Welcoming Differences with Cerebral Palsy

How to Be My Ally

March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and Channel 4 has just released a short film to help everyone understand what it means to have Cerebral Palsy. They also show how Cerebral Palsy differs between people who are affected and the different challenges that they face.

Abbie has hemiplegia which is a one-sided muscle paralysis which affects the left-hand side of her body. The type of Cerebral Palsy she has is non-visible which makes it quite difficult to manage sometimes.

Joe has spastic diplegia which causes muscle stiffness mainly in the legs and arms which affects his mobility and coordination. He tells an amusing story about his dance floor moves.

Images of Ellise, Abbie and Joe featured in the Channel 4 film Welcoming Differences with Cerebral Palsy


Ellise is non-verbal (this is her chosen terminology) and uses eye gaze technology to speak. She highlights that it is important not to assume that just because someone might look a certain way or can’t speak to you in the usual way doesn’t mean they can’t understand you. “Speak to us as you would anyone else”. 

The short film also shows that having a sense of humour can really help when it comes to understanding Cerebral Palsy. 

Image of Ellise Hayward featured in the Channel 4 film Welcoming Differences with Cerebral Palsy

Watch Welcoming Differences with Cerebral Palsy

Watch the short film.

Watch the British Sign Language (BSL) version of the short film.

Ellise Hayward Keynote Speaker at Communication Works 

We are delighted that Ellise Hayward featured in the short film will be our keynote speaker at our annual event Communication Works on Thursday 6 June 2024. Ellise has been spreading awareness about Cerebral Palsy ever since she left school in 2018 and has built a significant following on social media. She also works as an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Inclusion Ambassador and a Disabilities Correspondent at The Jill Dando News Centre and The Good News Post. She is a great role model, and we look forward to welcoming her. 

> Find out more about Communication Works and reserve your free ticket

Ellise Hayward with her dog on a picnic rug