Cerebral Palsy Awareness day has been and gone again. I wonder if the world is any different. Is every building accessible? Can any adult with CP access meaningful activities/employment? Is positive language being used (I’m looking at you “R” word!)? Have folk stopped staring?
I cannot answer yes to any of these questions (yet). They are all aims to keep striving for but are they a measure of lack of achievement? I think not. I reckon progress can be gauged in smaller increments.
My getting-bigger-by-the-minute girl has two applications pending for some kick a**e technology. One to cruise independently (and add to my grey hair!) in a powered wheelchair. The other will enable her to use her eyes to talk (I know right…amazing)! If there is such a thing as a time to have cerebral palsy, now is it. Amazing technological advances are becoming cheaper and allowing for new levels of involvement and independence right across the disability sector.
Positive role models are more prevalent then ever too. Skilled athletes gave their all at the recent Paralympics shining a light on the “ability” in disability. Kids of all abilities are regularly popping up in chain store advertising. Social media platforms allow many more voices to be heard. My kid doesn’t have to look far to see people like her living life well.
There’s lots of good stuff going on for people with CP (in amongst the crazy everyday juggle) that I can recognise when I pause and reflect. It may be pertinent to remember that people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities were routinely institutionalised until only 20-30 years ago. That is a big shift in attitude in my lifetime. The world is not perfect for my girl and the extra challenges she has but it is perfect-er.