Parent Advocacy and Attitudes Towards Cerebral Palsy in the Mid-20th Century

  • Free
  • Discussion
  • Speech-to-text
  • British Sign Language
Photograph of a tablet on a white desk. The tablet screen shows a photographic portrait of Dr Teresa Hillier. On the desk there are a number of objects including a teapot, jam-jars, a plant and a vase. The wall behind the desk is painted dark blue.
Exploring Research Seminar with Dr Teresa Hillier, Photo: Kathleen Arundell. Portrait: Steven Pocock. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

What you’ll do

Join Dr Teresa Hillier to hear how parents of children born with cerebral palsy in the mid-20th century took action to confront how educational inequality disadvantaged their children.

You will learn how the medical classification of cerebral palsy as a specific condition was imprecise, resulting in children often being summarily denounced as ‘ineducable’.  

The talk reveals how emotive language and imagery were used in a nationwide campaign to raise the profile of cerebral palsy. Its success inadvertently led to individuals being portrayed as one homogenous group within popular culture. 

This perception has overshadowed the positive contributions made by parents and organisations to the improvement in knowledge and practice relating to cerebral palsy.

About your speaker

Dr Teresa Hillier

Teresa Hillier obtained her PhD from Swansea University in 2020, examining the formation of parent-advocacy groups established in the mid-20th century that campaigned on behalf of children with cerebral palsy. She is currently researching the wider influences of individuals who made significant contributions to a greater understanding of cerebral palsy.



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Need to know

Guaranteed (online)

Booking a ticket guarantees you entry to the online event. You will be given joining instructions in your confirmation email. If you have any access requests or requirements, for example a transcript of the event, email us at or call 020 7611 2222.


This event will have live speech-to-text transcription which may be useful for people who are D/deaf, hard of hearing, deafened or neurodiverse. The text will be embedded in the event video window and ticketholders will also receive a link to open subtitles in a separate window.

British Sign Language

This event is British Sign Language interpreted. An interpreter will be embedded in the event stream/visible to all attendees and will interpret what is discussed into BSL for d/Deaf, hard of hearing and deafened attendees.

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