Cheerleading — Scope | Disability forum
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Essential17 Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited December 2016 in Cerebral palsy

I'm a big fan of Scope's End The Awkward ads that support treating disabled people as equals, rather than trying to tiptoe around them. Just treating people with disabilities normally and realistically without patronising is something I've always tried to do my whole life, so was very happy to see the ads.

However, I saw a video recently that made me unsure what to feel and I hoped to get some other views on it.

it's a video of cheerleading where one cheerleader is in a wheelchair (with cerebral palsy I believe) and participates in the performance. I saw it posted on Facebook and everyone was sharing it and talking about how great it is they included her, etc. But it made me feel uncomfortable to watch the able cheerleaders pushing her body around.

The video is on Facebook here:

Is this patronising to her or disabled people in any way? Part of me almost wonders if, by putting her as such a central part of the performance, they've done it to appear equal to everyone else, rather than actually treating her equally. But if she's happy and smiling (she genuinely does look happy), should I support this? I hoped to get opinions and insight from those with more direct insight into physical disability. I'm currently conflicted on what to think about this, despite everyone else seeming to support it.



  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Essential17

    I am a huge fan of End The Awkward too, it's such a great campaign and it really got people talking!

    I just saw this post and thought it was really interesting, I hadn't seen the video before and your questions made me think.  

    I suppose the issue with videos like this is does it fall into that kind of 'inspiring' video that is made to make non-disabled people feel better about themselves?  I'm not sure, it's a personal thought process isn't it? 

    What do other people think?

    Senior online community officer
  • AllisonMcG
    AllisonMcG Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Wasn't aware of this video before now, I think the girl does look happy to be doing it, maybe its been an ambition of hers to be a cheerleader and this is why they done it? I dont know, but I think, if she did enjoy it, good on her, and good on the other girls and guy for helping with the moves. I personally would love to be able to do something like this but doubt that will ever happen, and at 40 im a lil old to be a cheerleader lol 
  • Essential17
    Essential17 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thanks for the input. I think you are right, if everybody is enjoying it then it's a good thing. 

    I still can get a bit of an icky feeling when people try too hard to include disability as a special treatment, rather than normalising it, but on reflection this is certainly not too bad.


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