In an ever-changing regulatory landscape, CPA is finding more innovative ways to improve the lives of people with cerebral palsy, the most common childhood physical disability in Australia.
Joshua O’Rourke, CPA’s head of Relationship Fundraising, says: “In the Not-for-Profit sector we are subject to the same market forces as any other industry and we, too, face disruptive threats and constrained resources. The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme has forced us to reshape our organisation to better meet the needs of our clients, who now have greater power of choice.”
CPA has focused on two major initiatives to help it adapt to a changing funding environment while delivering the best support possible.
In 2016 it launched Australia’s first disability tech accelerator program called Remarkable, designed to identify enterprises developing technologies that help people with disabilities. The program was launched with support from the Telstra Foundation and the Department of Family and Community Services.
“There are a lot of smart people with brilliant ideas who need help to get to the next level,” says Remarkable founder and program manager Peter Horsley.
“Remarkable helps these enterprises with start-up capital, co-working spaces, mentoring and coaching, as well as providing access to investor networks.”
Another focus is research and development. CPA has established the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation to fund the best Australian and international research into prevention, treatment and ultimately a cure for cerebral palsy.
In addition, CPA has established the Ainsworth Chair of Technology and Innovation at the University of Sydney. Professor Alistair McEwan was appointed to the role in 2017 and will focus on harnessing advanced technology and innovation to accelerate the search for better treatments and interventions for childhood disabilities.
“The CPA Research Foundation also runs a global open grants program that has delivered more than $30 million to researchers over the past 10 years. Essentially, we want to put ourselves out of business by preventing cerebral palsy or developing a cure," Prof McEwan says.