Hannah Diviney smiling, surrounded by a backdrop with flowers and butterflies

Celebrating International Day of People with Disability

On International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), we celebrate all the incredible people with lived experience in our CP community who have shared their stories, helped to create an inclusive and diverse community, and achieved the seemingly impossible. Here’s a snapshot of some of these people, including IDPwD ambassador, Hannah Diviney, who commented that the reason she's agreed to become an ambassador is because,

"I feel representation is really important and that the more visible disabled stories can be in the community, and in the broader world, the better it's going to be for the 4 million of us who have disabilities around the country."

Meet Logan – kicking his goals all the way to school

Logan was born at 29 weeks and was referred to the Early Response Therapy Program at Cerebral Palsy Alliance when his parents noticed something wasn’t right with his movement. Accessing early intervention services – physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology – has given him a head start with his development.

Five years on Logan is working on goal directed training with CPA therapists and kicking his goals. Soccer is Logan’s big passion, he’s made great progress with his ball skills. I can’t believe my baby boy’s ready to go to school!” said Kayla, Logan’s mum. 

Rana’s challenge – a World CP Day success story

Parents and three children with dark hair looking to camera and smiling, with a graphic and wording Millions of Reasons As the mother of a non-verbal child with cerebral palsy, Rana Zarzour is faced daily with a heartbreaking communication barrier – how to best support her daughter and understand her needs. When Rana saw the World CP Day 2022 call-out for assistive tech ideas, she was inspired to respond with a challenge informed by this lived experience – how do we unlock communication for children who experience chronic pain and enable them to share how this affects them with parents and carers? Rana, who lives with her family in Lebanon, was one of 700+ submissions from the global CP as part of the ‘Millions of Reasons’ campaign. As well as winning US $5,000, Rana’s idea was the centrepiece of the inaugural Remarkable Tech Summit in San Francisco, a global meeting of some of the disability tech space’s leading thinkers.

Eva’s the new Weet-Bix Kid in town

One of our amazing clients, Eva Kalpidis, is fronting a national ad campaign as the new Weet-Bix Kid!

Eva Kalpidis, who has been part of the CPA family since she was 18 months old, is one of the faces of #Shift20, a new project launched by the Dylan Alcott Foundation to increase representation of people with disabilities.

13-year old Eva participated in the 2023 Krazy Kosci Klimb, reaching the summit of Australia’s highest peak in record time, she raised $100,000 for CP research in the process.

Tilly steps out as this year’s STEPtember trainer

Girl with dark long hair and a red top on a frame runner, outside in a woodland setting Meet Tilly – one of this year’s STEPtember trainers, who encouraged participants to move 10,000 steps per day in September to raise vital funds for people with cerebral palsy. Tilly is 9 years old, and as well as being a little bookworm, frame runner, and swimmer- she also lives with cerebral palsy. She is the middle child- and according to her Mum Jo, really lives up to it! Tilly was born with congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV). After missed milestones from the age of 5 months, Tilly’s family was given the diagnosis of Spastic Diplegic CP around her first birthday. Tilly will also be climbing Mount Kosciusko next year as part of our fundraiser Krazy Kosci Klimb. Go Tilly!

DJ Cooper Smith – on a mission to change the world, one tune at a time

white male sitting on the floor with arms folded over legs.

18-year-old DJ and music producer Cooper Smith is a big advocate for inclusion. He is a brand ambassador for Cerebral Palsy Alliance, a STEPtember participant, and works with City of Melbourne as an accessibility consultant. His motto is never give up, he’s passionate about persistence and doing what he says he’ll do.

A lifelong passion for music and COVID lockdown hobby turned into a busy DJ career, an agent and record label. Cooper is in hot demand in the music industry, rubbing shoulders and mixing tunes with the likes of the legendary UK DJ Carl Cox and Melbourne’s Eric Powell.

Nicholas uses his voice and powerful communication skills as an activist

Nicholas Lapsley standing and smiling wearing a suit jacket and shirt 22-year-old Nicholas is a business entrepreneur and powerful communicator. He produces his own accessible travel podcast, he’s an activist – part of the CPActive community, helping to educate people about disability. He’s also working at CPA on a graduate program and has written a series of blogs. One of his proudest achievements was organising a swimming event called 20ks with 20 Mates, which raised $13,000 for CPA.

Hannah Diviney – Krazy Kosci Klimb founder achieved her dream of being an author

23-year-old Hannah Diviney is a published writer, prolific disability advocate, actor, Editor in Chief at Missing Perspectives, awarded Marie Claire’s ‘Voice of Now’ and is co-founder of the Krazy Kosci Klimb. Hannah is also this year’s IPDwD ambassador.

Hannah always wanted to be a writer and she recently made her childhood dream come true with the launch of her book I’ll Let Myself In: breaking down doors, claiming space and finding your wheels. The book is bursting with her trademark feminism and disability pride. Most importantly, as Hannah lets herself in, readers are reminded that we, too, can change our lives and the world.

Jibby – mum’s little miracle defies the odds

Jibby has been a fighter since the moment he was born, being told he only has moments to live after facing tumultuous life-threatening complications. However, Jibby never gave up hope and continues to defy all odds at the age of three. His latest passion is basketball and he can really shoot some great hoops! His family’s motto is to celebrate every milestone.
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