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What is the ICPS?
The International Cerebral Palsy Society (ICPS) is an international organisation, which has about 140 members in 49 countries. It was founded in Great Britain in 1969. Among the members there are some 35 national disability (CP) and parent organisations and 15 institutions or other professional organisations dealing with CP. The rest of the members are individuals with an interest in cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy world wide
Although great advances have been made in the social acceptance and development of services for people with CP and their families in many countries, others still lag behind, or have not yet even reached the starting post. Levels of understanding, development and capability vary enormously from country to country. There is no set pattern of development and the outcome is often unpredictable. But because ICPS has such a unique worldwide resource in the expertise of its membership, it can call upon them to advise and assist in almost any situation
One very important part of the work of ICPS is seminars. A country has usually written to ICPS saying they wished to hold a jointly run seminar. ICPS has always asked the organisers what subject they want to discuss and what they hope to achieve with the meeting. The subject matter is therefore chosen by the host country since it is usually a subject of great interest/concern to them and ICPS assistance is to be able to suggest appropriate speakers/experts to take part. Administration is usually undertaken by the host country and ICPS is able to support, offer advice and produce expertise where needed. In the same way there have been countries/organisations in different parts of the world which had approached ICPS for help. The host country has been asked to identify its needs and say how they think the problems might be solved. It is important always to emphasise that ICPS does not know the answers but is willing to sit down and listen, look and learn before planning together the project. In that way it has been possible to develop fruitful projects to help the situation in different countries.
The European organisation members of ICPS form a coalition called CP-ECA. It is an active member of EDF (European Disability forum). That means also that it works on the field of disability policy in Europe. It is very important to keep in discussion the ideas and needs of also those people, who have severe disabilities.
ICPS has been founded to promote the rights and welfare of people with cerebral palsy and related disorders, to provide a network for people with CP, parents and professionals to exchange and share the expertise, to encourage new developments in all fields concerned with CP and research into its prevention and to promote co-operation and understanding and the exchange of information. Having an worldwide organisation is important in order to develop new expertise and to share it with each others. It is also important that we can hear from each others, how the services have been arranged. Through an organisation like ICPS we can also help people with CP in other countries, especially in less developed countries. In this work we need everybody.
ICPS also has close links with the European Academy of Childhood Disability, EACD, having a parent member on the EACD Board.
Jack M. Weinstein
PO Box 2530
Sag Harbor, New York 11963