Did you know… there are 17 million people across the world living with cerebral palsy?
World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day is a social movement, of, by and for the CP community. With a vision to ensure that everyone with CP has the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else.
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is the name for a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and coordination, caused by a problem with the brain that occurs before, during or soon after birth.
There are four main types of cerebral palsy:
- spastic cerebral palsy – the muscles are stiff and tight (especially when trying to move them quickly), making it difficult to move and reducing the range of movement that’s possible
- dyskinetic cerebral palsy – the muscles switch between stiffness and floppiness, causing random, uncontrolled body movements or spasms
- ataxic cerebral palsy – when a person has balance and coordination problems, resulting in shaky or clumsy movements and sometimes tremors
- mixed cerebral palsy – when a person has symptoms of more than one of the types mentioned above.
You can find out more on the NHS website.
To celebrate the day and help raise awareness, Kat shares her story of living with CP and why working is so important for her.
“I have been working at the Remploy support centre for almost four years. As an advisor, it’s my job to ensure our customers’ information is processed efficiently. I also help with the running of our customer service training course across our branch network.
I was born with CP and have limited movement in my left arm and a curved spine. But I enjoy life and don’t let anything stop me!
I initially came to Remploy as a candidate as I was finding it very difficult to secure employment. Applying for jobs wasn’t the issue, but I would get to an interview and the first thing the panel would notice was my wheelchair. During interviews I would explain how Access to Work could cover costs for travel to work and workplace adjustments but despite this, employers were not interested in my abilities and skills. Instead they saw my disability as a barrier.
Remploy gave me the opportunity to do a workplace trial at their head office in Leicester. A few months later I was offered paid employment. My colleagues are very supportive, I have grown in confidence and I have been able to develop.
My office desk is adjustable to allow for my wheelchair to fit under, my keyboard is light and easy to use as a one-handed typist and a headset allows me to make and take calls. I also have access to a carer who can help with personal matters throughout the day.
I am now also proud to be part of the Remploy Disability Ambassador network to share my lived experiences and positively promote disability.”
Why working is so important to me
“Working has a huge positive impact on my live. It gives me a sense of achievement, enables me to be independent and earn money to spend on all the things I love to do.
I am happily married to Joe, who also works for Remploy. Our bungalow is fully equipped and adapted for all my needs. We have just welcomed a new four legged addition, Bella, who is currently being trained to help out with tasks around the home.”
If you have a disability or health conditions and would like help to find work, we can help. Visit www.remploy.co.uk to find out more.