Cerebral Palsy Group Plans Accessibility Awareness Day

Celebrating accessible public spaces and raising awareness of the need for more will be the focus of Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County’s Accessibility Awareness Day on Aug. 31.

The event, which includes a walk and other activities, will be held on the Ulster side of the Walkway Over the Hudson from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We are really looking forward to this event,” said Gerry Dohrenwend, executive director of Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County. “It’s a celebration of accessibility in the area.”

Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County, which serves Ulster, Dutchess, Greene and Columbia counties, chose the location because of its accessibility to the disabled. The organization has a 60-year history of helping Hudson Valley residents.

Registration is $20 per person, free for children under 12. There will be tours of the walkway, music, activities and guest speakers. Paid participants will receive a goody bag that includes a shirt, water bottle and bracelet.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is expected to speak, as is Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, state Sen. Terry Gipson, D-Rhinebeck, and others. The speakers are slated for 10 a.m. at the center of the Walkway. Literature for the public will cite other accessible places to enjoy in the Hudson Valley.

“It’s important for people with disabilities to have access to public parks and places of interest in the Hudson Valley,” Dohrenwend said.

Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County plans to host the event yearly along with other fundraisers. The Lake Katrine-based group provides education, adult day programs, home service, community support, developmental screening, supported employment, housing and residential services, respite recreational programs, medical and therapeutic services and a regional center that allows trial use of medical equipment for patients. It serves 300 people daily.

About 1 in 303 children in the U.S. have cerebral palsy, a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. It is the most common motor disability in childhood.

“We have a very diverse set of services. The direct-care staff here is amazing,” said Dohrenwend, who has led the organization for a year. “There is such a sense of caring and a sense of family. You should see the smiles on the faces of all the kids here.”








Liz Consavage Vilato is a freelance writer. Reach her at focus@poughkeepsiejournal.com


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