Happy March! In the United States this month receives distinction as Cerebral Palsy (Developmental Disabilities) Awareness Month. Prior to the occasion participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow gathered for one last February Twitter chat. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to tell you all about the discussion via your weekly recap!
While still February, our heads remained focus towards cerebral palsy awareness.
To commemorate CP Awareness Month Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation has started an ongoing curation of photos featuring individuals with CP titled “The Faces of Cerebral Palsy.” Familiar face to the chat Jocelyn tipped me off to the project and I further shared with our community. Fill out the Faces of Cerebral Palsy form to submit your photos and story.
You will notice the form includes a few questions. One in-particular sparked dialogue within our chat February 27th.
The question in question asked “What do you wish people knew about cerebral palsy?” My co-host Devin Axtman replied, saying “that it’s (CP) different in everyone and not tragic. It doesn’t end at 18.”
Meanwhile I explained what gave me trouble in answering, saying in-part “I realized my answer would differ based off who the ‘people’ are?” Nonetheless I eventually settled upon a reply.
I decided I wished people to know “a lot more is possible when you focus on combating particular symptoms rather than focusing on the general diagnosis.” Alternatively participant Veronica Hosking communicated a different wish.
Watching the UCP of Central Arizona’s telethon, Veronica reported a mother called noting the mother never heard about cerebral palsy until her daughter received the diagnosis. This left Veronica wishing more people with CP would talk about the condition. I suggested the issues stands less with people not talking about their CP, but instead the discussion taking place on niche platforms.
Adding to my comment I emphasized the importance behind a show like Speechless airing on a mainstream channel. Veronica and I agreed such representation proves huge!
Another area where disability representation could use a boost includes within the workforce. A fact supported by statistics participant Shira provided.
Research for school led Shira to learn only 37% of the disabled population that is of working age have jobs. Devin reasoned the poor numbers come down to attitudes and assumptions. Let us try to debunk these bad attitudes and assumptions using our extend-the-conversation question. Remixing the aforementioned alongside the Faces of Cerebral Palsy question previously recapped, we get the following query.
“What do you wish employers knew about cerebral palsy?”
Leave your reply in the comments section and keep the conversation going! Then mark your calendars to remind yourself to join us on Twitter every Wednesday starting at 8pm ET.
Until then, remember. Do not blend in. Blend out!