Author: Amelis Long, Enable Outreach Specialist, First National Bank of Omaha

This Friday, October 6th, World Cerebral Palsy Day will be observed around the globe. In recognition of this important day, we spoke with Alison Isbell, Executive Director of United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Alabama, to find out more about how the organization is spreading awareness of Cerebral Palsy and helping individuals with a range of disabilities and their families in Alabama.

What is United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Alabama? What are its goals?

United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Alabama is a non-profit agency that was founded in 1965 to serve children that have developmental disabilities. We offer free therapy to children under the age of 3 who have developmental delays through our Early Intervention Program. We also have a licensed preschool on our campus. All children enrolled in our Early Intervention Program are offered one free day per week in our preschool. We have another program called HEARTS Respite that is funded by the Alabama Dept. of Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention. This program provides funds to families of children who are developmentally disabled to reimburse them for sitters. Our goal at UCP of NWA is to help all children reach independence and to live happy, full lives.

Can you elaborate on some of the ways UCP of Northwest Alabama provides support to individuals with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities?

We actually serve all children who have any type of disability and/or delay, not just children who have Cerebral Palsy. We also serve children who have autism, Down syndrome, spina bifida, speech delay, motor delay, cleft palate, etc. We try to engage the caregivers so that we can train them on how to work with their child at home. Interaction with the families is so very important. If we can get parents and caregivers to take an active role in their child’s development and progress, we’ve changed that child’s life forever. 

What is the most rewarding part of working with this organization?

It is such a blessing to see a child reach their goals or to help a child progress. This is the best place in the world to work! All of the employees at UCP of NWA love children and genuinely care about the families we serve. 

At Enable Alabama, we too are committed to helping individuals with Cerebral Palsy—and all disabilities—reach their financial goals. We want to see our account owners thrive as they establish savings and achieve financial independence. This Friday and every day, we support families and individuals with Cerebral Palsy in working toward their dreams. To share why you think World Cerebral Palsy Day is important or to learn more about the Enable Savings Plan Alabama, visit our Facebook page.