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  • Chatequa Pinkston

Advocate for Cerebral Palsy in March and all Year Long


Cerebral palsy awareness logo. A lighter green circle with a darker green awareness ribbon in the middle.

The successes, needs, and concerns of people living with cerebral palsy are many. National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month in March provides opportunities for people with CP and their families to step up their advocacy.


The March designation started in 2006 by a group of advocates who wanted to gather support for people with disabilities. The purpose of these days is to educate the public about CP.


According to the Cerebral Palsy Guide, over 1 million people in the U.S. are living with cerebral palsy. Basically, CP involves the brain not effectively communicating with the muscles causing tightness, spasms, and lack of muscle control. Everyone who lives with CP is affected differently. More information about cerebral palsy can be found here.

 

CP Advocacy


As self-advocates, it is important to highlight the accomplishments in our lives as well as our needs. Together, they give society a well-rounded view of our experience living with CP. Educating others is a major part of advocacy.

As a person who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, I am aware of the achievements and needs of people with CP.  It affects my balance, speech, coordination, and motor skills. Even with these physical challenges, some of my triumphs have been graduating from college, self-publishing books, hosting events for people with disabilities, traveling as a speaker, and now working as a FL-SAND Fellow.


A few of my challenges have been finding affordable and accessible housing, and receiving Home- and Community-Based Services when my situation was in crisis. Some of these situations required me to advocate for myself and others.


March provides an opportunity for self-advocates to step up their efforts to educate the world about the victories and challenges of people with cerebral palsy but it’s important to engage in these efforts throughout the year. Some of the things that can be done to advocate for cerebral palsy include:


  • Wear green to support the efforts of those with cerebral palsy. You can even put a green bow on your shirt.

  • Encourage inclusive and accessible spaces where people with and without disabilities can come together to experience life. Some of these spaces include housing, colleges, sports activities, airports, and places of worship.

  • Contact national and state legislators to encourage the passage of bills that will support research and services for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Topics such as reliable home services, transportation, and the ability to receive on-going therapies into adulthood are vital.

  • Use the #GoGreen4CP hashtag on social media posts. Share videos and your stories. Let the world see your achievements. Allow them to see that cerebral palsy does not prevent us from thriving and enjoying life.

 

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