Helping kids with cerebral palsy to connect

By Gabriel Maciel
Cerebral Palsy Alliance, NSW

Young people with cerebral palsy (CP) are at a high risk of social isolation and developing feelings of loneliness and low self esteem.

To help prevent this we run a mentoring program that matches teenagers with CP with a volunteer adult mentor to encourage meaningful friendships.

We want to extend the mentoring program and apply it in an electronic format for youths in remote areas who are isolated and cannot commute the city.

The Telstra Everyone Connected grant enabled us to pilot an online platform for the mentoring program to be implemented on.

A group of youths with CP developed and launched the pilot mentoring program.

They were given information sessions on marketing and branding as well as tools to develop their computer skills.

Ten iPads with twelve months of prepaid broadband credit were also be supplied to youths in regional areas so they can be involved in the program.

The online community matched participants with suitable mentors based on their goals and allowed them to talk face to face over the internet, engage in online discussions and participate in the online network.

We hope to increase the confidence of young people with CP by providing them with a place to be connected to other like minded people.



Cerebral Palsy Alliance supports children and adults with cerebral palsy (CP) in NSW and the ACT. Through a range of services it aims to foster community participation and skills development in individuals with CP. For eight years Cerebral Palsy Alliance has been running its mentoring program to help increase the independence of young people with CP and to build their self confidence.

Location: Sydney, NSW

Target: ten young people with CP

Duration: 2013 – 2014

Outcome: An online mentoring program for youths with cerebral palsy

More Information:



In 2012, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Telstra Foundation made 100 Everyone Connected grants to community groups to improve digital inclusion by connecting disadvantaged children and young people to the internet, building their online skills and promoting cyber safety.