A lot has been said about the gap that exists surrounding awareness and sensitivity from the general public toward the special needs community. Breaking down barriers between understanding and compassion, much less advocacy, is a critical goal of our organization, which is why we are such big proponents of information for parents of children with special needs and others alike!
Overall, we believe the best way to help people understand Cerebral Palsy is through communication. While families have different thresholds for discussing their child’s unique, special needs, oftentimes the best way to break down stigmas is by discussing the ‘elephant in the room.’ Some parents feel comfortable responding to a stranger’s stare with asking if they have any questions about the condition. Others may be simply looking to educate family members who believe any assortment of falsehoods. Either way, a discussion helps due to the ability to control the information and ensure misconceptions can be addressed directly.
We would like to think our website is another way to help people understand Cerebral Palsy due to its sheer size. We lost track of how many pages it features, but it seeks to address the wide spectrum of elements associated with CP and encourage discourse. CerebralPalsy.org was built to be a resource for those touched by Cerebral Palsy and strangers alike, having been sourced in countless term papers, Facebook shares, conversations and more. We’re always looking, though, for ways to improve our content so do not hesitate to contact us and let us know an area we can improve!
While discussing the website, one successful way to correct someone’s ignorance or lack of knowledge surrounding the words they use is through an easily digestible source. Our ‘Disability Etiquette’ web page is one of our most popular because it’s aimed not to shame people but, instead, help them understand Cerebral Palsy goes beyond challenges and into words that must be used properly. UCP also has a nice list of ‘commandments’ to follow that can easily be sent over to somehow who may not know better.
If you are looking to help people understand Cerebral Palsy that are a bit more tech savvy, encourage friends to ‘add’ organizations (including us!) focused on spreading awareness around special needs and Cerebral Palsy. Daily updates in someone’s Facebook or Twitter feed (Follow us!) can be a low barrier way of seeing the diversity of topics associated with this condition, not only revealing how it can impact people day-to-day but also through a variety of mediums (news articles, blog posts, videos, parent posts, etc.) This can be a very subtle, low-pressure way to bring awareness and understanding around Cerebral Palsy into the lives of people you care about.
At the end of the day, our organization is here to help your family in any way we can. While we provide a wide assortment of resources for families touched by Cerebral Palsy, we also see ourselves as a vehicle for change and look to encourage advocacy in any way we can. If there is a way we might be able to help you and your family, or a topic we can help to further explore, give us a call at (800) 692-4453(800) 692-44533 FREE and we will do what we can to make tomorrow better!