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ADAPT Community Network, formerly UCP of NYC, celebrates 70 years of helping people with disabilities

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ADAPT Community Network, formerly known as UCP of NYC, celebrated its 70th anniversary Thursday evening at the New York Hilton. More than 700 supporters attended the event including the entire PIX11 Evening News team and iconic actress and longtime celebrity ambassador, Susan Lucci.

CEO Ed Matthews also spent the night sharing the rich history of the nonprofit that has served New York families with disabilities and explaining why ADAPT was the name that will it reach another 70 years.

"It was a really important moment for us to stop and congratulate everyone who's helped us along the way and thank them," said Edward R. Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of ADAPT Community Network. "But, tonight was also something special, we're also looking to do a sort of reset on UCP of NYC, which has been so great for us all these years but as time marches on and people have different ideas of what they need, we thought it was time for us to be more inclusive, serve more people and not be just known by one brand identity of one disability."

The adult services and schools of the ADAPT Community Network already support people who have challenges beyond cerebral palsy. Today, families seeking services are looking for increasingly integrated offerings. The models of care are changing nationwide – and certainly statewide –and government funding is becoming streamlined by cutbacks, limiting the number of organizations that can provide much needed care to people with disabilities. The entire sector throughout New York State is struggling to stay competitive with pay and maintain a quality workforce of direct service professionals that provide the day to day hands-on care to people with disabilities.

ADAPT Community Network has already expanded as an organization to respond to these challenges. Its network now includes two additional partners (New York League for Early Learning and Human First) and a new association with Partners Health Plan, a first-of-its-kind non-profit managed care program for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in New York.

70 years ago, a group of founding families at UCP helped spark the movement that led to the birth of the disabilities sector. Since then, the agency has had many breakthroughs, among them winning legal challenges that led to access to public education for all, community living for children and adults, major advancements in assistive technology, and creating countless opportunities for employment for New Yorkers with disabilities.

ADAPT Community Network better reflects who we are today. Adapt is something we all do – to life, to our environment, and to the circumstances we find ourselves in at any given time. Community signals that we, and all to whom we provide services, are part of the fabric of the community in which we live. Network describes the alliances we will form to expand our reach to guarantee the fullest possible life for all those who look to us for support.

ADAPT's new tagline is [We Change]. Whether it is lives, environments, social attitudes or our own services, it's the most important thing we've learned in 70 years.

About ADAPT Community Network (formerly UCP of NYC)
ADAPT Community Network (formerly UCP of NYC) is the leading not-for-profit agency and a pioneer in providing programs and services that improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. For over 70 years, ADAPT Community Network has created a more inclusive world for New York City children and adults with a variety of challenges. ADAPT Community Network's breadth of over 100 comprehensive programs include education, health, technology, residential, and recreational services for thousands of individuals and families annually. Our programs are delivered by thousands of trained and dedicated staff, including a number of employees who have disabilities themselves. For more information: