It’s World Cerebral Palsy Day! To celebrate we asked disabled wheelchair user Charlie Randell, who has Cerebral Palsy, to tell his story.
It all started when I was born 10 weeks prematurely, I had an underdeveloped immune system and a lack of white blood cells. I caught a throat infection called bronchiolitis which caused me to stop breathing. I was revived 7 times in hospital and due to lack of air to the brain, a part of my brain shut down. I was observed by a specialist at Guy's and St. Thomas' where they diagnosed me with Cerebral Palsy (CP) which is typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth and impacts muscle coordination (spastic paralysis).
The Cerebral Palsy community is a very large and diverse community, due to the condition being very unpredictable - meaning it has many different levels of severity. I have met many people with my condition, however, the way they are affected is unique. Therefore, the meaning and impact of Cerebral Palsy is different for every individual.
Cerebral Palsy allows me to define my disability and the different ways my body works. So, having a day to bring awareness to the condition means a lot to me. It is a way I can define myself and others can understand what makes me.
As Cerebral Palsy affects impacts my mobility, use of my lower limbs and fine
Because of the assistance aids I use, travelling and days out can be difficult. So another tool I use is AccessAble - the App and website are incredibly user friendly and have given me a lot more confidence when planning trips out. With their Access Guides, I can find places that suit my needs and check that locations have local facilities - such as toilets with wide doors, room to transfer from my wheelchair and assistance rails. Or restaurants with lower tables, a disabled toilet and level flooring up the bar/service desk. This makes the whole day out a lot more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone, as I have the reassurance that wherever I go AccessAble can help me find somewhere accessible for me!
AccessAble is a really useful tool for anyone with Cerebral Palsy or other impairments, because their Access Guides give such detailed information- such as door widths, flooring and signage. So, you can explore locations for specific access requirements unique to you and your needs.
I think having designated days to celebrate different conditions is a great way for the disabled community to come together, as often our disabilities make up a large part of who we are. It also allows us to build relationships with people who face similar difficulties and can understand the effects of our condition.
I would recommend to any with an impairment, Disability or Carers to download and use the AccessAble App and Website. Available online at www.AccessAble.co.uk or from your phones App Store.