Although cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disability in childhood, it gets the least media attention. Until I started doing advocacy work, I was unaware March 25 is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day (a bill was passed in Congress in 2013), March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month or World Cerebral Palsy Day is celebrated on October 6 — and the world will go green to show support.

Not Just Another Awareness Day

World CP Day is a social movement of, for people with cerebral palsy and their families, including the organizations that support them, in over 65 countries around the world. Its vision is to ensure that children and adults with CP have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society. The project is coordinated by the World Cerebral Palsy Initiative, a group of non-profit cerebral palsy organizations with a global vision to create real change for people living with CP.

According to Robyn Cummins, World CP Day Manager:

“Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood and is also one of the least understood. There are over 17 million people living with CP and 350 million families, friends and supporters who care about them. But in many countries, people with CP are ‘invisible.’ They live out of sight, out of mind and out of options.”

World CP Day is more than just an awareness day because it:

  • Celebrates the lives and achievements of people with with CP
  • Provides a powerful voice for those with CP to change their world
  • Connects organizations around the globe so they can meet the needs of the CP community
  • Raises awareness about CP and the issues that affect people with CP at local, national and international levels

Here’s the city of Syracuse’s World Cerebral Palsy Day proclamation:

Photo credit: Cora True-Frost

On October 6, you’ll see a lot of green (and not with envy) social media posts. In addition, many buildings, landmarks, etc. will light up in green to support the 17 million people living with CP around the world. I’m proud to have been instrumental in getting The Seattle Great Wheel to light up for the first time this year. I’m also proud to serve on the World Cerebral Palsy Day Committee for the second year in a row.

I’m What Cerebral Palsy Looks Like. Will you go green for me?