See how United Ability got its name and celebrate with a free car tag


United Ability
United Ability’s Claire Haynie holds up the car tag. Photo via United Ability

Four years ago, United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham, one of our community’s most beloved and cherished charities, changed its name to United Ability on Valentine’s Day.

The following is a love story between a community and an organization that has touched people’s lives here in the Magic City and North-Central Alabama for over seven decades.

Read on to learn how United Ability wants to share that love with the gift of a free car tag

A Love Story 

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

In 1948, a group of parents and concerned citizens wanted to do something for individuals with cerebral palsy. They founded a non-profit and named it the Spastic Aid of Alabama.  In 1972, it became the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham (UCP). 

Over the years the organization grew and widened its mission. From its humble beginnings in North Birmingham to its sprawling campus off Lakeshore Drive near Red Mountain Park, today,  United Ability serves more than 5,000 children and adults with disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy to autism including very rare genetic diseases. 

Birmingham, United Ability
United Ability LINCPoint staff. Photo courtesy of United Ability

On Valentine’s Day in 2017, they officially rebranded because they wanted to expand their reach to children and adults with all types of disabilities. It is who they serve. It is reflected in their name.

“We changed to United Ability focusing on the word ability because everybody has potential and everybody has ability and we want to work with families and tap that ability, so you reach your greatest potential,” said Alison Berman, United Ability’s Chief Development Officer.

Unlocking Ability

United Ability
Shep meeting America’s Got Talent finalist Brian King Joseph at the 2019 Journey of Hope in 2019. Photo from United Ability’s Facebook page

Unlocking people’s ability is a lifelong journey. It is what United Ability does.

Their tools? A diverse portfolio of innovative programs that support children, adults and families.

They are:

Commit to a Car Tag

One in three Alabamians is living with a disability, so chances are you know someone with a disability.  

In celebration of United Ability’s fourth Anniversary of their name change, they are asking auto-owners to support them by committing to acquiring a state of Alabama United Ability car tag. 

This is a great way to support United Ability year-round and create a strong, recurring revenue stream  

“Can you imagine how wonderful it will be to see these tags on the road, and for families navigating a disability to know there is a community out there that supports us,” added Berman.

First 250 Free 

United Ability
Deanna Lenzie and the We Are Still Here For You campaign. Photo by United Ability

Before the United Ability car tag can be officially enshrined by the state as a specialty tag, 250 car tag commitments (including $50 payment – $41.25 goes to the organization) needs to be reached. Once the United Ability reaches that goal, the tag will be available annually. It potentially will raise hundreds of thousands. 

To ensure they reach their goal, thanks to a generous donation, United Ability will pay for the first 250 people who pre-commit to the car tag. 

“We want to help you help us,” Berman told us.  



How To

Aycock family united Ability
Croft Aycock with his parents Matt and Elizabeth. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now
  1. For the FREE option, click here to complete the form OR  David Barry. This offer is limited to the first 250 to sign up.

Your form will authorize United Ability to submit the state’s Commitment Form on your behalf. 

  1. Visit the State of Alabama website and commit / pay on your own to help others get their tag free for the first year: Click here

Personalize your tag with either option! Tags can be personalized up to six characters — FREE — by checking the box on the form. 

Once the 250 pre-commitment goal is met, the tags will go into production and will be on your car(s) in about two months.

The perfect way to celebrate the 4th anniversary of United Ability’s name change. Sign up today!

Sponsored by:

Pat Byington
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.

Articles: 2058