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Can cerebral palsy be prevented or cured?

We don't know enough yet about how and why CP happens to cure or prevent it. However, because of improvements in medical care before and during birth, fewer babies have been born with certain types of CP.  Ongoing research, particularly around prematurity where the incidence of CP is high, is helping to reduce the level of brain and lung damage and visual impairment.

How can you help my organisation improve in relation to disability equality?

We provide a variety of services to organisations including Disability Equality Training, User Led Access Audits, Consultation and Involvement Events, Mystery Shopping and general consultancy services.  You can get more information by contacting our advice service on 0131 313 5510 or

How many people have experienced hate crime?

Approximately half the disabled people (47%) who responded to the survey by Capability Scotland and the Disability Rights Commission had experienced hate crime because of their disability.

How many people told someone about a hate crime attack?

According to Capability Scotland's survey 90% of respondents had told someone about the attack, with family or friends the most likely people to be informed.  40% of those who had been frightened or attacked informed the police.

I had a community care assessment but I am not happy with what it says. What can I do?

You should speak to the social work department to discuss what you are unhappy about.  You can ask for a meeting to discuss what services you feel you need and can take someone with you who knows your situation.  If you are still not satisfied, then your council should have an official complaints procedure you can use.

I have recently become disabled and want to know what benefits I can get?

There are different benefits you may be able to claim depending on your circumstances such as whether or not you are able to work, what age you are and whether you have difficulty walking or moving around or are not able to care for yourself.  It can be helpful to speak to someone about your circumstances and get advice about what benefits to claim.  Contact the Advice Team on 0131 313 5510or email: for more information.

My child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Who can I talk to about this?

You will probably have many questions about cerebral palsy and particularly about your child.  Your doctor and health visitor will be able to answer many of these questions.  However you may want to talk to other parents who have children with CP.  Contact a Family has a website: where families of disabled children or adults, their friends or disabled adults themselves can contact others with a similar disability, or other disabled people from the same area.

Carers Centres have support groups for carers.  You can find your local centre on

You can contact Capability's advice team on 0131 313 5510 or whether you just want to talk or if you want more information about CP.

What are my responsibilities in relation to disability equality as an organisation?

The Equality Act replaced the old Disability Discrimination Act in October 2010.  The Equality Act places a variety of responsibilities on you as an employer and as a service provider.   To get more information contact

What are my rights in relation to disability equality as a disabled person?

The Equality Act replaced the old Disability Discrimination Act in October 2010.  However you still have the right not to be discriminated against and for reasonable adjustments to be made.  You can phone our advice service to find out more on 0131 313 5510 or

What are the different types of Cerebral Palsy?

The type of CP depends on which area of the brain is most affected.  There are 3 types of CP:

Spastic CP - this is the most common form of CP.  "Spastic" means "stiff" and people with this type of CP have tightness or stiffness and weakness in some muscles.  This causes degrees of difficulty in moving the body, which may be mild or severe.

Ataxic or hypertonic CP - people with ataxic CP experience problems with balance and co-ordination.  This is due to difficulty in controlling movements of the trunk, head, legs and arms.

Dyskinetic cerebral palsy (dyskinesia) - Sometimes referred to as dystonic, athetoid or coreoathetoid CP. Present in about 15% of people with CP. People with dyskinetic cerebral palsy experience uncontrolled, involuntary sustained or intermittent muscle contractions as the tone of the muscle can change from floppy and loose (hypotonia) to tight with slow, rhythmic twisting movements. The whole body can be affected resulting in difficulties maintaining an upright position. Speech can be hard to understand as there may be difficulty controlling the tongue, breathing and vocal chords.

The blue badge scheme provides parking concessions for people with severe mobility difficulties who travel either as drivers or passengers. 

Local authorities issue blue badges. If you think you may be entitled to one, contact your local council or social work department to make an application. 

The Blue Badge scheme is also recognised by European Union member states and some other European countries.  Blue Badge holders are entitled to the same parking concessions that are given to disabled people in those countries. 
A leaflet describing the concessions in each country is available to download from the Department of TransportEuropean Parking Card for People with Disabilities - How and Where to Use it. Hard copies of the leaflet can be ordered from the Scottish Executive Development Department, Transport Division 2, Area 2-D, Victoria Quay, Leith, Edinburgh. EH6 6QQ. Tel: 0131 244 0860. Email:
What are the headline statistics in relation to disability equality?

There are around one million disabled people and people with a long term illness or health problem in Scotland.

Only 10% of disabled people in Scotland use a wheelchair.

Disabled people are more than twice as likely to have no qualifications as non-disabled people - 23 % of working age disabled people do not have any formal qualifications compared to 9 per cent of working age non disabled people.  

When looking for work, disabled people make an average of two and a half times as many job applications as non-disabled people but get fewer jobs.

The average gross hourly pay of disabled employees is about 10% less than non-disabled employees.

Nearly half of households with disabled members have an annual income of £10,000 or less, compared to just over a quarter of households with no disabled members. 

People with learning difficulties are 58 times more likely than non-disabled people to die before the age of 50 (for a reason unrelated to their impairment)

1 in 4 people in Scotland will experience a mental health problem in their lives.  
Although 80% of people with mental health problems want to work, only about 20% with severe mental health problems, and about 50% of those with less serious problems, are in paid employment.

Only 50 percent of disabled people of working age are in employment compared to 80 percent of non-disabled people of working age. Labour Force Survey, May 2009. 

76% of disabled people with a higher education qualification are in employment, compared with 90% of non-disabled people. Of those with no qualification, 23% of disabled people are in employment compared with 60% of non-disabled people.

The incidence of disability increases with age. Around one in 20 children are disabled, compared to around one in seven working age adults and almost half of people over state pension age.  About 33 per cent in the 50 to retirement age category are disabled.  

The estimated annual purchasing power of disabled people is £80 billion. 
An accessible website can increase a company's UK market audience by more than 17%, and boosts traffic because it will be indexed more efficiently by search engines.

What can I do if I have been the victim of a hate crime?

You should contact your local police and tell them about the incident.  If however you are reluctant to contact the police yourself, then there are 3rd party reporting centres with staff who can help you with this.   You can find a list of centres on Police Scotland's website: You can also submit a report yourself through Police Scotland's website.

What causes cerebral palsy?

CP is caused by damage to one of the parts of the developing brain which controls and organises a person's movement and posture.  Because of this messages between the body and brain are "scrambled".  The damage to the developing brain can happen before, during or after birth and it is usually diagnosed before the age of three.  There are other causes which include: the baby's brain not forming properly; lack of oxygen before, during or after birth or damage during delivery; a genetic disorder which can be inherited; an infection in the mother during the first few weeks of the baby's development in the womb; an infection (eg meningitis) contracted after birth; an accident such as a car crash, causing head injury (this is known as acquired CP).

What is a community care assessment?

If you are disabled and are finding it hard to manage at home, you can ask for a community care assessment from your council's social work services department. A community care assessment is a review of your personal circumstances and needs where they will ask you questions such as how you manage with household tasks, your ability to wash and dress independently.  They can then recommend help or equipment that might make life easier for you.

What is meant by a hate crime?

Hate Crime against disabled people happens when the perpetrator of the offence is motivated by their prejudice towards disabled people. Other crimes, such as theft or assault, can also be aggravated by prejudice against the victim's disability.