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About MI-UCP

To close the disability divide.

Our Mission

Our Vision

Our Mission

People with disabilities

living to the best of their abilities and ambitions

Our Story

Our Story

MI-UCP (Michigan United Cerebral Palsy) was founded on the belief that everyone has the right to live to the best of their abilities and go as far as their ambitions will take them. We have been an ally and an advocate for the 2.3 million Michiganders with disabilities since 1949.


As one of Michigan’s largest sources of support, education, referrals, and services for people with disabilities and their families, MI-UCP provides assistive technology, financial assistance and tools, advocacy, and employment services to promote equity, independence and inclusion for all. Originally focused on individuals with Cerebral Palsy, currently more than 65 percent of the people MI-UCP serves have a disability other than CP.

See more about the work we do by clicking here.

Core Beliefs

Our Core Beliefs


Acting ethically with the highest level of honesty and integrity.

Etiquette for Communicating with People with Disabilities
  1. When talking with a person with a disability, speak directly to that person rather than through a companion or sign language interpreter.

  2. When introduced to a person with a disability, it is appropriate to offer to shake hands. People with limited hand use or who wear an artificial limb can usually shake hands. (Shaking hands with the left hand is an acceptable greeting.)

  3. When meeting a person who is visually impaired, always identify yourself and others who may be with you. When conversing in a group, remember to identify the person to whom you are speaking.

  4. If you offer to help, wait until the offer is accepted. Then listen to or ask for instructions.

  5. Treat adults as adults. Address people who have disabilities by their first names only when extending the same familiarity to all others. (Never patronize people who use wheelchairs by patting them on the head or shoulder.)

  6. Leaning on or hanging on to a person’s wheelchair is like leaning on or hanging on to a person. The chair is part of the personal body space of the person who uses it.

  7. Listen attentively when you’re talking with a person who has difficulty speaking. Be patient and wait for the person to finish, rather than correcting or speaking for the person. If necessary, ask brief questions that require short answers, a nod or shake of the head. Never pretend to understand if you are having difficulty doing so. Instead, repeat what you have understood and allow the person to respond. The response will clue you in and guide your understanding.

  8. When speaking with a person who uses a wheelchair or a person who uses crutches, place yourself at eye level in front of the person to facilitate the conversation.

  9. To get the attention of a person who is deaf, tap the person on the shoulder or wave your hand. Look directly at the person and speak clearly, slowly, and expressively to determine if the person can read your lips. Not all people who are deaf can read lips. For those who do lip read, be sensitive to their needs by placing yourself so that you face the light source and keep hands, cigarettes and food away from your mouth when speaking.

Don’t be embarrassed if you happen to use accepted, common expressions such as “See you later,” or “Did you hear about that?” that seems to relate to a person’s disability. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re unsure of what to do.

Source: Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

For more information, visit UCP National's Disability Etiquette

Leadership & Staff

Leadership & Staff
Leslynn R Angel

President & CEO

Kendall Brocavich

WIPA Project Director

Tracy Strating

MI Assistive Technology Loan Fund Project Director

Paul T. Landry

Director of 

Employment Programs

Benefits Counselor

CWIC Certified

Kathy Tourneur


Brenda Pingel

Community Work Incentives Coordinator

Barbara Valliere

Public Policy Specialist

Tamara Kincaid

Administrative Assistant

Representative Payee


Lynn Davey

Community Work

Incentives Coordinator

Claire Brick

Parent Advocate

Lauren Geml

Administrative Assistant


Mary Davis

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Michelle O’Connor-Teklinski

Kristen Milefchik

Gina Adams

Chee Chuan Cheong

Zachary Damon

April C. Kaylor

Jodi Kreschmer

Angela Pakledinaz

Colleen Tate

Honorary Directors


Judy Cerano

Tom Landry

Mark Lezotte

Lou Reinwasser

Mike Ward

Mairin Watson

Scott Jewell


Jacqueline Kaufman

1st Vice Chair

2nd Vice Chair

Steve Lyons



Ken Bluhm

Immediate Past Chair

David Brown


​If you are interested in joining our board, please download and fill out the application

Financial Information:

As a 501C-3 charitable organization, MI-UCP operates with transparency. 

Click for IRS 990

We are proud affiliate of United Cerebral Palsy:

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