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Does Developing A Cerebral Palsy Beer Go Too Far Towards Bringing Attention To Cerebral Palsy?

Beer for Cerebral PalsyAmong the numerous campaigns aimed at creating awareness for cerebral palsy, a Swedish group by the name of the Gothenburg Cooperative for Independent Living (GIL) is developing innovative ways for creating awareness for Cerebral Palsy. The development of the beer follows their initial invention of developing a physically challenged doll with cerebral palsy. Their campaigns have received mixed reviews from the public with some groups against the efforts. Their taglines such as “treat her like a real retard” for the cerebral palsy doll received particular opposition, claiming that such efforts only subject the disabled to ridicule.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common form of physical disability in children, a term denoting a set of different neurological conditions that affect the brain and the nervous system functions.  The result of brain damage during the congenital stage, it hampers human development by the loss or restriction of motor function.  It is caused by injury or abnormal development of the brain either before birth, during or immediately after in the first two years of the child’s life when the brain is still developing. It affects muscle movements and motor skills such as muscle control and coordination, reflex, balance and posture.

This is not a progressive condition; symptoms do not deteriorate over the course of one’s life. However, it puts considerable strain on the body, which might result in other health problems. Despite there being no cure for the disease, numerous treatments have been known to relieve symptoms and increase independence.

The idea behind cerebral palsy beer

Cerebral palsy beer has been created for bars in Sweden with easy access for disabled people. The idea behind the product is to create something everyone will want. With high demand, more and more bars will make efforts to accommodate the disabled in order to stack the beer. After an investigation by the name of “Patient to Citizen” in the early 2000’s, a law was passed in 2010 to ensure easy access to restaurants, bars, public spaces, with not much done and the voices of the marginalized group reaming unheard. The GIL spurred into action, the idea behind the beer is to create something “non-traditional” which would increase awareness and stir up feelings in the population as well as actually contributing towards achieving easier access for the disabled.

Does the creation of a cerebral palsy beer go too far?

The creation of the beer has stirred up mixed feelings from the public. Critics believe the doll and the beer have ended up subjecting the disabled to ridicule. However, others claim the beer to be successful. Sources claim that previously the disabled felt judged by people at the local bars while having a few beers on a night out.  The introduction of the product has helped bridge this gap and helped to provide easier access.

At the Gothenburg Whiskey Fair and the health and care fair, the beer received considerable acclaim with people particularly interested in the message behind the product. The audience felt it was an innovative way to get the message across and a positive step toward removing the societal stigma attached to disability. However, what must be remembered is a fine line must be maintained, as a step too far might be considered as a mockery of the disabled.