Friday October 6 marks World Cerebral Palsy Day, the annual day of celebration, action and advocacy for cerebral palsy (CP), a condition affecting 34,000 Australians and more than 17 million people globally.
A physical disability that affects movement and posture, CP is the most common physical disability in childhood. It is caused by an injury to the developing brain during pregnancy or shortly after birth, and its impact can range from mild weakness in one limb to almost total lack of voluntary movement.
In 2023, the World CP Day campaign platform globally is #MillionsOfReasons, which celebrates the unique and diverse lived experience of the millions of people with CP globally, their families, carers and allies.
Over the last six weeks, the global CP community has been invited to submit their life-changing assistive technology idea to an online crowdsourced competition: https://ideas.worldcpday.org/.
People with disability are natural problem solvers and come up with innovative solutions every day to overcome the societal and technological barriers to living independent lives. Disability innovation has always been an integral part of our world, and many of the technological breakthroughs we take for granted originated from the ingenuity of the disability community, such as the keyboard, touchscreens and email.
The campaign builds on the success of World CP Day in 2022, when more than 63,000 votes were cast on over 500 ideas submitted from 43 countries. The winning idea came from Rana, the mother of a non-verbal child from Lebanon, who was inspired to ask – how do we unlock communication for children who experience chronic pain and enable them to share how this affects them with parents and carers?
Remarkable™, the disability technology accelerator made possible by Cerebral Palsy Alliance, connected with a network of entrepreneurs and inventors to respond to Rana’s challenge and support the development of a solution – read more about Rana’s story here.
Created by Cerebral Palsy Alliance in 2012, World CP Day brings together people with cerebral palsy, their families, allies, supporters and organisations across more than 100 countries with the aim of ensuring a future in which children and adults with cerebral palsy have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society.
Bronya Metherall, General Manager of Influence & Social Impact at Cerebral Palsy Alliance, says that the campaign aims to raise awareness about the unique experience of cerebral palsy and demonstrate the demand for accessible technologies:
“There is a growing demand for accessible technology all over the world, but product designers and technology companies are mostly still fixated on seeing disability as a charitable cause. Instead, companies need to shift to attract and delight customers and talent in disability markets.”
“No one is better equipped to spark the next breakthrough in accessible technology than those living with cerebral palsy. With creativity, expertise, and lived experiences, we can design a brighter future for every person with cerebral palsy and their families.”
Five ways to get involved in World CP Day:
- Vote for your favourite life-changing idea at https://ideas.worldcpday.org/2023/gallery
- Wear something green, the colour of CP awareness and advocacy
- Share your lived experience and your personal reason for taking part by tagging us on social media @CPAlliance, and use the hashtag #MillionsOfReasons
- Register for the upcoming World CP Day virtual event on October 20th, where we will reveal the winner of the Millions of Reasons competition! https://cpactive.org.au/events/world-cerebral-palsy-day-awards-ceremony/
- Listen to, learn from and engage with people with lived experience – read a book, listen to a podcast or watch a TV show made by creators with CP.
Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood, affecting 34,000 Australians and 17 M
Cerebral Palsy Alliance is a ground-breaking, global centre of expertise for cerebral palsy research, advocacy, intervention and assistive technology innovation. As the world’s largest private funder of
cerebral palsy research, we bring together a powerful alliance of great minds. Our research-informed interventions are world-class, our unique accelerator program is unlocking the potential of technology to drive greater inclusion for people with disability, and our voice is a powerhouse for bringing together communities and countries in effecting change. For over 75 years, we have been driven by our founders’ vision of a future where nothing is impossible for people with cerebral palsy and similar conditions. https://cerebralpalsy.org.au/
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