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'Start Here' is a Community Network from ADAPT and United Cerebral Palsy

Free digital platform providing information and resources for parents with children with disabilities

Free information and resources for parents with children with disabilities

In 2022, Edward R. Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network, and Armando A. Contreras, President & CEO of United Cerebral Palsy, announced the launch of Start Here (, a new digital platform that will provide parents of children with disabilities with a wide range of critical and comprehensive resources. 

Although many websites offer advice about children with special needs, families facing the concerns and questions that arise when a child has significant developmental delays have not had a worldwide comprehensive go-to online resource to turn to. That is about to change.

Start Here provides caregivers with a trusted source for guidance on everything from the basics of cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, spina bifida, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as managed care advice about how to be an effective advocate for their child. As of 2016, 7.37 million people in the United States had intellectual or developmental disabilities, according to the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota.

ADAPT Community Network of New York City  developed the  website and launched it in association with United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) and its national network of 58 affiliates, including 56 in the U.S. and two in Canada.

The content is presented in clear, accessible language and lively graphics. Sections and topics for Start Here, including (partial list): Day One – First Steps; Get Smart – What You Need to Know; How to Speak Up – Being a Champion for Your Child; Healthcare, The Doctor's Visit - a Parent's Guide; Making Plans; Family Matters; How to Step it Up; Fighting the Good Fight; and What's New.

"The goal of Start Here is to equip parents and caregivers with a roadmap and guide to getting the best information so they can negotiate what can be an overwhelming and complicated system of services," says Edward R. Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network. "As we expand the site, we will bring additional resources, including informational sessions from experts on a variety of topics affecting the lives of children with differing needs."

"Our world's diverse and growing population includes an equally diverse and growing community of special needs children and adults," says Armando Contreras, President & CEO of United Cerebral Palsy National. "Start Here is meant to offer parents plain-spoken, practical guidance on how best to support their children and care for themselves in the process. United Cerebral Palsy is proud to support ADAPT Community Network as it continues to develop this vitally important online resource."

About ADAPT Community Network
ADAPT Community Network is the leading human service not–for–profit and a pioneer in providing cutting–edge programs and services for people with disabilities. Every day, we build a more inclusive world for thousands of New Yorkers through education, technology, health, residential, and recreational programs in all five boroughs. Our schools and services encompass many people who have challenges beyond cerebral palsy such as autism, Down syndrome, spina bifida, and neuromuscular disorders, among others. We are the largest provider of pre–school education for children with disabilities in New York. ADAPT's 100 comprehensive programs serve over 20,000 children and adults with disabilities and their families.

For more information about ADAPT Community Network go to:

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy is the indispensable resource for people with cerebral palsy and other intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), such as Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and a wide range of other disabilities. Founded in 1949, UCP has 58 affiliates (56 in the U.S. and two in Canada) that provide disability services including information, resources and referrals, educational instruction, home and community-based services, housing assistance, workforce training, assistive technology, rehabilitative therapy, early intervention, and support for research relevant to cerebral palsy. UCP works on behalf of more than 150,000 children and adults annually at all levels of ability and stages of life and believes people with disabilities deserve to be treated as equal members of an inclusive society to achieve their fullest potential and "live life without limits."

For more information about United Cerebral Palsy, go to:

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