World Cerebral Palsy Day – Make Your Mark

6th October 2020 Clinical Negligence

Today marks World Cerebral Palsy Day, a movement by people with cerebral palsy, their families and support services to ensure they, and others like them, have the same rights, access and opportunities as everyone else.

This year the emphasis is very much on how people with cerebral palsy are excellent at adapting to deal with a variety of everyday challenges, and how much the world can learn from them in the current Covid-19 climate. The tagline is Make Your Mark and people with cerebral palsy are being asked to share with the rest of us the innovative things they do each day.

I’ve had the privilege of working for children and young adults with cerebral palsy for almost 25 years and have seen at first-hand their determination, courage and ingenuity.

Cerebral palsy is primarily a movement disorder that causes motor disability and also affects balance, co-ordination and speech. There is a very broad spectrum in terms of how each individual is affected and how severely. It is caused by damage to the brain that may be caused by genetic or environmental factors, illness, or as a result of the brain’s oxygen supply being compromised.

Cerebral palsy clients the solicitors at JMW work on behalf of, are usually affected by the latter two issues and their disabilities are frequently on the more severe end of the scale. However, that said, some of those same clients have excelled in areas such as sport and education and have built a fulfilling and meaningful life for themselves with the support of their families and support teams.

Life continues to be frequently challenging for them but they seize all it has to offer them, even when this is far less than it should be. For most people with cerebral palsy, the only barrier they face is the rest of the world being slow to catch up to what is possible with a few tweaks.

Technology, equipment and knowledge are the three ingredients that enable people with cerebral palsy to participate and reap the same benefits that all of us gain from widening our horizons.

World Cerebral Palsy Day is an opportunity for all of us to learn more about the condition and ensure any prejudices are confined to the history books. We can’t wait to see the pictures, videos and posts of people with Cerebral Palsy participating in Make Your Mark.

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Sally Leonards is a Partner located in Manchesterin our Clinical Negligence department

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