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  • Writer's pictureCPSN


Are you an adult with cerebral palsy? Have you experienced ableism?

Ableism is a form of discrimination, like racism and sexism. It is where a person treats you differently because of your disability.

Ableism can take many forms. Common examples include:

  • Assuming you can’t do something because of your cerebral palsy

  • Giving you help you didn’t ask for and don’t want

  • Telling you your disability is not that bad

  • Suggesting your disability can be cured or healed

  • Talking to you as if you were a child

  • Calling you inspirational for doing everyday things

  • Touching you or your equipment unnecessarily, or without asking

  • Teasing, bullying, or physically hurting you because you have cerebral palsy.

Ableism can occur with strangers or people you know, such as family and friends.

We are a group of researchers with and without cerebral palsy. We wish to find out about how adults (18 years or older) with cerebral palsy successfully confront ableism.

Some people with cerebral palsy find ways of successfully dealing with ableism. They may have changed someone’s behaviour or done something that makes them feel better about themselves. Some people have also found ways of coping with ableism over time.

If you would like to share your successes with us, we would love to hear from you! We want to know how adults with cerebral palsy have successfully confronted ableism in their encounters with others and how they have coped with ableism after the encounters have passed. You could tell us about your experiences in a way that suits you, such as in an online survey, an individual interview, an online focus group with other people with cerebral palsy, or a video or audio submission. We anticipate the online survey, online individual interview, and audio or video recording may take 40 to 60 minutes to complete. The online focus group may take one to two hours.

We will use what we learn to help people with cerebral palsy manage and cope with ableism.

If you’d like to take part in this project or if you’d like to learn more, please contact Dr Cadeyrn [pronounced Kay-drin] Gaskin at or on (03) 9244 5608.

This study has received Deakin University ethics approval (reference number: 2023-126).

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