Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Do The New CP Commercials Give A Negative Outlook For All?

24 Mar 2011You may have noticed the new Cerebral Palsy Alliance television commercials that have been aired on Australian television recently.

The Cerebral Palsy Alliance was formerly known as the Spastic Centre, and the new ads were produced to raise awareness about CP and to advise the community of the name change. If you haven’t seen them, you can watch the full ad here: http://www.cerebralpalsy.org.au/movingstories - the ad is shockingly real and is aimed to pull at heart strings.

Filmed using real families, the ads show what they are going through, and the difficulties that Australian families face when trying to receive assistance for a child with CP.

Recently on Ramp Up, a disability website, Todd Winther, who has a mild form of Cerebral Palsy, wrote an article about the latest ad campaign, and expressed his disgust on how people with Cerebral Palsy will now be viewed by the general population.

Todd is concerned that the general public will now perceive people with CP as being useless, and in turn will reduce the amount of employers willing to hire anyone with CP. He is also alarmed that prospective parents of children with CP, will have no positive outlook on their child’s future. To view Todd’s original article on the Ramp Up website, please click here: http://www.abc.net.au/rampup/articles/2011/03/22/3170458.htm

When reading the article, there are many comments that you will see underneath it from readers that agree mostly with Todd. Some readers are worried that the ad campaign could cause children in the future who are diagnosed with CP, to be abandoned by their parents, as they will have nothing positive to focus on.

Todd wants a campaign that focuses on the positive outcomes of people with CP, and the achievements they can make.

There is a reply to Todd’s article from the President of Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Marelle Thornton, who is also a mother of a young woman with Cerebral Palsy herself. Marelle wanted to clarify that they never intended to hurt anyone or to create a negative spin on anyone who has CP. They merely wanted to highlight the impact that caring for someone with CP can have on a family, and how donations are so drastically important, for the wellbeing of Australian families who are faced with CP.

One of my friends who has CP, wanted me to share with everyone a Facebook page, which has been created in objection to the ad campaign, called ‘Boycott Cerebral Palsy Alliance’. If you agree with Todd Winthers, and feel that Cerebral Palsy Alliance has gone too far with their new ad campaign, then you can ‘attend’ the boycott by clicking here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=118679778209187

I would appreciate any feedback about this issue, and what the general opinion is. It certainly shouldn’t change the communities view on people with CP, as there are many people with the condition who are contributing to the world more than they probably even thought possible.


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Previous Comments

Tom from Sydney posted on 25 Mar 2011
I don't think there is anything wrong with the ad. I think it has brought more awareness to the general public that there are families struggling to pay for equipment. At no point from memory, the ad states ALL families experience this. I think Todd has taken it too far to be honest. If he had a severe form of CP, and needed a wheelchair but his family could not afford one and were waiting 2 years, I wonder how he would feel. C'mon guys, the ad is generating awareness and well needed fundraising money I'm sure!

Jarrod from Melbourne Australia posted on 24 Mar 2011
I find the Commercials dshonnest about people who have disability. i have only seen the ad once on tv thank god where the mother is refering to her child as a new bern baby. that mother and the producers should be ashamed of them selfs and apologize to the young girl. the ads need to be taken off air asap. replace them with something like from the movie sliding doors. show a man with CP in a wheelchair working in a bank or something entering via a ramp and then have a second clip of the man either sitting on the floor outside showing that he doesnt have a wheelchair..... and then hire me to be on your marketing team

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