Dorothy Levy, founder of United Ability turns 107 this week. Wish her a Happy Birthday Birmingham!

United Ability
United Ability
Dorothy Levy helped found United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham, which is now United Ability. She turns 107 years old on June 16, 2019. This photo was taken in June 2018 by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Dorothy Levy, one of the founders of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham, which is now United Ability, celebrates her 107th birthday this Sunday, June 16th.

On Friday, June 14th, Levy will be visiting United Ability’s LINCPoint Adult Day Program to celebrate.

Here is a Bham Now video of last year’s visit on her 106th birthday.

Support and Guidance was Needed

According to United Ability, Levy’s son, Harry, was born in 1938 and diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. At that time, doctors were not educated about Cerebral Palsy and could not offer much support or guidance.

Founded in 1948

The Levys worked with a physician in New York and local Birmingham physician, Dr. John Simpson. In 1948, more than 71 years ago, Ms. Levy, Dr. Simpson, Rabbi Milton Grafman, and other individuals who cared about the quality of life for people with Cerebral Palsy formed the Cerebral Palsy Center, or Spastic Aid of Alabama as it was known then. The organization began serving children of all ages with both day programs and residential services.

Photograph of the original building that housed Spastic Aid, which is now United Ability. Photo courtesy of United Ability

“We are honored that Dorothy once again wanted to spend her birthday celebrating with us,” states United Ability’s CEO, Dr. Gary Edwards. “Last year she said she wanted to come back for her 107th birthday and dance with the adults in our LINCPoint Adult Day Program, and we are going to do just that,” says Edwards.

Now called United Ability, the organization she helped found, provides innovative services connecting people with disabilities to their communities and empowering individuals to live full and meaningful lives.

The Haynie family. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Today, United Ability serves more than 4,500 children and adults with disabilities including but not limited to: intellectual disabilities; traumatic brain injury; developmental disabilities; cerebral palsy; autism; Down syndrome and spina bifida.

Happy Birthday, Dorothy!

Dorothy Levy helped found United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham, which is now United Ability. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

Dorothy Levy continues to attend United Ability events, with the highlight of the year being her yearly birthday celebration visit which provides her an opportunity to hug and receive handmade cards from the adults and children at United Ability.

A remarkable woman, Happy Birthday Dorothy!

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.