#CPChatNow Recap- 02-27-2019

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.

Zachary mentions the Faces of Cerebral Palsy Project, headed up by Cerebral Palsy Research Alliance Foundation.

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.

Zachary expresses what he wishes people knew about cerebral palsy.

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.

Veronica and Zachary discuss the visibility of cerebral palsy.

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.

Shira comments about the lack of representation people with disabilities have within the workforce.

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!

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What do you wish employers knew about cerebral palsy?"
Reply in the comments!
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#CPChatNow Recap- 02-28-2018

Participants in our weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow discussed many topics Wednesday, February 28th, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, taking on the challenge to recap the lively discussion. Before recapping the many subjects visited, I wish to emphasize a reminder given during the chat.

#CPChatNow has a new shirt for sale, but the sale ENDS Wednesday, March 7th, 2017 at midnight ET.Currently we at #CPChatNow remain in shirt sale mode, with a shirt featuring a lime green #CPChatNow logo and a line underneath, also in lime green, reading “Established December 2013.” You can pick up the shirt in either navy, forest green, and/or sapphire. However, the sale ENDS Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 when the clock strikes midnight in the eastern time zone. So order today!

Proceeds from the sale will go to the non-profit foundation Keep On Keeping On (KOKO). KOKO assists those with severe disabilities through helping families fund physical therapy and other medical expenses. Help us help them make a difference by either purchasing a shirt or making a monetary donation.

Truly, the shirt sale concludes at a fitting time. After all, March marks Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Said topic left our community buzzing Wednesday, February 28th.

Participants in #CPChatNow express varying opinions about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.Rachel asked what people planned to do for National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, quipping that her leg and hand “have been making me all too aware of CP as of late.” I replied I work to raise CP awareness year round through my blog, memoir Off Balanced, and public speaking. Nonetheless I plan to become extra focused in March.

Meanwhile my co-host Devin shared some skepticism. He wants to see meaningful activity oppose to”mindless awareness with no real impact.” Those comments lead us to this week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How do you feel about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?” Answer in the “Comments” section.

The CP Awareness Month dialogue eventually transitioned, based off Rachel’s hand and leg quip.

Heather expresses empathy for Rachel's hand and leg issues, leading to a conversation about hand surgeries. Participant Heather DeYoe noted her birthday occurs during CP Awareness Month. She also empathized with the hand issues Rachel mentioned. Although Heather also indicated feeling relief from such issues after recent surgery. That left Wum Gin wondering the operation Heather underwent.

Elsewhere I discussed with longtime regular Linds a matter Linds blogged about recently, weird dreams.

Zachary and Linds discuss if their cerebral palsy is present in their dreams.Amidst the aforementioned post “My Weird Dream Lately…#1” Linds recalled a dream where she proved free from cerebral palsy. I found the fact Linds didn’t have CP in her dream fascinating and pondered what a dream expert might deem the significance. Offering her non-expert opinion, Linds suggested the fact could relate to not knowing she had something called CP until fourth grade.

Her speculation caused other participants to reflect back on growing up with CP. A direction evolving into chatter centering around math class!

#CPChatNow participants think back to their performances in math class.Rachel, Devin, and I went back and forth recalling our differing experiences in math class. Rachel described her math class as “sketchy.” I touted my good performance in the subject, at least until I reached pre-calculus. Devin possessed a relatively opposite experience. Geometry presenting the only math class leaving him to struggle.  Rachel added many with CP find difficulty with math.

Perchance the math keeps you hesitant towards purchasing a “#CPChatNow Established December 2013” shirt, I will crunch the numbers for you. Each shirt costs $24 and then another $4.99 in shipping, bringing the total to $28.99. The sale ends Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 at midnight ET, meaning upon this recap’s initial publication you hold less than 30 hours to order. Proceeds will go directly to the non-profit foundation Keep On Keeping On.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How do you feel about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?"With that one final plug done, one task lingers. For you to answer the extend-the-conversation question! Again, this week’s question asks “How do you feel about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?” Respond in the “Comments” below.

Until next time!

-Zachary