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Cerebral Palsy is the most common physical disability and is probably the most least understood. That's why today we at Cerebral Palsy Midlands are celebrating World Cerebral Palsy Day today on Friday 6th October to help raise awareness and to try and create positive change within our communities so that people with CP can have the same rights, access and opportunities as everyone else in society. 
 
There are over 17 million people living with CP and 350 million family, friends and supporters who care about them. Today we spoke about the challenges that our citizens face. 
The posters below, give a good quick insight into some of the challenges that people with CP have. Cerebral Palsy is a physical disability and predominantly affects movement. However CP can include a person having further issues with regards to mobility, communication difficulties, sight and hearing impairments, problems swallowing (dysphagia), intellectual or learning difficulties, sleep disorders, behavioural and emotional problems and more. 
Here are some of the comments that were made today in our focus session based around World CP Day and about other challenges that our clients face. It was felt that the information posters didn't give the whole complete picture: 
Technical problems for those dependant on technology to be mobile or communicate: Relying on working technology & electric wheelchairs to work for example 
A lack of services and funding available as you become an adult with CP. 
Having no privacy when you rely on others to communicate. 
Patronizing people who say things like "Its a shame" and tap their heads. 
Accessing the community. 
Overprotective parents/carers that don't enable their person with CP to be in-dependant and make their own choices. 
Having to ask if you can do something every time you just want to try something. What if I want to go and Sky Dive? 
Everything costs more money, just to simply go out - you may need a carer and a special taxi. 
Problems with stress, anxiety, frustration and emotions. 
Communication breakdowns - when people misinterpret what you say. 
Peoples understanding of disability and what support you might need can be hard at times. 
If people think you have CP, a physical disability, they may not understand the other issues you face - for example having sight impairments. 
Not just the person with CP that is affected, its their families, friends, care givers and community around them. It can be physically bearing on them. 
Hard to build up trust and find good carers. 
Lack of independence. 
Hard to get the opportunities to exercise, which in turn means more stiffer joints and more pain. 
We are not disabled, we are ABLE to do things, we may just need a little more support. 

We are interested in hearing from you? What is your story? What challenges do you face? Please leave a comment below. 

For more information, please contact Sarah Lilly, Development Officer at Cerebral Palsy Midlands via email sarah@cpmids.org.uk or telephone 0121 427 3182. 
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