UCP Central PA
Board of Directors
Marion C. Alexander
Joanne Book, Esquire
Frank Clark, Esquire
Todd Getgen, Esquire
John Hickey, Esquire
Gerard C. Kramer, Esquire
UCP Central PA-
Schmidt, Ronca, & Kramer, PC
George T. Sweeney
Tonia Leitzel Ulsh
Life Board Members
Lawrence B. Abrams III, Esquire
Attitude Essay Contest
George E. Ferrey, Jr.
William J. Kaldes
Shaun O’Toole, Esquire
Susannah J. Rothman
Todd Vander Woude
For more information contact:
Community Relations Coordinator
717-975-0611 x 233
UCP Central PA
The mission of United Cerebral Palsy of Central
Pennsylvania, Inc. (UCP) is to assist infants, children,
youth, and adults, with disabilities, and their families,
achieve their goals of development, growth,
independence, and full citizenship. We encourage
and strengthen skills and capabilities for each
individual so they may become as independent as
UCP is one of the most comprehensive agencies in
the United Cerebral Palsy network. For more than 52
years, we have been a leader in assisting people with
disabilities. UCP provides services and programs for
more than 2100 children and adults, with disabilities,
and their families.
Services are provided in 11 Central Pennsylvania
counties. UCP operates from 15 facilities: the Capital
Area Children's Center, eleven adult day programs,
and three group residences.
At UCP Central PA, more than 92 cents of every
dollar raised goes directly to programs and services.
Who We Serve
UCP Central PA UCP Central PA provides services to diverse groups
925 Linda Lane of people – not just those with cerebral palsy. Over
Camp Hill, PA 17011 94% of our program participants have developmental
(717) 737-3477 and acquired disabilities other than cerebral palsy.
or Toll Free: UCP Services are needed now more than ever due to
1-800-998-4UCP the increased number of children diagnosed with
autism, and premature and low birth weight babies,
www.ucpcentralpa.org who have a greater probability of developmental
History of the Contest
Just before Christmas, 1993, a young girl in Ft. Wayne, Indiana wrote a letter to Santa Claus
asking for one day at school during which the other children would not make fun of her
because of her disability. Amy Hagadorn has cerebral palsy, walks with a limp and sometimes
uses a wheelchair. The local newspaper published her letter, the national media picked up on
the story, and letters from every corner of the world began pouring into the Hagadorn
household. Ft. Wayne even had an “Amy Hagadorn” day, complete with a parade and Amy
riding on a float.
Two years later, the “ATTITUDES” Essay Contest was initiated through the joint efforts of
United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Indiana and the Indiana Governor’s Planning
Council for People’s with Disabilities. In March 1996, 38 children in Marion County
responded to an invitation to participate in the contest; four children were awarded cash prizes;
all essayists received “ATTITUDES” buttons and certificates of participation.
Including the 1999 contest, more than 1300 essays have been submitted from 81 schools
throughout Indiana, thanks to the encouragement of 143 teachers of grades 3 through 8. Three
first place and second place winners have been honored each year at a luncheon and the essays
of more than 100 children have been published in four booklets. In 1998, Amy’s story was
included in the Chicken Soup for Kid’s Souls book.
The “ATTITUDES” essays were hand-written and typed on computers; some included
computer art or hand-written illustrations. Some children with disabilities wrote of their own
experiences; typically developing children interviewed people with disabilities; others wrote of
their observations; still others wrote fictional accounts or poetry. The children wrote about
disabled veterans, grandmothers with Alzheimer’s, celebrities with spinal cord injury and
polio, and local heroes with cerebral palsy. They wrote about school friends with mental
retardation, diabetes, learning disabilities; and they wrote about relatives with hearing or visual
disabilities and those with multiple sclerosis or arthritis.
The essays included expressions of pity and awe; many children admonished non-disabled
adults not to be inconsiderate nor too helpful to people with disabilities. Each essay illustrated
amazing wisdom and the basic kindness of each author. Each writer clearly thought about the
challenges experienced every day by people with disabilities and about the barriers created by
people with “bad attitudes” (those with and without disabilities). Some essays created new
ways of thinking or talking about people with disabilities; some criticized the stereotypes that
have historically limited people with disabilities. Many essayists were knowledgeable about
laws relating to education, employment and access for people with disabilities.
The authors, we hope, represent a generation of Americans who will understand and
value the ABILITIES of all people. They recognize that a disability becomes a handicap
only when structural or attitudinal barriers made it so…and they’re determined to help
break down those attitudinal barriers.
Attitudes Essay Contest
Get an Attitude! Since 1999, UCP Central PA’s annual essay contest for
school students from grades 3 through 12 encourages young people to
write about persons with a disability that they have met, read about, or
saw in a movie, and how their opinion of persons with a disability has
changed for the better. Each year, hundreds of young people participate
from school districts throughout Central PA. Essays are anonymously
judged by teachers and other parents, with cash awards, buttons and
certificates of appreciation given as top awards in three categories.
How to get started
1. Call UCP’s Community Relations Department at 717-975-0611.
2. Distribute participation packs to students.
3. Generate excitement
4. Collect essays and mail them to UCP.
5. Plan an assembly to congratulate the winners!
It’s that easy!!
The program runs September through April.
There are four age groups 3rd & 4th grade, 5th &6th grade, 7th &
8th grade, and 9th through 12th grade.
More than 350 packets are mailed to schools in Central PA.
Average participation is 400 students.
In five years, more than 2,400 essays have been submitted.
All participants receive a button and a certificate of
More than $1,000 in awards are given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
winners in each category.
Contest Rules & Guidelines
WHO MAY ENTER
Any Central Pennsylvania school student in grades 3 through 12 may enter the contest.
(A) Grades 3 and 4 (B) Grades 5 and 6
(C) Grades 7 and 8 (D) Grades 9 through 12
1. Each student may submit only one entry.
2. All entries should be typed or legibly printed on 8-1/2 by 11 white paper.
3. Entries should not exceed 500 words (count every word except the title).
4. Entries must include a completed entry form, (copies are acceptable).
5. All work must be original.
(Parents, it’s ok to check for spelling and grammar but not content!)
6. Entries must be submitted to UCP Central PA no later than January 31, 2006.
7. No entries will be returned, so be sure to keep a copy for yourself.
1. Interview a child or adult with a disability and describe his/her experiences with the
attitudes of others, OR
2. Read a book about people with disabilities and describe the impact of attitude on
their lives, OR
3. Write about your own observations or feelings about attitudes toward people with
1. All essays will be judged on the basis of creativity, originality, quality of writing,
and understanding of the issue.
2. A panel of professional judges will select the winners in each division.
3. Winners will be announced and prizes handed out at your school’s year-end awards
assembly in the spring.
Mail essays with entry form attached to:
Attitudes Essay Contest
c/o UCP Central PA
44 S. 38th Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Person First Language
Examples to use and share
Labels not to use… People First Language…
the handicapped or the disabled people with disabilities
the mentally retarded or he’s retarded people with mental retardation
or he has a cognitive impairment
my son is autistic my son has autism
she’s a Down’s; she’s a Mongoloid she has Down Syndrome
birth defect has a congenital disability
epileptic a person with epilepsy
wheelchair bound or confined to a uses a wheelchair or a mobility
wheelchair chair or is a wheelchair user
she is developmentally delayed she has a developmental
he’s a crippled; lame he has an orthopedic disability
she’s a dwarf (or midget) she has short stature
mute is nonverbal
is learning disabled or LD has a learning disability
afflicted with, suffers from, victim of person who has…
she’s emotionally disturbed; she’s she has an emotional disability
normal and/or healthy a person without a disability
quadriplegic, paraplegic, etc. he has quadriplegia, paraplegia,
she’s in Special Ed. she receives Special Ed services
handicapped parking accessible parking
Attitudes Essay Contest Entry Form
CONTEST DIVISION (check one):
Grades 3-4 Grades 5-6 Grades 7-8 Grades 9 - 12
CITY: ____________________________________________ ZIP CODE: _______________
TELEPHONE: (___) _________________ EMAIL: _________________________________
I certify that this is my original work (signature): ___________________________________
SIGNATURE OF PARENT OR TEACHER: _______________________________________
(THIS SIGNATURE INDICATES THAT THE SIGNEE HAS READ THE ENTRY AND
VERIFIES THAT IT IS AN ORIGINAL WORK THAT HAS NOT BEEN PLAGIARIZED.)
Mail to: ATTITUDE Essay contest
c/o UCP Central PA
44 S. 38th Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Essays must be submitted to UCP Central PA no later than January 31, 2006
If you have any questions regarding the contest please contact Shawn Kaup, Community
Relations Coordinator at email@example.com or 717-975-0611.