCP will have its seventh annual 5K Run, Walk or Roll Resolution Run at the Hall of Fame Park in downtown Nashville. All proceeds benefit the equipment exchange program.

Patricia Cullum

December 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm Leave a comment

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