In 2018, the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island hosted the Let’s Talk CP and Complex Needs series. Through this process, one of the key areas of opportunity identified was increasing awareness and improving understanding about cerebral palsy. As a result, the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island extended an invitation to Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia (CPABC) to develop and implement an awareness strategy to address this need.
CPABC identified the Belonging Matters framework for community led change as a perfect it to meet their collective objectives. As a result, they contracted Jessie Sutherland the founding director of the Belonging Matters framework and training program to develop and implement the following strategy:
To increase awareness and improve understanding about Cerebral Palsy and complex needs across Vancouver Island and surrounding islands with a particular focus on educators, policy makers, medical practitioners, and children and youth peer groups. This awareness strategy ultimate aim is to improve health outcomes for children and youth living with cerebral palsy.
Belonging Matters Conversations:
From September to December of 2020, CPABC had meetings - called Belonging Matters Conversations - with people living with cerebral palsy that live on Vancouver Island. This group was made of individuals with diverse abilities and from different backgrounds. Our goal was to understand existing gaps for resources on the Island and identify the best course of action for this project.
There were a few priority challenges identified by the group: how to address stigma within themselves, from teachers and the larger community. Based on our conversations, we have made three posters that summarize these challenges.
About the Belonging Matters Process
As part of the Cerebral Palsy Awareness Project on Vancouver Island, we invited Melissa Lyon to share her experience as a person with cerebral palsy dealing with stigma and belonging.
Working Group with Stakeholders
The first session will be on May 27th at 11 am.