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World CP Day calls for a ‘can do’ approach to cerebral palsy

Posted: 04/10/2018

World CP Day (#worldcpday), which takes place on Saturday 6 October this year, aims to raise awareness and empower the lives of the circa 17 million people living with cerebral palsy (CP) around the world. CP is the term used to describe a group of non-progressive neurological disorders of movement and posture caused by the abnormal development or damage to the motor control centres of the brain.

The annual initiative was launched, in 2012, by Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Australia and United Cerebral Palsy in the US. It has now expanded to become a movement of people with CP, their families, and organisations that support them, in over 65 countries.

The campaign identifies six key areas for change, which are critical to the success of improving the lives of those with CP:

  • Public awareness – to ensure the public understands the nature of the condition in order to end ignorance and stigma.
  • Civil rights – to take action to guarantee basic civil rights, full citizenship and opportunities for those with CP.
  • Medical/therapeutic – with the goal being that the best information is available for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of CP to enable those with CP to live the fullest possible lives.
  • Quality of life – to make advice, support and inspiration available to those with CP so that they can enjoy fulfilling lives.
  • Education – to ensure that an equal level of education is available to those people with CP as to every other citizen in society.
  • Contribution – to enable those with CP to contribute to society economically, artistically, socially and/or politically.

Empowering and enabling individuals with CP are key issues encapsulated in the areas noted above, with a focus on ‘can do’ rather than ‘cannot’.

Alison Appelboam-Meadows, a partner in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches, comments: “As a firm, we act on behalf of individuals who have CP because of sub-standard medical treatment, often at around the time of their births. The aim of the litigation is to recover damages to fund the support, input and equipment required to put the individual back in the position, as far as possible, that they would have been in but for the injury.

“There is a tendency, when considering a person’s needs, to look at what they cannot do because of their physical or cognitive condition, but the better approach is to consider what they can do with appropriate support or equipment. For example, access to proper education, appropriate careers advice and support to facilitate work or specialist equipment can enable them to mobilise and go on holidays of their choosing.

“If you, or a member of your family, would like to discuss a potential claim, please contact our specialist CP team.”

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