To close the disability divide.
People with disabilities
living to the best of their abilities and ambitions
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.
Our Core Beliefs
Acting ethically with the highest level of honesty and integrity.
Etiquette for Communicating with People with Disabilities
When talking with a person with a disability, speak directly to that person rather than through a companion or sign language interpreter.
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.)
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.
If you offer to help, wait until the offer is accepted. Then listen to or ask for instructions.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information, visit UCP National's Disability Etiquette
Leadership & Staff
WIPA Project Director
Board of Directors
Chee Chuan Cheong
April C. Kaylor
1st Vice Chair
2nd Vice Chair
Immediate Past Chair