Guidelines on Community-based Rehabilitation for PWDs

WHO releases guidelines on community-based rehabilitation for people with disabilities

New document offers practical ways to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families

27 October 2010, Geneva/Abuja: Launched today in Abuja, Nigeria, the Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) guidelines provide practical suggestions to programme managers on how to develop or strengthen community-based programmes that are inclusive of people with disabilities and their families.

Many people with disabilities have limited or no access to health care and rehabilitation, education, skills training, and employment opportunities. This contributes to a vicious cycle of poverty and disability.

Community-based rehabilitation is a strategy for the equalization of opportunities and social integration of all children and adults with disabilities. It is implemented through the combined efforts of disabled people, their families and communities, and representatives of the appropriate health, education, vocational and social sectors.

"The Community-based rehabilitation guidelines provide an important additional tool to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and strengthen community based development involving people with disabilities," said Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the WHO Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability Department.

Development and implementation of the guidelines

WHO, ILO, UNESCO and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), notably CBM, Handicap International, the Italian Association Amici di Raoul Follereau, Light for the World, the Norwegian Association of Disabled and Sight savers – have worked closely together to develop the guidelines. In addition, more than 180 individuals and nearly 300 organizations, the majority from low-income and middle-income countries, have been involved.

The guidelines are based on a new CBR matrix which includes five components - health, education, livelihood, social and empowerment - each with their corresponding elements. CBR programme implementers can select, based on local needs and priorities, which components and elements to implement. The guidelines strongly encourage the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities and their families in all decision-making processes.

WHO will provide technical support to member states to facilitate the implementation of the guidelines and ensure they reach a wide audience. In addition WHO will support the development of a training package, facilitation of "train-the-trainer" programmes, strengthening of regional CBR networks, and the development of a global CBR network.

To access the WHO Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) guidelines click here