For a brief power point introduction in ASL about CBR, click Catherine Johnson above.
A Short List of Resources on Community Based Rehabilitation
Helander, E. (1999). Prejudice and dignity: An introduction to community-based rehabilitation. (2nd ed.) New York: United Nations Development Program.
While working for WHO and UNDP, Helander wrote a book to describe and promote an innovative strategy under the name of community-based rehabilitation. In the book, he proposes to better mobilize the resources of the families and the solidarity of communities to help. He describes the challenges faced because of centuries of deeply rooted prejudice have to be overcome, a “new” technology built on indigenous experience has to be defined, adapted to the local cultures and available resources. Personnel has to be trained and appropriate service delivery and managerial systems be put in place to make the system sustainable.
International Labor Organization. (2008). Skills Development Through Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR). Available from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_emp/---ifp_skills/documents/publication/wcms_132675.pdf
The ILO has prepared this guide to good practice in skills development through community-based rehabilitation (CBR) as a contribution to defining how CBR can best be used as a strategy for poverty reduction among disabled people. The guide is a
contribution to the review of the past 25 years of CBR experience undertaken by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the ILO, UNESCO and many international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPOs), which aims to increase the effectiveness of CBR programs. It was developed on the basis of field visits carried out in selected countries of Africa, Asia and the Middle East in the framework of a project funded by the Government of Finland.
Loveday, M. (2006) The HELP Guide For Community Based Rehabilitation Workers: A Training Manual. Retrieved from http://www.global-help.org/publications/books/help_cbrehabilitation.pdf
This book is a guide to help community workers train local people how to administer physical therapy. The disabled population identified the people within the community they wanted to receive the training. The book is designed for someone with adequate medical knowledge, but it designed in such a way that it uses more of a dialogue format rather than a lecture format.
Werner, D. (2009). Disabled Village Children: A guide for community health workers, rehabilitation workers, and families.
Retrieved from http://www.dinf.ne.jp/doc/english/global/david/dwe002/dwe00201.html
This book contains a wealth of clear and detailed information, as well as easy-to-implement strategies for all who are concerned about the well being of children with disabilities. This manual, written especially for those who live in communities with limited resources, explains how to create small community rehabilitation centers and workshops run by either disabled people or the families of children with disabilities. More than 4000 drawings and 200 photos make Disabled Village Children understandable to all.
World Health Organization. (2010). CBR Guidelines. Retrieved on April 22, 2011, from
The book provides guidance on how to develop and strengthen CBR programs; promotes CBR as a strategy for community-based development involving people with disabilities; supports stakeholders to meet the basic needs and enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families; and encourages the empowerment of people with disabilities and their families.
Organizations Working in CBR
AfriCAN (Community based rehabilitation Africa Network). Retrieved April 22, 2011, from
AfriCAN is a non-profit organization that strives to offer a networking foundation in which other organizations or people can share their experiences with CBR and to allow information sharing about initiatives across Africa. The goal of organization is to more efficiently distribute relevant CBR information across Africa so that organizations can learn from each other, and learn how to better incorporate the CBR philosophy into their programs, thereby improving the quality of life for the person with a disability. This website tracks CBR programs throughout all of Africa by providing a directory for CBR organizations.
Christian Blind Mission. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from
Christian Blind Mission (CBM) seeks to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities by seeking to break down barriers that prevent them from being fully included into society. CBM models the CBR approach by working at the community level by providing education and training to the individual and the family to breakdown social and physical barriers and to support full inclusion on a person with disability into every aspect of life.
Perkins School for the Blind. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from
Perkins School for the Blind offers a community program that incorporates the CBR strategy by going to homes of their clients and providing necessary support. Each client is expected to be employed, active in the community and to identify local resources to help him or her meet their goal of living independently and as a valued member of society.
Mobility International USA. Retrieved April 22, 2011 from
This organization focuses on the empowerment of people with disabilities to achieve human rights through international exchange and development. Their goal is to ensure that people with disabilities are fully included and that the potential and contribution of people with disabilities are fully recognized and celebrated.
Handicap International. Retrieved April 22, 2011 from
This non-profit organization works with people with disabilities to ensure their full inclusion in education, sports, cultural activities, and employment. In general the organization offers assistance in the areas of: emergency, rehabilitation, health and prevention, inclusion, disability rights, and fights against landmines and cluster bombs.
Support for CBR
Turmusani, M. Vreede, A, & Wirz, S. L. (2002). Some ethical issues in community-based rehabilitation initiatives in developing countries. Disability and Rehabilitation. 24, (10), 558-564.
The article explores the current practices of CBR and supports the notion that the issues faced by the disabled population in developing countries are truly development issues.
Velema, J. P., Ebenso B., & Fuzikawa P. L. (2008). Evidence for the effectiveness of rehabilitation-in-the-community programmes. Leprosy Review, 79, (1), 65-82.
Twenty nine reports were examines from various countries to determine the effectiveness of CBR in different settings. It concluded that there were positive changes in all aspects.
Zambone, A. M., & Suarze, S. C. (Fall, 2010) The community based rehabilitation model. Rural Special Education Quarterly. 29, (3), 29-34.
The article highlights the benefits of the CBR model, and suggests that the structure should be applied in developed countries as well as developing countries.
Limitations of CBR
AIFO. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from http://www.aifo.it/english/resources/online/books/cbr/reviewofcbr/contents.htm
Great resources for reading about articles that challenge the CBR approach, positions papers from various organizations, and about the International Consultation on CBR that occurred in 2003.
Crishna, B. (1999). What is community-based rehabilitation? A view from experience. Child Care Health Development, 25, (1), 27-35.
This paper argues that CBR programs need to acknowledge the complexities of working in diverse communities in order to meet the needs of the people in developing countries.
Disabled People International. DPI Position Paper on Community Based Rehabilitation. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from http://www.dpi.org/lang-en/resources/topics_detail?page=53
Position paper that outlines reservations DPI has about the CBR approach.
Kassah, A. K. (1998). Community-based rehabilitation and stigma management by physically disabled people in Ghana. Disability Rehabilitation, 20, (2), 66-73.
This paper questions the importance of CBR because many people do not use the service due to stigma barriers. Begging is often seen as the quickest way to get help, and the disabled person can avoid stigmatizes environments and having to face those issues.
Vanneste, G. (2001). Disability World. Editorial: Community based rehabilitation: What is it? Retrieved on April 22, 2011, from http://www.disabilityworld.org/01-02_01/news/cbreditorial.htm
An editorial that takes a look at the variety of ways CBR is administered in Africa. Also discusses the pros and cons of the approach.
General Information on CBR
Disability World. Retrieved from April 22, 2011, http://www.disabilityworld.org/
This website has many articles and reports about CBR from various countries. Great clearing house of information related to CBR. You need to do a search for CBR to be directed to the list of articles.
United Nations Enable. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=238
The United Nations explains the relevance of Chapter 6 in the UNCPRD in regards to habilitation and rehabilitation.
World Council of Churches. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=238
A pdf file from the WCC that explains the concept of CBR and also discuss the social and cultural barriers faced by people with disabilities.
World Health Organization. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from http://www.who.int/disabilities/cbr/en/
The website offers a general description of the CBR approach.
CBR in Action
Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT). Retrieved on April 22, 2011, from http://www.ccbrt.or.tz/what-we-do/community-programmes/cbr/
A nonprofit organization in Tanzania that uses CBR to reach out the disabled population in the regions of Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro.
Deaf Friends International. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from http://www.deaffriendsinternational.org/cbr/
This website is useful for learning more about CBR programs happening all over the globe.
Health Wright. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from http://www.healthwrights.org/
Organization that is involved in many different initiatives. Also has a listing of CBR workshops.
International Disability and Development Consortium. Retrieved on April 22, 2011, from http://www.iddcconsortium.net/joomla/index.php/community-based-rehabilitation
This is a CBR task group that is trying to engage and standardize CBR globally with a strong focus on the human rights component.
Ojwang, V. & Hartwig, S. Community based rehabilitation training in Uganda: An overview. (Chapter 4). Retrieved on April 22, 2011, from http://www.asksource.info/cbr-book/cbr04.pdf
A pdf file that explains the requirements and training for CBR in Uganda.
Palestinian Medical Relief Society. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from http://www.pmrs.ps/last/etemplate.php?id=34
Provides a description of CBR work happening in Palestine. There are currently two CBR projects set up in Palestine and both cover a wide geographical area.
Social Assistance and Rehabilitation for Physically Vulnerable. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from http://cbrresources.org/Bangladesh/BangladeshCBR.html
Offers information about CBR programs in Bangladesh
UNESCAP. United Nations Economic and Social Conditions for Asia and the Pacific. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/disability/decade/publications/cbr.asp
Great resource for learning about the CBR programs offered in Asia. Offers a thorough overview of the CBR model.
Womens Development Center. Retrieved on April 22, 2011, from http://womendev.org/cbr-community-based-rehabilitation/
The first organization that offered CBR in Sri Lanka. Focuses on ensuring that mothers with disabled children have full access to resources.
Youtube Videos of CBR
Community Based Rehabilitation by Vikash. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9BJuFW6EEs
A video of a CBR program in India managed by Vikash, a leading NGO in India.
Community Based Rehabilitation Workshop In Peru. (2009). Part 1 and 2 by David Warner.
Retrieved on April 22, 2011, from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm47WLl7_6c (Part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm47WLl7_6c (Part 2)
Participants make assistive devices for disabled children.