Happy little boy in a wheelchair with his family

World CP Day: global cerebral palsy community celebrates Millions of Reasons for a more inclusive world

Friday October 6 marks World Cerebral Palsy Day, the annual day of celebration, action and advocacy for cerebral palsy (CP), a condition affecting 34,000 Australians and more than 17 million people globally.

A physical disability that affects movement and posture, CP is the most common physical disability in childhood. It is caused by an injury to the developing brain during pregnancy or shortly after birth, and its impact can range from mild weakness in one limb to almost total lack of voluntary movement.

In 2023, the World CP Day campaign platform globally is #MillionsOfReasons, which celebrates the unique and diverse lived experience of the millions of people with CP globally, their families, carers and allies.

Over the last six weeks, the global CP community has been invited to submit their life-changing assistive technology idea to an online crowdsourced competition: https://ideas.worldcpday.org/.

People with disability are natural problem solvers and come up with innovative solutions every day to overcome the societal and technological barriers to living independent lives. Disability innovation has always been an integral part of our world, and many of the technological breakthroughs we take for granted originated from the ingenuity of the disability community, such as the keyboard, touchscreens and email.

The campaign builds on the success of World CP Day in 2022, when more than 63,000 votes were cast on over 500 ideas submitted from 43 countries. The winning idea came from Rana, the mother of a non-verbal child from Lebanon, who was inspired to ask – how do we unlock communication for children who experience chronic pain and enable them to share how this affects them with parents and carers?

Remarkable™, the disability technology accelerator made possible by Cerebral Palsy Alliance, connected with a network of entrepreneurs and inventors to respond to Rana’s challenge and support the development of a solution – read more about Rana’s story here.

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.

Five ways to get involved in World CP Day:

  • Wear something green, the colour of CP awareness and advocacy
  • Share your lived experience and your personal reason for taking part by tagging us on social media @CPAlliance, and use the hashtag #MillionsOfReasons
  • Listen to, learn from and engage with people with lived experience – read a book, listen to a podcast or watch a TV show made by creators with CP.