Frequently Asked Questions

When one hears or reads about the Cerebral Palsy Center for the Bay Area Viagra, preconceived ideas about our facility and services may come to mind.  Those impressions may be quite different from the reality of who we are and whom we serve.  We have included some of the frequently asked questions about the CP Center, as well as questions about cerebral palsy.  If your question is not answered here, or you would prefer to have a personal conversation, we invite you to give us a call.

FAQ’s About the CP Center

What kinds of programs and services does it offer?

The CP Center offers a broad range of services and programs to adults with disabilities through our Adult Development Center, the Vocational Opportunity Center, The Computer Learning Center, and our Wellness and Aging Program. The Center’s activities concentrate on six skill areas: self- advocacy, vocational training, community integration, augmentative communication, independent living skills, and recreation.

Do you only accept people with cerebral palsy?

No, our programs are available to people with a range of disabilities besides CP. These include traumatic brain injuries, stroke-related disabilities, autism, multiple sclerosis, spastic quadriplegia, seizure disorders, and mental retardation. Ninety per cent of those served have severe to moderate communication disorders. Sixty-five percent of participants use wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistive devices to facilitate ambulation and mobility. You do not need to use a wheel chair to come to the CP Center.

How long has the CP Center been in existence?

The Center’s roots go back to 1939 when a small group of parents founded the Spastic Children’s Society of Alameda Country to provide specialized services to children with cerebral palsy and increase awareness of this disorder. The name was changed to the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Alameda County in 1949 and then the Cerebral Palsy Center for the Bay Area in 1969.

Who is eligible to participate in these programs?

The Center’s services and programs are available to adults, age 18 to 79, with a wide range of physical, intellectual, or other developmental disabilities. Before an applicant is accepted, he or she is evaluated to see if the Center’s services are appropriate for their needs. Referrals to the Center are made through a state referral service at the Regional Center for the East Bay located in Oakland.

How many participants are there?

The CP Center has the capacity to serve 100 adults and is currently serving approximately 84 participants.  Over sixty percent of our participants are racial and ethnic minorities.

Does the Center offer a jobs program to its participants?

The Center offers two opportunities for participants to develop employment skills and engage in paid work opportunities.  The East Bay Mailing Services Co-op is a commercial mailing house which does hand labeling, packaging, and mailing. It is an incorporated business venture jointly owned by several participants. Their vote would be required to add additional co-owners. The Center also offers a unique opportunity for participants to explore and develop their own employment in the Small Business Development program called Cornerstone.

What are the hours of the Center’s operation?

The Center is a non-residential adult learning facility that operates from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Special events may be individually scheduled for evenings and weekends.

Does the Center offer medical care?

The Center offers programs to persons who may have some restricted health conditions.  For these individuals special health care plans must be approved by an RN Consultant prior to admission. Staff will be specifically trained by a licensed medical professional to meet their health care needs.

Is the staff certified?

There are no general certifications required to be employed at the Center. Professional staff are hired with educational credentials appropriate for the jobs they fill.

Are there transportation services to and from the Center?

The CP Center owns and operates two vans for the purposes of conducting the programs offered by the Center.  Our community integration program, CPC On The Move, utilizes the vans to transport participants out into the community as appropriate. However, through this program, participants are also trained to use public transportation, including BART. Participants are responsible for scheduling their own transportation to and from the program daily. These services are available through public transportation services such as First Transit and Para Transit providers. These costs are usually covered through state funding resources.

Are meals served to the participants?

Participants are responsible to bring their own meals and snacks to the CP Center. Each person’s food and drink is properly stored until lunchtime. Center staff plate and serve lunches in a consistency appropriate for each individual. Attendants are available to help those who need assistance with eating.

Does the Center provide for its participants’ personal needs?

Yes, the Center is one of the few adult programs that provide attendant care. Caring male and female attendants provide respectful and private assistance for those who require help with toileting, personal hygiene, and eating.

Can I volunteer to help out at the Center?

Absolutely! At the Center, we consider our volunteer staff to be one of our most valuable assets. In fact, they play a vital role in the overall success of our organization. You can help us by donating just a few hours of your time.

FAQ’s About Cerebral Palsy

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy – also referred to as CP – is a group of disabling conditions characterized by nerve and muscle dysfunction. Symptoms can vary widely, depending on the severity and location of brain damage and may include the inability to control body movements, difficulty with speech and language, feeding problems, learning disabilities, mental retardation, and seizures. Cerebral palsy is not hereditary, contagious, progressive, or a primary cause of death.

How is cerebral palsy caused?

CP is not caused by problems in the muscles or nerves but is the result of faulty development or damage to specific motor areas in the brain that disrupt the brain’s ability to adequately control movement and posture. This damage usually occurs during fetal development before, during or shortly after birth. The causes can be the mother’s illness, lack of oxygen, RH incompatibility, premature birth, and drug or alcohol abuse. CP can also occur during infancy as a result of illness, lead poisoning, or injury.

Can I catch cerebral palsy from someone who has it?

Absolutely not. CP is not a disease, so it can’t be passed on to another person.

Why is it important to know about cerebral palsy?

  • Nearly 700,000 Americans manifest some degree of cerebral palsy (a third of them are under 21).
  • Over 10,000 infants are born with the condition each year; another 1,500 acquire it annually, in the first few years of life.
  • Despite advances in the prevention of CP, the incidence has increased 25% over the last decade. This is likely attributable to the corresponding increases in the number of multiple fetal births and improved neonatal care.
  • CP is the number one leading neuromuscular disability.

What kinds of treatments are available for cerebral palsy?

Unfortunately, there is no “cure” for cerebral palsy, but treatment, appropriate education and therapeutic interventions can significantly improve the quality of life for those who have it, enabling them to become self-reliant, contributing members of our community. Some of this assistance comes from:

  • Mechanical aids
  • Surgery
  • Counseling
  • Medication
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Assistive technology

Where can I find more information about cerebral palsy?

There are several resources across the United States that provide information about CP, including:

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)

One of the largest health charities in America, UCP is the leading source of information on cerebral palsy and is a pivotal advocate for the rights of persons with any disability. This site serves as the gateway to all state and local chapters.


A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer your questions about cerebral palsy. It brings together authoritative information from the NLM, the NIH, and other government agencies and health-related organizations. Its pre-formulated MEDLINE searches also give easy access to medical journal articles.

 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

NINDS conducts and supports research on brain and nervous system disorders. Created by the U.S. Congress in 1950, NINDS is one of more than two dozen research institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the Public Health Service within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 Gait Analysis Laboratory

Information on this website offers a more in-depth overview of cerebral palsy based on material in the book, Cerebral Palsy: A Complete Guide for Caregiving, by Miller, Bachrach, et al [Hopkins Press].

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