Global cerebral palsy community comes together to spark the next breakthrough in accessible technology

Global cerebral palsy community comes together to spark the next breakthrough in accessible technology
Posted on Mon 29 Aug 2022

Organisers of World Cerebral Palsy Day are launching a new campaign, ‘Millions of Reasons’, calling on people with cerebral palsy all over the world to submit their ideas for accessible tech solutions.

Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. 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.

The Millions of Reasons campaign aims to raise awareness about the unique experience of cerebral palsy and demonstrate the demand for accessible technologies.

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.”

Submissions of ideas open today on the World CP Day website, closing on 29 September 2022. The ideas will be shortlisted by the community, with votes opening 29 September and closing on World Cerebral Palsy Day - 6th October 2022.

Have a creative idea for improving lives through accessible technology? Head here to get involved!

“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.

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.

The 'Millions of Reasons' campaign builds on CPA'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. 

CPA also supports a multidisciplinary team of researchers and engineers, led by Professor Alistair McEwan and Dr Petra Karlsson, to harness technology advances in search of improved mobility, communication and cognitive solutions for people with cerebral palsy.

Further detail about the competition:

  • Idea submissions open UTC 6am 29 August and end UTC 11pm 29 September 2022
  • Voting opens on UTC 6am 29 September and ends on UTC 11pm Thursday, 6 October 2022.
  • Ideas are shortlisted by the cerebral palsy community through votes on the website.
  • The World Cerebral Palsy Day judging panel reviews the shortlist of ideas.The judging panel will assess ideas based on the need, impact, reach and marketability.
  • 1 idea selected by the judging panel. The winner receives a $5,000 (USD) cash prize. The winner is announced via Facebook and contacted via email by 14 October 2022.

About accessible technology and assistive technology:

Accessible technology that is universally designed aims to create products that work for the widest number of the population possible by considering the diversity of human needs in various environments. This can include assistive technology that is more specifically designed to augment an individual's independence and autonomy across a spectrum of need.

Disability activist and author Hannah Diviney talks about celebrating the community wide commitment to STEPtember, her excitment for the upcoming World CP Day and the endless possibilities of assistive technology in her column this month. 

Cerebral Palsy Alliance-backed disability tech startups PolySpine and ResusRight have both been awarded prizes at the 2022 Good Design Awards, Australia’s most prestigious showcase of innovative and creative design