Woodland Hills, CA January 14, 2018
On Sunday, March 11, United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (UCPLA) will host its fourth annual Art of Care gala, which will recognize Speechless star Micah Fowler with the organization’s coveted Trailblazer Award. Given to individuals who use their influence to raise awareness about developmental disabilities, the Trailblazer Award has previously been presented to Zach Anner, a comedian and author who is a consultant for Speechless and has played a small role in an episode, musician Brandon Mendenhall, and Nike Innovator Tobie Hatfield and advocate Matthew Walzer.
Through his role as JJ DiMeo on the hit ABC series Speechless, Fowler, who has cerebral palsy, works to normalize the experience of disability and to help audiences see JJ as a full person, with potential and promise. Outside of work, Fowler works constantly to raise awareness and advocate on behalf of the 1 in 6 Americans who have developmental disabilities.
“I am so honored to have the opportunity to represent the disabled community and bring awareness and acceptance to all the incredible individuals who live with disabilities,” says Micah Fowler. “It means so much to receive this Trailblazer Award and it inspires me to continue advocating and being a voice for our community.”
UCPLA will present Fowler with the Trailblazer Award during its fourth annual Art of Care celebration, taking place at the newly redesigned Petersen Automotive Museum in March, which marks National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The Art of Care gala attracts more than 300 guests from the worlds of entertainment, philanthropy, business and culture, who gather to support the work of UCPLA, which operates 40 program and service sites throughout four counties in Southern California, making it one of the largest providers of direct care services for individuals with developmental disabilities in the state.
“It is always a privilege when we are able to recognize inspiring individuals, like Micah Fowler, who challenge the public to recognize and embrace the valuable contributions made by people with developmental disabilities,” says Ronald S. Cohen, President and Chief Executive Officer of UCPLA. “Through his popularity and his advocacy, Micah is able to magnify the struggle of valuable community members, like the 1,000 individuals and families UCPLA serves each day, who are still fighting for their civil rights.”
Corporate sponsors for the Art of Care include: The Shapiro Family Charitable Foundation, Looking Beyond Foundation, ABC Studios / 20th Century Fox Television, and City National Bank. On the event’s Honorary Dinner Committee are: Burt Bacharach, Melissa d’Arabian, Sugar Ray Leonard, William H. Macy, Simon Majumdar, Merle and Peter Mullin, Patty and Greg Penske, Aarti Sequeira, Shirley and Ralph Shapiro, Scott Silveri, Brady Smith and Tiffani Thiessen, and Carnie Wilson. More information on the Art of Care gala on March 11 at the Petersen Automotive Museum is available at WeAreHere4.ucpla.org/ArtOfCare18.
United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (UCPLA) operates over 40 program sites throughout four counties in Southern California and has extended its mission to serve all people with developmental disabilities. Its programs include adult day activity centers, community living support services, group homes and independent living apartments. UCPLA provides services to over 1,000 adults with developmental disabilities and their families each day. For more information on UCPLA visit our website at: http://www.ucpla.org or Facebook page at facebook.com/ucpla.
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