I didn’t hear anyone promote cerebral palsy awareness growing up. First of all, no one talked about my disability; thus, I didn’t know what it was or why I had it. Similarly, no one represented me on t.v. I didn’t meet another person with CP until college.
It’s almost five decades later. CP is still the most common childhood disability, with over 17 million affected worldwide. Surely, this is enough to get the media’s attention. In fact, the opposite is true. Furthermore, many articles assume that we’re “suffering.” Certainly we deserve better; seems like our stories float into the deep waters in the sea of disabilities.
Why I Promote Cerebral Palsy Awareness
Did you know that March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month in the United States? Or that March 25 is National CP Awareness Day (U.S. only)? Have you heard that October 6 is World CP Day ? Frustrated with the lack of awareness, I decided to help move the needle.
I promote cerebral palsy awareness because my didn’t have social media. Or, a community like What Cerebral Palsy Looks Like, a FB page I created. Most importantly, I advocate for the 17 million who feel ignored. As a result, we deserve to be recognized, especially in March and October.
How You Can Help Promote Cerebral Palsy Awareness
Remember, there’s no right way to promote cerebral palsy awareness. Do whatever you want. Everything counts, and as a result, it all works! Here are three examples of how you can help:
- Share your child’s journey like Briella + Me (click link to see Briella featured on the Today Show). In addition, post it on social media.
- Use social media to promote representation like Fifi + Mo. Target definitely hit the bullseye with this ad campaign!
- Feature people with cerebral palsy on your podcast like Claiming Disability, Inc. Mollie + Erin are all about accessibility, inclusion.
More Ways to Advocate for Cerebral Palsy
Need some more ideas? Here are more ways you can help promote cerebral palsy awareness:
- Call or write to news stations. Ask them to make on-air announcements. Pitch a story.
- Contact buildings, landmarks, stadiums in your area to Go Green for CP! Then, ask them to help promote their lighting.
- Start a blog. Try to reach a larger audience. For example, get published on HuffPost, Medium, The Mighty, Yahoo!, etc. like me .
- Start a YouTube channel like What Cerebral Palsy Looks Like .
- Tweet national morning shows like Good Morning America and the Today Show.
Community Involvement Creates Change
We can’t wait for the media. By the same token, it’s important to realize that raising awareness is up to us. Therefore, if we all do our part, our voices will be heard. Not to mention the fact that we’ll finally be seen. In conclusion, advocacy is important all year round (not just in March and October).
Community involvement gets noticed. Consequently, we need to advocate together. Finally, let’s encourage the little girl with CP who doesn’t think she matters. As a result, maybe 2020 will be the year cerebral palsy shines. Let’s do this!
How will you help promote cerebral palsy awareness in 2020 and beyond? Comment below and let me know!
Originally published at https://nicoleluongo.com on January 17, 2020.