SUNDAY 6 OCTOBER 2019
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Quality of Life

Access to medical and therapeutic care available is essential to helping our community members live the fullest possible life. But the most specialised doctors and therapists will be the first to admit that even the best possible medical intervention can only go so far.

Why quality of life is an issue

Cerebral palsy (CP) is not just a day-by-day reality it has a moment-by-moment impact in people’s lives—not just in the lives of those with CP, but among families and caregivers, as well. Whether or not one of our community members has a fulfilling life has just as much to do with the quality of that life.

Access to tools and products

There are, of course, many specific products—including non-spill cups, the ability to type on a computer using an eye scanner, or an electric wheelchair—that can have a powerful effect on the quality of life of our community members. Our most recent World CP Day competition, for example, illustrated the need for a safer living environment by suggesting the possibility of a ‘sponge house’. But the needs of most of our community members are much more extensive and basic. What, for example, is to be done when a person who lives in a country in which adult diapers (nappies) are simply not available?

Access to information

Where can a parent go to get advice about the best way to care for their child? Where can a traveler find information about the most accessible tourist attractions? Where can a man with CP learn to become a writer for the local paper? Where can a teenager get access to the film, Margarita with a Straw or Enter the Faun, to find the inspiration to live their own life? Where can a woman get advice about how to become a standup comedian? The sea of needs, and the questions that arise from those needs, are vast. But it almost assured that they have been asked and answered by other members of our global community.

Access to support

Sometimes an ‘advanced’ society has become that way at the expense of the kind of familial and community networks that have historically supported individuals and families. In other societies, there are no support networks because of the stigma surrounding disability or the inability of people to connect across physical and digital divides. We have the chance to build supportive communities—first online, and eventually ‘on the ground’—that can help improve the social, economic and personal quality of life for people with CP.


Stories of change

Whether local or global, change often starts with one or two people and a big idea:

Mark Liberatore, Exercise Physiologist

There is always a lot of noise about the benefit of exercise and physical activity for the human body, regardless of whether you’re able-bodied or living with a disability.   But...

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Boccia Rwanda

Rwanda’s National Intellectual and Cerebral palsy Sport Committee (NICSCO Rwanda) have their eyes on taking a Boccia team to the Paris Paralympics in 2024 following the successes they’ve had creating...

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Wheeldance group in Seixal, Portugal

In the small Portuguese bay-side town of Seixal (population 184,269) exists Wheeldance, a group of 28 dancers sharing artistic expression, forming deep bonds of friendship, educating the community, and overcoming...

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Igor referees a football match

There are people in this world who have no ability to see the obstacles they face. They move into their dreams with a ferocity and passion that inspires us all...

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Garry Brown is a lawn bowls champion

Garry Brown is a CP7 according to Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA), and a right-side hemiplegic. But it is not something that has ever even remotely slowed...

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Marylou Martineau wins Boccia medal

On paper, Marylou Martineau could be just about any other teenage girl. She loves reading, plays sport, is finishing high school and has dreams of being a medical secretary or...

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Nicole Christodoulou running with the ball at a soccer gala day

At age 21, Nicole Christodoulou had a stroke in her sleep that rendered her unable to use her left arm and leg. After a 10-week stint in hospital, she spent the next few years learning to walk again. Now she is a soccer player who motivates other young people with disabilities to strive for their dreams.

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Peter Horsley and Erika Gleeson

A ground-breaking Australian initiative is accelerating technology to bring a better quality of life for people with a disability.

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Johanna Garvin

Johanna Garvin, 26, is an Australian woman who thrives on challenge. Her philosophy of “never say never” led her to become the first person to ever complete the World Marathon Challenge in a wheelchair.

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In Canada, an innovative program is building pride, acceptance and belonging in a group of young people with CP. Guest blogger, Ashley Moliere from the Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia, explains.

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When Nonyelum Nweke couldn’t find suitable care arrangements for her daughter with cerebral palsy, she knew she wasn't alone and decided to provide a solution.

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Abandoned child with cerebral palsy in Ghana

A world of difference for children with CP and their families with CP in Eastern Ghana.

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An extraordinary Facebook group run by people with cerebral palsy, for people with cerebral palsy, is having a big impact.

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Mother and son with CP in Ghana

A project by CBM in Ghana is having a big impact on the lives of children with cerebral palsy and their families.

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The impressive work of UK-based charity, Motivation, has substantially improved the health and social outcomes of Uganda’s children with cerebral palsy. It has received the 2017 World Cerebral Palsy Day Quality of Life Award.

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A cerebral palsy tool kit easing global hearts and minds.

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An ambitious wheelchair project opens up the world to children in Sri Lanka.

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A new global online marketplace for disability services and products has recently launched in the USA.

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A young British man with cerebral palsy (CP) has made it his mission to change the way the world perceives people with disability.

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Information and education leads to empowerment and advances that will help improve the quality of life for everyone with cerebral palsy (CP). That’s the firm belief of USA's Brad Searle, creator of the world’s first dedicated TV app for adults and children with CP – Cerebral Palsy Television (CPTV)

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It takes passion and dedication to innovate a game-changing tool for children with cerebral palsy (CP), traits that Dr Brian Hoare has in abundance. His CPtoys™ app makes toys-as-therapy an easy choice.

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An organisation in Indonesia is challenging outdated and substandard approaches in an effort to improve the welfare of children with cerebral palsy in their country.

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The brainchild of wheelchair user Rachael Wallach, #HackOnWheels is changing the way we think about wheelchair production, in a very clever way.

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A3i in Israel is the first technology accelerator devoted to supporting entrepreneurs who want to create solutions for people with a disability.

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Rand Surbey and Jason Cole are pushing the boundaries of physical activities for people with cerebral palsy and having a lot of fun on the way.

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Everyone needs a tribe. A support system to rely on through the good times and bad.

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Leigh Lockrey

Creating a global online CP community, one click at a time.

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