In 2006, a group of parents of children with cerebral palsy recognized the need for the public to be more understanding of the condition. Their goals were simple: they wanted people to be more inclusive of those living with CP and spread awareness that may lead to increased funding to support CP research and resources.
Soon after, the first National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day was born. This day of recognition was founded by the non-profit group Reaching for the Stars, and Vice-President of Partnerships at the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Cynthia Frasina. National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day has been recognized on March 25th every year since.
Why Cerebral Palsy Awareness Is Needed
Although cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in children – more than 17 million people across the world live with CP – people don’t know much about the condition. While the goal of this day is to promote awareness, understanding, and inclusion, a larger hope is that it will inspire more funding for researchers to find better treatments.
While progress is still needed, life for those with cerebral palsy has improved over the years. People with disabilities are able to land and keep jobs, schools and education are more accessible now than ever before, and government programs have been created to support families living with CP. There also is a vast network of organizations that provide support, including fundraising, educating, offering financial help, spear-heading legislative causes, and promoting research.
How You Can Help
There are steps you can take to show you're a CP ally – not just on Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, but throughout the year. Here are a few:
- Celebrate diversity in everyday situations. Educate your friends and family about CP and neurodiversity. Teach your children not to see differences with others as a bad thing.
- Use inclusive language. Lead by example – and by using your mouth. Use inclusive language so others can hear how to rephrase common sayings that may be problematic to the CP and disabled communities. Examples of inclusive language include avoiding stereotypes and using person-first phrases rather than condition-first language.
- Donate to a CP organization. Sometimes financial contributions are the best way to support research or advocate for increased access for people with disabilities. Every small amount can add up to make a large difference!
- Get social. Social media is a great tool to connect with others online. Use the hashtag #CerebralPalsyCan or #CerebralPalsyAwareness to inspire others online and raise awareness.
Sokolove Law proudly stands with the CP community – not just on Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, but every day. We work tirelessly to advocate for victims of birth injuries that can cause CP, and help those with cerebral palsy to live full and fulfilling lives. We support the work being done to make the world more accepting of disabilities and help prevent conditions such as CP when caused by medical malpractice.
Join us in supporting the CP community.