March is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, and Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day is Thursday, March 25th. This initiative was started by a cerebral palsy advocacy group in 2006. Supporters, activists, and advocates celebrate by wearing the color green, using the #GoGreen4CP hashtag, and donating to organizations such as the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
What Is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?
During the month of March, individuals living with cerebral palsy as well as family members and activists come together by advocating for the cerebral palsy community.
The goal of National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month is to push for positive change in education programs, the health care system, and the job market to give opportunities to those living with cerebral palsy.
As National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month grows, more people living with the condition are coming forward to share their stories. Several organizations are working to make sure people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities get a national voice.
Over one million people in the U.S. are living with cerebral palsy.
History of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day
Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day has been a global event for over a decade. It was started in 2006 by the Reaching for the Stars (RFTS) advocacy group. RFTS is run by parent volunteers who realized that — despite other awareness days for autism, down syndrome, and other disabilities — there was not a day that celebrated cerebral palsy.
The organization wanted to bring greater attention to cerebral palsy and raise more research funding for the condition. RFTS was instrumental in establishing March 25th as National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, as well as designating green as the color for cerebral palsy awareness.
Since it was first celebrated, Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day has grown into a global event. Entire buildings around the world have been lit up with green to celebrate on March 25th. Over the past few years, a number of world-famous landmarks have “gone green” to celebrate Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, including Niagara Falls.
The #GoGreen4CP hashtag was created to engage communities on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Even though the organizers of this awareness month are celebrating their accomplishments and perseverance, they want to do even more to improve the lives of people with cerebral palsy. They want the voices of those with disabilities to be heard and for society to benefit our future generation.
How to Show Your Support
If you are looking to support those with cerebral palsy this March, you have plenty of different options.
To support Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, you can:
- Donate to organizations such as the Cerebral Palsy Foundation
- Join an advocacy group for those with cerebral palsy
- Share photos online
- Use the #GoGreen4CP hashtag on social media
- Wear the color green whenever you can
Another important step in becoming an ally is to understand the power of your language. One of the best things that an ally can do is to learn how to rephrase problematic sentences and eliminate stereotypes.
For example, you want to make sure that you don’t make assumptions that people with disabilities are incapable of doing anything that others without the condition can do.
Spreading Cerebral Palsy Awareness
It is important to include people living with disabilities when embracing diversity. The good news is that things are changing. Cerebral palsy organizations are having success in creating more awareness and improving conditions for the future in schools, businesses, and other organizations.
More people around the globe are celebrating National Cerebral Palsy Month each year and breaking down barriers to help open up society to those with disabilities.
Whether you or someone you love is affected by cerebral palsy, there’s no easier way to show your support than by simply wearing the color green to spread awareness about this condition and uplift those affected.