Seeing how I tout this blog as a cerebral palsy blog a post on Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month seems overdo. Yep, here in the United States March means National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Today I wish to ask, what will you do to commemorate CP Awareness Month?
Okay, time for some raw honesty. Besides those with cerebral palsy and their loved ones, do you expect anyone else to acknowledge CP Awareness Month? Every month feels like it’s something. Who cares? For the average American to give a hoot about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, we in the CP community must demonstrate the movement’s relevance.
To help accomplish the aforementioned task, I’m issuing a Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month challenge. Get one person outside the cerebral palsy community to participate in one activity which will let him or her learn a little about CP. Recommend a CP related podcast, film, book, or what not.
Try to go beyond the simple cerebral palsy awareness approach too. Attempt to connect with somebody on a different level. After all while we in the CP community have cerebral palsy, our diagnosis does not define us. Take my teen memoir Off Balanced as an example. Based off past feedback I can confidently say fellow writers may find value in my book because the story explores how writing can empower.
Do you want another example? If you know someone interested in joining the Navy or who served in the Navy, suggest he or she read fellow author John W. Quinn’s book Someone Like Me: An Unlikely Story of Challenge and Triumph Over Cerebral Palsy. Quinn’s memoir transcends cerebral palsy to document a 20-year naval career.
Personally, I plan to embark on my CP Awareness Month challenge by arranging a movie night with some college friends who currently work in the education field so we can watch the documentary Certain Proof: A Question of Worth. The film looks at three students with severe cerebral palsy and their journeys inside mainstream classrooms. Sound interesting? Read my interview with the filmmaker Ray Ellis, published last week on The Mobility Resource website.
Ultimately by going beyond the simple cerebral palsy awareness approach, people can connect to CP beyond the condition’s medical nature. Thus creating awareness for an important CP fact, people with cerebral palsy are first and foremost people.
Will you accept my Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month challenge? Those nodding yes, please share how you plan to by commenting below!