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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

World Cerebral Palsy Day

2014-10-01

Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day – a chance to reflect on a disability that affects one in every 500 Australian Children.

Disabilities Minister Tony Piccolo said Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most common childhood physical disability.

"CP is a permanent disability that affects movement with its impact ranging from a weakness in one hand to almost a complete lack of voluntary movement," Mr Piccolo said.

"Despite the challenges those living with CP face on a daily basis, many go on to enjoy fulfilling lives."
The Government is leading the way in helping people with CP and other disabilities through the trial of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in South Australia.

At 31 August, there were 108 children with cerebral palsy who have had approved National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) plans in SA.

World Cerebral Palsy Day also offers a chance to recognise the achievements of those living with CP.
One example is South Australian woman Margie Charlesworth who is a passionate advocate for the rights and full participation of women living with disability.

Mr Piccolo said Ms Charlesworth has received many awards for her work with various disability services groups.

"Ms Charlesworth has contributed to a range of community-based disability organisations and services, she was also the Vice-President of Women with Disabilities Australia and is the convenor of Women with Disabilities South Australia, coordinating a project to help prevent violence toward women with disability," he said.

Ms Charlesworth said that this year she spoke at the United Nations in New York about the need for young girls and women with disabilities to be included with the Millenium Development Goals program, an achievement she was very proud of.

"I live my life in such a way that I'm rarely conscious that I even have CP," Ms Charlesworth said.
"I have two key philosophies – like anyone else I believe life is to be lived and lived well and I need to prepare the way for those who follow, hopefully in a better state to which I found it."

More information about World Cerebral Palsy Day is available at www.worldcpday.org

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