New guidelines for inclusive development

Will promote involvement of people with disabilities and will enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities


Jasleen Kaur | December 10, 2010

The WHO Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) guidelines for the disabled were released in Delhi on Friday at a national seminar of CBR India network, aimed at creating a more inclusive atmosphere in development.

The guidelines, a joint collaboration of World Health Organization (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), have an objective to promote participation and involvement of the people with disabilities.

The new guidelines are aimed to empower persons with disabilities by supporting their inclusion in health, education, employment, social, skills training and other community services. These were first launched during the fourth CBR Africa conference in Nigeria.

The guidelines will provide guidance on how to develop and strengthen CBR programmes. It will promote CBR as a strategy for community-based development involving people with disabilities and will support stakeholders to meet the basic needs and enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families.

Major general (Retd.) Ian Cardozo, Chairman of Rehabilitation Council of India said, “Participation of disabled should be matter of choice and not chance. And the society has to facilitate that choice.”

The old CBR guidelines were only focusing on the medical aspect of the disabled. But now it talks about the societal barriers and the environment which hinders the person with disability from participation, said Sara Varughese, programme manager (disability and rehabilitation) WHO.

She added, “These guidelines are an important tool to strengthen community. It is a path breaking document which highlights the cross sector collaboration. The key is to work together and establish linkage between them all.”

Dr. H C Goyal, Addl. Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and family welfare said the ministry too is working towards inclusive approach. He said, “The doctors at Public Health centers will soon be trained through a post graduate course developed by the Rehabilitation Council of India. It is to ensure that doctors can do some justice with the patient who are disabled.”

As per a national sample survey 75percent of people with disabilities reside in the rural areas whereas all services for their education, health and employment are mostly available in the urban areas. Also, the national statistics shows that the employment rate of disabled is 34%. Experts believe these guidelines will help in improving the current situation.



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