Every year, the global disability community celebrates World Cerebral Palsy Day on October 6 – an international day of recognition and campaigning to raise awareness of cerebral palsy and to ensure a future in which people with cerebral palsy have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in society.
Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. An estimated 34,000 Australians live with cerebral palsy, which is the most common physical disability in childhood.
With more than 17 million people with cerebral palsy across the world, each individual’s unique and different experience of disability means there are millions of reasons for more accessible technology solutions.
World Cerebral Palsy Day organisers have launched a global campaign, ‘Millions of Reasons’, calling on people with cerebral palsy all over the world to submit their ideas for accessible tech solutions.
The campaign has so far garnered more than 700 creative tech ideas from over 45 countries, with tens of thousands of votes so far submitted. Today is the last day of voting – support your favourite idea by casting your vote on the WCPD website! The winning idea will be announced at a global virtual event next week.
Bronya Metherall, General Manager of Influence & Social Impact at Cerebral Palsy Alliance, says that the campaign aims to raise awareness about the unique experience of cerebral palsy and demonstrate the demand for accessible technologies.
“There is a growing demand for accessible technology all over the world, but product designers and technology companies are mostly still fixated on seeing disability as a charitable cause. Instead, companies need to shift to attract and delight customers and talent in disability markets.”
Created by Cerebral Palsy Alliance in 2012, World CP Day brings together people with cerebral palsy, their families, allies, supporters and organisations across more than 100 countries with the aim of ensuring a future in which children and adults with cerebral palsy have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society.
“No one is better equipped to spark the next breakthrough in accessible technology than those living with cerebral palsy. With creativity, expertise, and lived experiences, we can design a brighter future for every person living with a disability,” says Metherall.
‘Millions of Reasons’ is an essential step forward on the road to true inclusion, acceptance and representation for people with disabilities, according to Hannah Diviney, a young writer, actor and cerebral palsy activist.
“When an environment is not accessible, it means it is not inclusive. It’s about giving people equal access and opportunity. Think about airplane travel, it can be very uncomfortable for people living with certain disabilities. The impact on my body after a flight isn’t pleasant and to get the comfort you need you need to pay a huge amount of money for business and first class tickets,” says Diviney.
The ‘Millions of Reasons’ campaign builds on Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s long track record of harnessing and developing assistive technology solutions. Our innovative startup accelerator, Remarkable, is Australia’s first accelerator for early-stage startups focused on disability tech, supporting more than 40 startups to have a positive impact people with disability.
Join us next Friday, 14 October for a special virtual event to reveal the winning idea of the Millions of Reasons campaign!