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March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month is an annual event to raise awareness for a condition that affects one million Americans.

Around one million Americans have cerebral palsy (CP), an umbrella term for a group of disorders that affect a person’s balance, movement, and muscle tone. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth, and is a lifelong condition.  

 

Right now, there is no cure for CP. However, there are many treatment options such as physical therapy, medication, and surgery that can help with symptoms — thanks in large part to efforts like Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.  

History of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month has been a national event for nearly two decades. It was founded in 2006 by Reaching for the Stars (RFTS), a parent-led advocacy group. RFTS wanted to bring attention to CP and raise funding for more research.  

 

Since it was first celebrated, Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month has become a global event culminating in CP Awareness Day on March 25. Thousands of people around the world run, walk, and wear green to show their support.  

 

Advocacy efforts like Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month are helping to improve the lives of individuals with CP by advancing positive changes in education, healthcare, and employment. Still, there is more work to be done. RTFS — which is now part of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation — points out that CP is the most common motor disorder of childhood in the U.S., but still receives no dedicated federal funding.  

5 Ways to Recognize Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Looking for some ideas to help raise awareness and promote positive changes for individuals with cerebral palsy? Here are a few 

1. Wear green

Green is the official color of CP Awareness Month. You can show your support by wearing green clothing and accessories throughout the month — and particularly on March 25, Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. Be sure to snap a photo of yourself in your green gear and post it with the hashtag #GoGreen4CP.  

2. Watch movies & shows featuring individuals with CP

Today, we are beginning to see more individuals with disabilities represented on television. March is a great time to explore movies and TV shows featuring characters and actors with CP, such as: 

 

  • Breaking Bad 
  • Margarita With A Straw 
  • My Left Foot 
  • Special 
  • Speechless 

3. Share the facts

Even though it is the most common motor disorder of childhood, there are still plenty of myths and misunderstandings about CP. For example, many people don’t realize that over half of children with CP can walk on their own, and many more can learn to get around independently with the use of mobility aids. You can help counteract these myths by sharing facts about CP on your social media channels.  

4. Get involved with a CP fundraiser

During the month of March, organizations like the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy host walks, golf outings, galas, and dance-a-thons to raise money for research and treatment. Contact your local chapter to find an event in your area to participate in, or offer your support by volunteering to put together goody bags or pass out water at an event.  

5. Support business owners with CP

Shopping at disability-owned businesses helps create meaningful work for individuals with CP and other disabilities. When you shop at businesses owned by individuals with disabilities, the money you spend  goes directly to these individuals: 

 

Download the free Disability Events calendar

However you choose to participate in Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, your support is sure to make a difference for people living with this condition. For more disability-related events and observances you can participate in all year, download our free Disability Events Calendar. 

Free Resource: 2024 Disability Events Calendar
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