Our Story

Cropped — Girl With Walker

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation (CPARF) funds US-based research to change what’s possible for people with cerebral palsy, implements proven science, empowers people through education, and advances technology benefiting all disabled people worldwide.

CP is the most common lifelong physical disability in the world, affecting 1 million people in the US and 18 million people worldwide. It’s a diverse disability that demands a diverse research portfolio, and we steadfastly support research that serves the whole community. We start at Day One with the earliest interventions to potentially lessen CP’s severity or prevent the injury that causes it. We keep going with science that will make it more comfortable for children to get the therapies they need. We continue with research that will uncover new chronic pain treatments for adults. We proudly champion research for every age and every stage.


In the US, CP research is currently trapped in a cycle of chronic underinvestment that stifles innovation. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) only allocates around $28 million to CP research annually of their $41.7 billion annual budget, despite CP’s high prevalence and exceptionally high lifelong economic burden. Approximately one in 323 babies is diagnosed with CP each year, and related average lifetime costs exceed $1.2 million per person. Less common disabilities with lower lifetime costs receive exponentially more NIH funds than CP, leading to more research for those conditions.

CPARF will change that through strategic funding directed to five research priorities:

  • Adulthood
  • Chronic Pain
  • Early Detection & Early Intervention
  • Genomics
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Technology

We have given out US-based grants totaling $44.4 million to date and robust private funding will help us attract the brightest researchers and advance promising science to the critical clinical trial stage. Research is the crucial first step that involves scientists investigating topics important to the CP community. No matter what research priority the science focuses on, the information uncovered and published in this process can be life-changing. The research outcomes often result in opportunities for innovation and implementation projects.


The innovators and entrepreneurs we support make everyday life easier for people with cerebral palsy and all disabilities. They create technologies that make it easier to move, lessen movement-induced fatigue, enable independent gripping, and more. Learn more about the innovations we fund.


Implementation, in its simplest form, means taking further action. We will bring research from published pages to the people, continue forward with findings, and ensure that we close the gap between proven science and its active use in practice.


Your generosity means we can do even more. When you support our research, innovation, and implementation initiatives, you will change lives — and you will bring science to life to change what’s possible for people with cerebral palsy.