Unification of Disabled Latin Americans wrote -
For more than 20 years, UDLA has been one of the official and premiere charities of the Los Angeles Marathon. Through its efforts, UDLA has been a leader in increasing the active participation of thousands of physically challenged individuals into this magnificent athletic event designed to challenge the human spirit. UDLA is proud in its purpose to be a role model for the disabled community, and will always be there “carrying the torch” to the finish line, as a symbol of pride and awareness to the rest of the world.
My name is Ruben Hernandez; I came to the United State at age twenty. Three years later a tragedy struck in my life and changed it forever. This tragic event became a blessing to me and others. At age twenty three I lost my sight due to a gunshot to the head, however, because of that I founded UDLA which has been extremely instrumental in the rehabilitation of hundreds of disabled individuals and their families. When I founded UDLA I was unaware that I was going to be the first recipient of its services and programs.
I am who I am thanks to the opportunity that UDLA has given to me to grow in so many ways of my life. My blindness forced me to utilize the entire potential God has given to me and taught me everything about the world of the disabled and things I need to change in order to help them. My blindness encouraged me to go back to UCLA to achieve in education and to prepare myself for the future. My blindness gave me the opportunity to become an advocate for the disabled and it has been a great friend and motivator to achieve my goals.
In 1974 when I founded UDLA I started a wonderful dream that has become a reality and for thirty seven years we have provided free services for disabled people and their families and organized many events that are beneficial to the whole community.
Since the beginning UDLA’s main goal has been the dedication and commitment to improve the quality of life of physically challenge individuals. Therefore one of our purposes of our center is to help them recover their self-esteem to become productive members of our society.
The doors of UDLA are always open to anyone that needs our services regardless of background, or religion and also to those who would like to become volunteers to participate in all the activities, programs and services for our community.