OUR HISTORY

From a simple dream, to a life-changing reality.

Once upon a time, a child with cerebral palsy needed help to walk, talk and learn, tasks that are easy to many of us. Soon, more children needed help. Wanting to offer hope to these children with special needs, a group of parents in Central Florida got together and began to dream.  

1955

The story of UCP of Central Florida began with a simple goal: offering hope to children, particularly those with cerebral palsy. Discovering that very few options outside of institutions existed, this group of parents began a small program. In a remodeled house on Colonial Drive, this program provided an early intervention classroom and therapy services. The dream of offering hope to children began to take shape. More importantly, it started to grow.

1980's

In 1980, thanks to the generosity of Jack Holloway (founder of ABC Fine Wine and Spirits) and some of his friends, UCP moved to a larger facility on South Orange Avenue in Downtown Orlando. UCP needed more space, and because there was a decrease in the number of incidences of cerebral palsy and an increase in children with other types of disabilities and developmental delays, including Down syndrome, autism, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, speech and hearing delays. UCP expanded to offer help to all those children and their families.

1990's

In the 1990’s, to meet the growing needs of the community, UCP opened campuses in East Orange County, Winter Garden, Lake Mary and Kissimmee. In 1999, the community helped UCP raise money through a capital campaign to build and furnish a 20,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art children’s center which was designed pro bono by the architect firm SCHENKELSHULTZ. To honor the contributions of Jack Holloway it was named the Holloway Center.

2000's

UCP continued to grow and with a Community Development Block Grant and a capital campaign, UCP built a new facility in Pine Hills. In 2009, thanks to a generous donation from Jackie and Charlie Bailes and many other community members, UCP opened the UCP Bailes Campus in East Orange near UCF. This 35,000 square foot facility was the first elementary school as well as pediatric therapy center with a vision to be a fully inclusive school. In 2012, we moved the existing campus to a new facility in Winter Garden. In 2015, UCP purchased a new 15,000 square foot facility for the UCP Seminole Campus, and moved the existing UCP Osceola Campus to a new 36,000 foot facility.

Today

Today-A dream that continues to inspire. UCP provides the best support, education and therapy for children with and without disabilities.

In 2016, UCP's impact continued to grow as they merged with The BETA Center, allowing BETA's services to remain available to Teen Mothers and their Babies at our UCP Downtown/BETA Campus on Lake Underhill, expanding their mission to help ALL CHILDREN unlock their potential.

Unlike similar organizations, UCP provides a comprehensive SET of services — Support, Education and Therapy — to more than 3,000 children, teenagers, young adults and their families.Services are provided at seven locations throughout Central Florida: Downtown Orlando, Lake Mary, East Orange, West Orange, Pine Hills, and Kissimmee.