This year’s theme was “Millions of Reasons for Accessible Technology Solutions.” The idea has never been more relevant than it is today. The cerebral palsy community members (including parents and loved ones) were invited to submit their technology ideas and go in the running to win $5,000.
There were several notable contenders in the running. The Pee Pipe was a single-use device allowing wheelchair users to use public restrooms independently without transferring to the toilet seat. There was also a Robotic Assisted Treadmill and a phone app that could create subtitles for phone calls.
Our CPSN member, Jerusha Mather, offered her idea for a daily exercise app for people with cerebral palsy, where users connect with an exercise mentor that can virtually help them with their daily exercises.
Growing up with cerebral palsy, there were few opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in initiatives that would have had such a positive impact. The tech world has finally acknowledged the need for adaptable technology and allows people with disabilities to govern the space.
It also enables more disabled people to access job opportunities. Even in 2022, there is a prominent struggle to be included in the workforce. Throughout the last year, CPSN has explored the need for adaptable technology. During a recent interview on CP Diaries, Noah Callan, Founder of AAC Space, Callan highlighted that if it weren’t for the recent innovations in Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices, he would have no way of speaking up and advocating for himself.
If a single device such as AAC can lend a voice, in that case, it’s mind-bending to consider how many real-world applications ideas such as these can generate for the disabled community. Historically, people with disabilities have been excluded simply because of the wider community’s inability or unwillingness to consider our inclusion.
Missions like World CP Day do more than acknowledge that we exist and have beneficial and profitable ideas to give back to the world.
By Natalie Corrigan