Over 80,000 Canadians are affected by cerebral palsy and it is the most common physical disability in childhood.
Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a group of disorders in the development of motor control and posture, occurring as a result of a non-progressive impairment of the developing central nervous system. The motor disorders of cerebral palsy can be accompanied by disturbances of sensation, cognition, communication, perception, and/or seizure disorder.
Motor disability can range from minimal to profound, depending on the individual.
It can range from weakness in one hand, to an almost complete lack of voluntary movement requiring 24-hour care. Children with cerebral palsy are likely to also have other impairments in addition to their motor disability.
While cerebral palsy is not curable, training and therapy can help significantly. Management is a more accurate word than treatment. Management consists of helping a child achieve maximum potential in growth and development.
People with cerebral palsy can go to school, have jobs, get married, raise families and live in their own homes.
Most of all, people with cerebral palsy need the opportunity for independence and full inclusion in our society.
WHAT IS THE
CEREBRAL PALSY CANADA NETWORK
The Cerebral Palsy Canada Network is a national initiative of Cerebral Palsy Alberta and is a network of cerebral palsy associations, physicians, and researchers, partnering with institutions such as University of Alberta, McGill University, Glenrose Hospital, Kids Brain Health (NeuroDevNet) and ChildBright.
The network acts as a resource for local organizations and community stakeholders and promotes partnerships to collaborate on addressing the issues facing persons with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Current initiatives include the development of a communications resource hub, recreational and sport promotion, World CP Day, and regional stakeholder focus groups.
The network is actively working on the development of a National Strategy for Cerebral Palsy to ensure that all Canadians with cerebral palsy and their families have full and equitable access to the resources they need.
Increased knowledge and understanding of disability issues in each province
Increased effectiveness of programs and services delivered in all provinces and territories in Canada
Increased partner and organizational capacity to serve and support people with disabilities in their community
Development of a strong and unified network with additional individual organizations; and
Additional long-term partnerships with provincial disability and health care organizations as well as service providers to ensure challenges and barriers are identified and to collectively educate the community, government and individuals