Cerebral Palsy Beer Raises Disability Awareness
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A disability organization in Gothenburg, Sweden is giving out bottles of Cerebral Palsy-themed beer as a reward to restaurants and bars that are handicap-accessible. The beer bottles feature a stylized label of a woman with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair, which some have deemed offensive. But the Gothenburg Cooperative for Independent Living (GIL), who launched the beer campaign, isn't worried about offending people. “We like to cause a stir and make people react and create feelings,” says Anders Westgerd of the GIL. “Disabled people are marginalized in media and hence you have to do something non-traditional to create feelings and make people angry." The idea behind the CP beers—described by makers as “one that everyone will want to stock in their bars”—is that if bars want to stock the label, they will first have to make accommodations for the disabled. The campaign was meant to highlight the lack of enforcement of a 2010 law requiring all establishments be handicap-friendly. So far, the beer has been so well-received, they have brewed 500 gallons of it. “We're a disability organization and we haven't decided yet whether we want to branch out into being a full-time beer maker too,” says Westgerd. This isn't the first time the cooperative has used controversial methods to raise handicap awareness: a previous campaign featured “retard dolls” meant to send the message that people should stop treating cerebral palsy sufferers like "babies" and speak to them like normal people.