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

U.S. looks to improve disability access to Internet

(Reuters) – The Obama administration on Friday proposed trying to enhance access for people with disabilities to websites for hotels, retail stores and other public sites as well as improve access to movie theaters.

See also (Benton Foundation) FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Empowering Americans with Disabilities Through Technology

Speaking July 19 at the Americans with Disabilities Act 20th Anniversary Celebration, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski noted that communications technology has the power to transform lives for the better, and everyone should have access to communications.

By implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws that followed, the FCC has helped set the stage for better and better innovations in communication. The FCC has adapted its rules year by year to help inventors and entrepreneurs make the best possible use of new technologies. Chairman Genachowski used the event to launch the Accessibility and Innovation Initiative, bringing together industry, academia, government, and business stakeholders in helping improve communications for the disability community.

Prepared remarks.

July 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm Leave a comment

HHS Awards ARRA Funds for Disability Research Center

A Center of Excellence in Research on Disability Services, Care Coordination and Integration is being established by the Health and Human Services Office on Disability with more than $6 million in ARRA funding.

May 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

Casual Day 2010

Casual Day is next month and we are working steadily to prepare everything for you. We have almost all of the items we need on hand and will try to get the packets out soon.

Thank you in advance for helping us serve people who need us and do not have other resources. And yes, we are helping the gentleman on the front page of the Tennessean! Because of that article, we have people who are calling to donate more medical equipment! A backward kind of blessing!

Our wonderful sponsors have stepped up to the plate to help make this Casual Day a good one for you and your employees:

AmSurg, Banana Boat, Belmont University Dept. of Theatre & Dance, Boyle Investment Company, Cassidy Turley, Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre, Chick-fil-A, 104.5 The Zone, 103 WKDF, CDL MediaWorks LLC, Hot Shot Delivery, Lipscomb University Theatre, Macy’s, Midtown Printing, Nashville Parent, Predator’s Announcers Pete Weber and Terry Crisp, RJ Young, Southeast Financial Credit Union, TN State Parks, and Vanderbilt Theatre.

Casual Day (or Casual Friday) has become such an accepted part of the business landscape that few people remember where it came from. Believe it or not, United Cerebral Palsy developed the original Casual Day in the early 90’s! In Middle Tennessee, we have celebrated UCP Casual Day since 1992. At the eightteen year mark, Casual Day has netted over half a million dollars to UCP throughout the years. 100% of these dollars have been used to provide direct services to persons with all types of disabilities in our community.

Help UCP provide services throughout TN for people with cerebral palsy, arthritis, autism, spina bifida, ALS, strokes, heart diseas, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, brain injuries, renal and kidney diseases, epilepsy…all types of physical disabilities.

UCP helps people with little or no insurance…people who fall through the cracks!


  • Builds wheelchair ramps across the entire state.
  • Provides re-cycled wheelchairs, walkers, bath aids, strollers, car seats, standers, etc.
  • Provide home modifications (like widening doorways or raising countertops).
  • Offers educational seminars.
  • Hosts a free weekly recreation program.
  • Helps everyone who calls with information and referral.
  • Provides holiday food boxes for the most needy families.
  • Offers assistance for "inclusion Summer Programs" for children.

Diane Dietrich
Director of Development

May 12, 2010 at 7:30 pm Leave a comment

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