Disability Services

Overcoming physical, academic, and social barriers

The journey to Villanova has not been an easy one for two students with cerebral palsy. Throughout their lives, they have worked hard to prove that initial assumptions about their disability are incorrect. This film seeks to change the way people see ability.

A mutually life-changing experience

Student filmmakers share the compelling story of two Villanova students with cerebral palsy, while forming friendships and gaining insight into the struggles that these young men face every day.

Villanova basketball gives students with cerebral palsy a chance

Two students with cerebral palsy learn what it feels like to be part of a team through their involvement with the men’s and women’s basketball at Villanova University.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy, commonly abbreviated as CP, is a term used to describe a wide range of disorders affecting the muscles of the body. The cause of this disorder comes from poor brain development or damage to the brain. This usually occurs during pregnancy or during birth. Diagnosis is usually made during infancy when delayed neurological development becomes apparent. Severity varies on an individual basis. A severe form of cerebral palsy is spastic CP, which often occurs in cases caused by damage to the cerebral cortex. Spastic CP results in random muscle contraction. Ataxic CP is another common form of the disorder. In Ataxic CP, the cerebellum is damaged and consequently balance and coordination are hindered. Since people with CP have limited control of movement, they are often confined to wheelchairs. Many individuals do not have the ability to speak or write which severely limits their ability to communicate. Learning disabilities and other cognitive issues can also be present.