Monday, 9 July 2012


Thoughts upon first hearing of World CP Day

News to me

Ivan Su writes to me from Hong Kong. Inter alia he asks me whether I have heard of 'World CP Day'? Starting from 2012 onwards, he tells me, the first Tuesday in Sept will henceforth be designated World Cerebral Palsy Day, with the first taking place on 4 September this year:

I hadn't and I suspect that there may be others in Conductive Education, users and providers, in the same position.

A Day with a difference?

I am not sure what I think of Days of This and Days of That. They certainly add up to a crowded calender and plenty of activity for those running them. What they actually achieve – for their punters – may be another matter.

Maybe this Day will be different – for it is intended that it will be the punters, not the providers, who will own it. And it will not be just a single day but lead on to other things, with punters still in the driving seat.

At least that is how I read it here:
From Wednesday 1 August, people with cerebral palsy, their family and friends can post ideas about how they want to improve the quality of life of people with CP. These ideas could affect any aspect of a person’s life such as their mobility, independence, accessibility, communication or social connection. Post your ideas online as text or video. Each idea must only take 1 minute to read or watch.
From Tuesday 4 September, World CP Day, everyone can go online to review the ideas and vote for the ones that will have the greatest impact on people’s lives.
The ideas may need social, adaptive (equipment/communications) or technological solutions or inventions.
At the end of September, the World Cerebral Palsy Day Panel will review your votes and select the best ideas.
In November social activists, researchers, inventors, and innovators are invited to go online and propose how they would make these ideas a reality. Submissions may be made by individuals, groups or companies. The World Cerebral Palsy Day Panel will then review these submissions and choose the applicants. The Panel will award assistance funding to those who have created or invented the best solution or product
These products will be launched by next World Cerebral Palsy Day, 3 September 2013
Conductive Education and cerebral palsy

The identity of 'Modern Conductive Education' has been mistakenly focussed to a very large part around cerebral palsy (to no small degree as 'a treatment'). This focus has been the product of no master plan, nor even of explicit analysis and discussion. It has just arisenout of circumstances.

If along the way the implications of the conductive approach had been instrumental in bringing about serious consideration of the very nature of what is currently understood by 'cerebral palsy', and its treatment – in other words a possible paradigm shift – then so well and good. Conductive Education would have fulfilled a historical role for people affected by motor disorders and along the way secured its own place in the services that society supports in response to this aspect of the human condition.

This has not been the case. The worlds of the 17 million people directly affected but those of the countless others with whom their lives are inextricably bound, have for the very large part continued as if Conductive Education had never been.

Chance to speak

Given the way in which 'Modern Conductive Education' has developed, and its consequent lack of coherent identity in the twenty first century, it presents no single face to the world of cerebral palsy, or nowhere else for that manner. Be that as it may, we are where we are, that is the bed that Conductive Education has made and must lie in. So let a thousand flowers bloom!

Here is a chance for people with cerebral palsy, their family and friends to say what they think about CE and what it has contributed to their lives, and then to vote for what they consider the best ideas.

Let nobody think that they cannot do this, with most extraordinary insight and eloquence. Now they have opportunity to write in, or send their videos. And vote.

How many do you know?

How many people, with cerebral palsy, their families and friends, do you know. It is up to you who read this this here, or learn of it from any other source, to pass the news around those very people best able to form a judgement on the benefits and the advantages of Conductive Education – and its pleasures and rewards.

And for once, the judgement will be in the hands not of researchers, professionals, bureaucrats, decision-makers, but will come from real people with cerebral palsy, from their families and friends.

So don't just sit there – pass it on.

And then...?

Who knows how this will all work out?

Much will depend upon 'the Panel'. Its composition has yet to be announced. Nor has a list of the sponsors. Charities involved so far are, however, already listed – including usual suspects.

World CP Day could offer opportunity to redress the balance, but nothing will not just happen of its own accord.

Like it or not, this is ultimately a political matter. Don't just sit there – act.

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