Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation Awards Crucial Grants

Thu 16 Jan 2020

NEW YORK — Cerebral Palsy Alliance Foundation (CPARF) is proud to announce the award of nearly $16,000 in funding to its 2019 Small-Grant Cohort. The winning grants fund critical researcher training, equipment, and travel to several underserved nations to help treat people with cerebral palsy (CP) and assist their families.

CPARF funds research that will change the lives of people with CP, a disability that affects 18 million people globally.

Each member of the 2019 Small-Grant Cohort advances CPARF’s mission in a tailored way. A training grant will support Dr. Susanne Martin Herz of University of California, San Francisco, as she learns how to administer the General Movements Assessment to diagnose CP quickly and prescribe vital early intervention therapies. She will share her experience with pediatricians in low- and middle-income countries and guide US-based pediatricians, leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment.

A small equipment grant will enable Northeastern University’s Dr. Danielle Levac to set up a mobile virtual reality (VR) lab to understand how children with CP learn new movement skills in VR, as well as how they can transfer these skills to real environments. The lab’s mobility will help them reach more children than they ever have before.

CPARF’s travel grants will take researchers to Malawi, Belize, and Zimbabwe. Katherine Herman and Juliette Schmidli of Otis College of Art and Design will teach caregivers in Malawi to use Appropriate Paper-Based Technology — affordable, templated, corrugated cardboard chairs that support children with CP so that they can sit upright, strengthen weakened muscles, and increase eye contact and social interaction as they observe their surroundings from a new perspective.

Dr. Margaret Cristofalo of Seattle University will visit the Children’s Rehabilitation Unit (CRU) in Zimbabwe to study how caregivers experience raising children with developmental disabilities. She will identify ways to improve long-term outcomes for children with CP and strengthen quality of life for their families. She will support interventions for these children, ensure that their caregivers give appropriate, effective care, and help support research at the CRU.

Long Island University’s Dr. Nia Mensah will lead occupational and physical therapy students as they treat children with disabilities on a life-changing spring break trip to Belize — a country with nearly 400,000 people that currently has no occupational therapists and only one physical therapist.

CPARF will announce its Large-Grant Cohort later this year.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation won’t stop until people with CP can live pain-free, until they can live the lives they envision for themselves, and until they can express what’s on their mind and be understood even when they can’t communicate verbally. As the only organization in the world solely focused on CP research, CPARF is poised to reshape the disability landscape. We’re poised to make breakthroughs. We are poised to change lives.
To learn more about CPARF’s funded research projects, visit www.cparf.org or contact info@cparf.org.

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