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In this article we will look at a selection of aids and equipment that help people with cerebral palsy (CP) to be mobile and to communicate effectively. This equipment helps people worldwide to lead independent lives.
Some devices that improve mobility for CP sufferers include bicycles, tricycles, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters. Walkers and crutches are essential to help CP sufferers get into and about offices and buildings. They also provide some exercise to keep the body healthy. If they have to travel longer distances, a wheelchair might be a better option.
Types of Wheelchairs for Cerebral Palsy
Manual wheelchairs are the least expensive. Power wheelchairs are a good choice if the CP patient has limited mobility in any of their limbs. For those with milder CP who want to live an active lifestyle, sports wheelchairs are great options.
People with CP who want a more rigorous form of exercise can use custom built bikes and tricycles. These types of devices improve the movement of existing muscles, while not omitting exercising other body parts. Additional long-term advantages include a stronger immune system and better physical well-being.
Some countries have special scooters that are designed to travel longer distances, and CP users don't have to rely on public transit. Of course this will be dependent on favorable weather conditions.
There are also devices to help those with CP communicate more effectively. They have symbol boards that use vision or pointing as opposed to speech, electronic voice synthesizers to convert sounds into understandable words. There are also head sticks for those with CP who use computers but have difficulty using their fingers.
Assistant Devices for Indoor Use
Other equipment that can help CP sufferers with their day to day life includes electronic door openers in their home along with special eating utensils. Buildings are more accessible than ever before and transportation systems are more ergonomic and user friendly to people with disabilities. They will include automatic doors, accessible bathrooms and wheelchair-friendly ramps.
The educational environment should be set up to build stronger relationships and friendships with one's peers. These skills are essential for people with CP who enter the work force to develop good relationships so that they can contribute positively to the whole society.
There are still areas where physical and social barriers need to be broken down for people with CP, but technology has advances enough to allow those with CP to live independent productive lives at home and at work.