Posts from February 2020

Premature aging, employment challenges, depression, pain are just a few of the challenges adults with CP face. 
Employment Challenges 
The adults we work with at CPM have significant and substantial needs. They attend our daycentre not just because they have CP, it’s because of the severity of their needs along with having cerebral palsy or another related disability. Some of the needs include issues with: 
• Mobility – May require walking aids or assistance, wheelchairs or power chairs. 
• Hand co-ordination/ dexterity -May need assistance and support for activities that include their hands. 
• Assistance toileting – for some adult’s specialist facilities (Changing Place Facilities) are required with two staff supporting 
• Sensory impairments – sight, hearing 
• Communication – lack of speech, may use technical aid 
• Help feeding – some adults we work with difficulties with swallowing (dysphagia) and need assistance to have drinks and food. 
• Learning Difficulties 
• Mental Health conditions 
• Other disabilities, so some citizens may well have CP and another disability as well, such as, autism. 
Therefore, for the client group we work with, it has been too difficult for them to find employment opportunities that can support their significant needs at a workplace. And often, without having employment, our adults can feel socially isolated at home or where they reside. 
Our adults may need specific accommodations made for them to consider employment, such as; adjusted office space, toilet facilities (Changing Place Facilities that include a changing bed and ceiling track hoist), ramp and accessible building access, sometimes widened doors, perhaps an adjusted work schedule, assistive equipment and / or frequent rest periods. The adults may well need supported carer or carers with them as well. 
Growing up with a disability is an extensive challenge, one of the biggest challenges people with disabilities face is accessing the local community and the local high streets and having access to everyday services such as shops, banks and hotels, not just physically and mentally but also emotionally for someone living with a disability. 
It's estimated businesses could be losing out on a share of £60 million a day! If only we could encourage our local communities to see people as a commercial opportunity and therefor be more accessible. 

Social attitudes towards disability 

The image above shows the wheelchair table of one of our citizens who has a Power Chair, the person is wearing a 'Go Pro camera' on her chest, the 'Go Pro camera' image taken shows a car parked on the pavement blocking the pavement access for this wheelchair to get past. Despite their being a warning side on the road to notify motorists that there are Disabled People nearby. This parking shows a lack of understanding and compassion for people with disability and their needs to access the community. 
Above: Uneven surfaces create obstacles those with mobility needs. 
In 2018, CPM conducted research with University of Plymouth student James BoneHill for his Dissertation, the research was titled: “When people see people in wheelchairs, they don’t care a bit” Investigating the Mobility Experiences of people with Cerebral Palsy in Harborne. 
The aim of the research was to identify issues with access and mobility that disabled citizens face when going out into the local community. As our centre is based in Harborne, Birmingham with a group of willing participants we investigated a few routes in Harborne wearing go pro cameras.  
The Research identified three main issues; 
Social attitudes towards people with disability 
Lack of accessible businesses 
Negotiating the street environment 
Lack of accessible businesses 
No ramp access 
Narrow doors that cannot accommodate wheelchairs. 
No provision made 
Image below; Local High Street, all those buildings in red are not very accessible for people in Wheelchairs or with mobility impairments. In fact 54% were classified as 'Not Very Accessible' with challenges such as stepped entrance or with narrow, manual doors. Or no alternative entrance offered. This we believe is typical of most local High Streets in the UK. 
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