The Founding of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland
Originally founded in 1953 as United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland, Unified Community Connections began offering its first day program to 10 children in 1964 when parents and advocates voiced the need for services for their children so they could live full and meaningful lives. The curriculum focused on intensive physical, occupational and speech therapies.
Unified Community Connections Launches Day Programs for Adults with Disabilities
In the mid 1970s, a new set of challenges arose as these children grew into adulthood. There were no programs to help these young adults develop new skills and participate fully in the community. Unified Community Connections took a leadership role in developing Day Programs for adults. In 1976, the agency opened its first day habilitation program. Today, this program serves persons 21 years of age and older in a variety of activities determined by choices made by the participant. Day programs are currently located in Middle River, Frederick, Hagerstown and Cumberland.
Unified Community Connections Offers Residential Services
As state institutions began to close their doors in the 1980s, Unified Community Connections became a major provider of community housing with Alternative Living Units (ALUs) through its residential services program. The first ALU was opened in 1979, and today Unified Community Connections supports dozens of homes where three or four people live together.
Unified Community Connections Helps Adults with Disabilities Through Supported Employment Program
Working with adults to find competitive employment became a priority in 1985, and, with funds from a federal grant, the supported employment program was born. These services are available at all of the Unified Community Connections’ offices throughout Maryland.
Unified Community Connections Provides Assistive Technology Support
In 1999, the need for assistive technology supports became evident. Unified Community Connections submitted a proposal to obtain funding to start the program, and now Unified Community Connections operates the No Boundaries Assistive Technology Center. This center serves as an extensive assessment facility and lending library for assistive technology and augmentative communication equipment.
UCP-CM Changes Name to Unified Community Connections
In 2013, the agency changed its name to Unified Community Connections to reflect our broad mission of supporting individuals with disabilities. Additionally, our service area currently includes Western and Central Maryland, and we welcome opportunities to provide services in other areas of Maryland.
Unified Community Connections: Supporting Individuals with a Wide Range of Disabilities and Chronic Health Issues in Baltimore City and 18 Maryland Counties
Today, Unified Community Connections provides thousands of hours of service to children and adults throughout Maryland. Unified Community Connections provides services and supports to individuals with a wide variety of disabilities and chronic health issues that other organizations are not equipped or willing to serve. Our agency is often the only place for families to turn for help with severely medically challenged loved ones. More than 85 percent of the individuals we serve have multiple disabilities, and 70 percent rely on wheelchairs for mobility. Disabilities include cerebral palsy, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome, spina bifida, traumatic brain injury and many others.
Unified Community Connections: Treating Persons with Disabilities with Respect and Dignity
At Unified Community Connections, we continue to believe that all persons with disabilities have the right to be treated with respect and dignity as well as to exercise the same control over their lives as any other person. Help us continue to serve children and adults with disabilities and their families.