Cerebral palsy has traditionally been understood as a childhood impairment that remains static across the life course.
Dr Sonali Shah is challenging this assumption through her research which is exploring how women experience cerebral palsy across the life course, (adolescence, adulthood and older life) including the embodied changes they encounter as they grow older. This research is particularly timely since women with cerebral palsy are increasingly surviving into older life.
The Research Project
As part of this innovative research, Dr Sonali Shah has conducted qualitative interviews with girls and women to explore access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for women and girls with cerebral palsy.
After participating in the interviews, five of the women agreed to be part of a short film where they describe their experiences of sexual and reproductive healthcare discussing what worked for them and what could be improved.
Dr Shah hopes their experiences will support medical professionals in overcoming the structural and cultural barriers to sexual and reproductive healthcare services for women with cerebral palsy.