Disability and rehabilitation

Community-based rehabilitation (CBR)

Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) was initiated by WHO following the Declaration of Alma-Ata in 1978 in an effort to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families; meet their basic needs; and ensure their inclusion and participation. While initially a strategy to increase access to rehabilitation services in resource-constrained settings, CBR is now a multisectoral approach working to improve the equalization of opportunities and social inclusion of people with disabilities while combating the perpetual cycle of poverty and disability. CBR is implemented through the combined efforts of people with disabilities, their families and communities, and relevant government and non-government health, education, vocational, social and other services.

What WHO is doing

In partnership with other UN agencies, WHO Collaborating Centres and other partners, WHO:

  • develops guidelines for CBR;
  • develops tools for collecting information about the difference CBR makes in the lives of people with disabilities;
  • develops training tools to equip CBR managers;
  • conducts regional and country workshops to promote CBR and to develop national or regional CBR strategies;
  • supports Member States to initiate or strengthen existing CBR programmes;
  • developed a CBR global database and network.

Related Links

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