NOT SO DISABLED NOW
When 17 year-old Hope got in touch with CP Teens UK, she asked if a campaign could be run that showcased the talents and skills of young disabled people. Hope, who has Cerebral Palsy, felt that often, people see her disability before they see her as a person. Hope wanted people to start to see the person rather than the disability and came up with the campaign name 'Not So Disabled Now'.
In the first ever campaign for CP Teens UK, we featured some wonderful stories of young disabled people showcasing their talents, skills and hobbies with the aim of challenging perceptions and stereotypes.
Hope is 17 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. She is a Scuba Diver and has achieved her PADI Open Water Diving Qualification, despite being told that this was something she could not do.
Hope says, "Water makes me forget about my disability because everyone is able to do the same thing."
"It has given me a positive stubbornness to prove people wrong when I know I can do something."
Olivia is 10-years-old and has Diaplegic Cerebral Palsy.
Olivia has recently been on a modelling shoot and now dreams of becoming a model!
Aside from Olivia's modelling, she is also a keen dancer, a horse rider and a cheerleader!
Abbie is 15-years-old and has a muscle wasting disease as well as Spinal Syrinx, meaning that she uses a wheelchair.
Abbie is a top Wheelchair Tennis athlete. She has represented England and has won Gold in both Singles & Doubles events at the National School Games. Abbie has also been recently selected to represent Great Britain!
Alongside Wheelchair Tennis, Abbie also does Wheelchair Racing.
Abbie says, "I love sport. No matter what the disability, there is a sport out there for you. I can simply be ME!...
...I am not ruled by my disability, I am empowered by it."
Josh is 12-years-old and has Right Sided Hemiplegia (Cerebral Palsy) and Epilepsy. Josh is a Wheelchair Tennis Athlete after going to watch the Wheelchair Tennis British Open in 2016 - he hasn't looked back since!
Josh plays 4 times a week and trains twice a week at Loughborough University, once a week at Nottingham Tennis Centre and once a week at Ilkeston Tennis Club.
In Josh's first tournament at Loughborough University, he won the doubles title alongside his friend. Josh has represented England at the National School Games
Josh says that "no doubt Wheelchair Tennis has become my life's passion".
"Wheelchair Tennis gives me the opportunity to be confident about myself without limitations. I can dream to make it to the top, just like any other boy who might dream of being a Premier League Football Player. I am no different - I am me!".
Ella is 15-years-old and has Cerebral Palsy. Ella is a Boccia Athlete - she started the sport at school when she was just 6-years-old.
Ella loves Boccia because it is something that she has complete control over - she is able to have self-direction and can make improvements with practice.
Recently, Ella won a Bronze medal for the first time outside of the school environment.
Ella says, "This sport gives me self-esteem, a focus and I am proud of myself.".
Ella is aiming for the Paralympics and we wish her all the best!
Bailey is 10-years-old and has Cerebral Palsy as well as Epilepsy.
Bailey loves cycling and attends a balance ability class every Monday. She started the balance classes in 20l7 - she had ridden a specialised trike for a number of years and wanted to learn how to ride a standard bike.
Bailey says she enjoys cycling because "it gives me independence and I like to be active".
"I’m most proud of myself for working really hard and pushing myself to being able to ride a bike. It’s something we never thought I’d be able to do so I am so happy and proud."
Kitty is 16-years-old and has Athetoid Cerebral Palsy.
Kitty is a budding author and enjoys writing short stories. She first started writing around 5 years ago in 2013 and in 2017, Kitty won a Jane Austen competition for her writing.