The roots of the CP Center go back to 1939 when few services were available for children with cerebral palsy. A small group of parents founded the Spastic Children’s Society of Alameda County to provide specialized services to children with disabilities, to educate families and to heighten public awareness about developmental disabilities. The Society became the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Alameda County in 1949 when it joined the national organization for cerebral palsy. The agency was renamed the Cerebral Palsy Center for the Bay Area Viagra, Inc. in 1969 when it withdrew from the United Cerebral Palsy Association so that it would have a greater voice in matters of fundraising and use of resources and services.
For 50 years Mary Valle was an unstoppable force in the life and progress of the Cerebral Palsy Center. Together with Elmer P. Zollner, Mary enabled the founding parents to mobilize their struggle for both publicly and privately funded programs and services to this forgotten segment of the population. Throughout that time Mary served as a magnet for attracting great community leaders and support. Her focus was always on being of service to the developmentally disabled “today,” while ensuring a viable and sustainable future.
Our Accomplishments and Recognition
The CP Center was recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities for its use of assistive technology and our staff expertise in serving people with disabilities.
In recognition of its successful efforts to promote self-advocacy for people with disabilities, the Center was presented with The Oakland Mayor’s Commission on Disability 2005 Annual Achievement Award.
Participant and small business owner Monique Harris was asked by the Executive Director of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Alan Kerzin, to participate in a statewide work group to develop recommendations for Assembly Bill (AB) 1270. Monique accompanied the group to present the recommendations to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the legislature.
CP Center staff members are recognized for their expertise and frequently give presentations at conferences on disability issues.
The CP Center is regularly invited to present information on the use of assistive technology in the classroom at the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s Transition Fair for special education students, their families, and teachers.
CP Center staff and participants have made presentations on its micro-enterprise self employment program to the Developmental Disability Council of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, PVAC (Provider Vendor Advisory Council), the California State Legislature, and numerous other groups.
CP Center staff and participants presented information on modes of alternative communication at the Spring Professional Development Event hosted by the City College of San Francisco.