Why Cerebral Palsy Representation Matters
According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 323 children have Cerebral Palsy (CP), making it the most common disability in childhood. In the United States, March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. March 25 is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day.
Cerebral Palsy Representation in 2020
The 2017 Disability Statistics Annual Report says 12.8% of the U.S. population have a disability. Representation matters more now than ever — especially if you have a disability that makes you feel unheard, unseen and undervalued. Cerebral palsy isn’t represented in the media as much as other disabilities. Furthermore, there is no federal funding. Consequently, this causes financial hardship to patients, caregivers and families.
Where are Adults with CP Represented?
Let’s not forget about adults with cerebral palsy. We’re here, and we’re not going anywhere! Representation is s-l-o-w-l-y improving but much work needs to be done. Society forgets that the cute kids featured in news stories turn into adults who don’t get the help they need.
March Madness Isn’t Just for Basketball
A few things come to mind when March rolls around. March Madness. Spring Break. St. Patrick’s Day. Consequently, people simply don’t know to Go Green for CP during the month. We can change this by promoting awareness together. Here are a few things you can do:
- Contact your local news stations. Ask them to announce that March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, 3/25 is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day on the air. Tell them your story because they might want to feature you!
- Tag anchors, reporters + stations directly in a video. It works!
- Repeat. Do all of these things throughout the month. One tweet won’t get enough attention. The squeaky oil gets the wheel every time.
In summary, recognizing Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month every March needs to be automatic. There’s no reason it can’t be. We need to demand our seat at the table. Finally, it will become the new normal.