More than half a million American kids are afflicted with cerebral palsy. Countless others have to go through the ordeal of uncontrolled muscular movements that significantly hamper their ability to enjoy life to the fullest.
In some societies, people with cerebral palsy are looked down upon, often ridiculed for their awkward movements. However, in most Western civilizations such as the US, there are laws that guarantee their safety and the protection of their individual rights in society. They can refer to a cerebral palsy lawyer whenever their rights are violated in any way.
What is CP?
Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a condition that is best described by the body’s inability to coordinate purposeful movements. The problem is not in the muscles themselves but rather in the brain. Due to reasons that are still poorly understood, some changes in the brain’s development while the person was still developing as a fetus inside his mother’s womb may contribute to the brain’s failure to effectively control voluntary movements. In some cases, it may be brought about by brain damage sustained in the early months of infancy.
What Laws Protect the Rights of Persons with Cerebral Palsy?
Because of the inability to control their movements, individuals with Cerebral Palsy are often at the mercy of their environment. As such, adequate protective measures have been made into legislations to make sure that CP individuals are guaranteed equal rights in society.
The following are some of the laws and legislations that have helped individuals with Cerebral Palsy lead more normal lives and enjoy the same benefits and privileges as others in society.
- Laws and legislations that provide assistance in traveling which may include access to air and bus transportation such as the 1968 Architectural Barriers Act and the Over-the-Road Bus Transportation Accessibility Act.
- Laws and legislations that guarantee access to buildings, infrastructures, and rights of way in public spaces.
- Laws and legislations related to the use of technology and communications especially in the design and development of tools for their use such as the 2004 Assistive Technology Act.
- Laws that guarantee their civil liberties such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
- Laws and legislations that guarantee equal opportunities in education, employment, housing, and health insurance. Examples of these include the 1990 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Disability Employment Initiatives, the 2009 Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, and the Fair Housing Act.
While these legal safety nets have provided individuals with Cerebral Palsy a valid framework upon which to function in society, education of the public on the unique needs of CP individuals must also be carried out. These laws and legislations will all be worthless if the American society itself is not fully aware of them.