Convaid in Torrance Celebrates National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month by Giving a 9-Year-Old Girl a New Custom Wheelchair

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The local wheelchair manufacturer aligns with United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (UCPLA) to spread awareness about the needs of children, teens and adults with developmental disabilities.

In 1987 President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5613 declaring the Month of March National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (NDDAM). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately one in six children in the U.S. has one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays. NDDAM is an opportunity for our community to join together to increase awareness and understanding of developmental disabilities.

Dr. Ronald S. Cohen, President and Chief Executive Officer of UCP of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (UCPLA), explains, “When Convaid approached UCPLA about coming together to celebrate National Developmental Disabilities Month, it provided an opportunity for our two organizations to align our missions for the benefit of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, who overcome incredible challenges every day.”

Convaid has supported the efforts of UCPLA and UCP Wheels For Humanity for many years. Convaid wanted to celebrate NDDAM with a donation of a custom fitted Convaid Cruiser to a child with developmental disabilities. Terri Lantz, UCPLA’s Client Rights Advocate and leader of the UCPLA Westside Parent Support Group, helped connect Convaid with Jan Bowers Thomas, a single mother of a 9-year old daughter, Samantha, with a developmental disability. Samantha’s current wheelchair does not fit in Jan’s car and it is difficult for Jan to take Samantha to doctor appointments or other daily activities. Having the Convaid Cruiser will now allow Jan to take Samantha with her on errands with ease…something that most parents take for granted.

What brought the most enjoyment to Samantha is that her Convaid Cruiser is purple, her favorite color. Samantha said “thank you” to the members of the Convaid team, but her ear-to-ear smile truly expressed the joy that she had for her new wheelchair.

“It is very special to us that we are able to help Samantha and her mother,” said President of Convaid Chris Braun. "This is a wonderful example of two organizations that can work together to bring a child more independence and help bring awareness to developmental disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy."

Convaid, Inc the company that invented the adaptive assisted wheelchair, has helped special needs children and their families live fuller, more productive lives since 1976. Convaid produces high-performance, easy-to-use and attractive mobility products for all stages of a young person’s life, from infancy to young adulthood. Each product is custom-built to individual specifications to provide the optimum comfort, safety and convenience. For more info on Convaid please visit: http://www.convaid.com/

United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (UCPLA) operates over 41 program sites throughout five counties in Southern California and has extended its mission to serve all people with developmental disabilities. These programs include adult day activity centers, children’s programs, community living support services, group homes and independent living apartments. UCPLA provides services to over 1,100 children and adults with developmental disabilities daily. For more information on UCPLA visit our website at: http://www.ucpla.org.

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Amy Simons

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