- Brazilian Beneficent Association for Rehabilitation
We are a private non-governmental organization
with no profit ends.
1. Perspectives on Disability and Rehabilitation
Around the World
The activities related to rehabilitation of the
physically disabled people begun when social institutions,
family and medicine was no longer able to provide
to some specific health's demands. Such needs
appeared as a result of old fashioned concepts,
such as: there was no treatment for preventing
and/or recovering from impairments, and that health
service only meant medical treatment. The conceptual
changes, as well as practices started taking place
during the international rehabilitation movement
in the 1940's.
The rehabilitation of the physically disabled
has always been connected to the economical model
which promoted industrial development, labor rationing
and scientific advancement. Meanwhile, the number
of people who became physically disabled due to
wars, accidents at work, car accidents, chronic
and/or occupational diseases and disorders increased.
This economic force demanded for treatment procedures
from the rehabilitation programs that could reintegrate,
as well as integrate those individuals with possibilities
to add to the taskforce. In the 1940s, the rehabilitation
movement started gaining some amplitude and conquered
a series of specific legislative rights, changes
in the social welfare systems and in the hospital
and ambulatory services.
According to the World Health Organization, an
estimated 10% of the world's population - approximately
650 million people, of which 200 million are children
- experience some form of disability. The vast
majority of them, about 80%, live in developing
countries, where only 1% to 2% have access to
the necessary rehabilitation services.
Disability is both a cause and a consequence
of poverty. Health policies, programs and practices
impact on the rights of people with disabilities.
Most of the developmental initiatives ignore the
need of these people. The UN convention on the
rights of persons with disabilities emphasizes
the importance of mainstreaming disability issues
for sustainable development. Attention to health
and its social determinants are essential to promote
and protect the health of people with disabilities
and for greater fulfillment of human rights.
The most common disabilities are associated with
chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and
chronic respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes;
injuries, such as those due to road traffic crashes,
falls, landmines and violence; mental illness;
malnutrition; HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
The number of people with disabilities is growing
as a result of factors such as population growth,
ageing and medical advances that preserve and
prolong life. These factors are creating considerable
demands for rehabilitation services.
2. Perspectives on Disability and
Rehabilitation in Brazil
The most recent Brazilian census was conducted
in 2000. It found that 14.5% of the Brazilian
population, or about 24.5 million people, have
some degree of activity/functional limitation.
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics
(IBGE) reports that the 2000 census was compatible
with the International Classification of Functioning,
Disability and Health (ICF), which was released
in 2001 by the World Health Organization.
Among people with disabilities, visual impairments
predominate. About 48.1% had visual impairments,
8.3% had mental impairments, 4.1% had
physical impairments, 22.9% had mobility impairments,
and 16.7% had hearing impairments. Rates of mental
disabilities, physical disabilities, and hearing
disabilities were higher among men than among
People who suffer from physical disability resent
from a variety of neurosensorial conditions which
affect them in terms of mobility, body coordination
or speech as a result of nervous, neuromuscular
and ostheoarticular' damages, or even of congenital
or acquired mal-formation. Depending on the case,
people who have locomotion problems are able to
move independently themselves with the aid of
prostheses, wheelchairs or other assistive devices.
"When these people develop some kind of self-skills,
they are able to move themselves from one place
to another, manipulate objects, and be autonomous
and independent". (National Health Policy
for the Disabled - Secretary of Health Politics/Ministry
great admiration for the work you are doing and
with best wishes for the success of your plans
for the future."
Albert Sabin, physician and virologist,
developed the oral polio vaccine
Visited ABBR on nov/1963
3. ABBR's History
The Brazilian Beneficent Association for Rehabilitation
(ABBR), a non-profit organization founded
in 1954, had a critical role on the history
of rehabilitation of disabled people in this country.
August 5th, 1954 was the starting point
for the implementation of a new social-medical
assistance for disabled people in Brazil, for
which there was no specialized doctors and professionals
on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation able to
exercise the essential practices on this specialty.
On this day, the architect Fernando Lemos
and the businessman Percy Charles Murray congregated
a group of volunteers from the social elite of
the state around the noble ideal to provide a
different medical assistance for the disabled
people, which would involve all the modalities
of medical-social assistance, from physical independence
to remunerated employment.
This was the beginning of a New Era in Physical
Medicine & Rehabilitation practices in Brazil.
The first step taken towards this goal was
the creation of a pioneer graduate school for
Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists which
complied with the curriculum of the Rehabilitation
School of the University of Columbia, in New York.
ABBR's opening day was celebrated by the
President of Brazil, Juscelino Kubistchek, in
17th September, 1957.
The Physical Rehabilitation School and the
Rehabilitation Center was conceived under philanthropy
inspiration and with the concourse of gratuitous
doctors who, for decades and relentlessly, voluntarily
worked on forming several new professionals and
attended patients who lacked rehabilitation.
ABBR emerged from a never inhabited desert and for more than half a century of work welcomed over 400 thousand patients. Today, ABBR performs about 3,000 treatment sessions a day and welcomes approximately 1,600 patients daily.
In spite of the vast services already provided
for the community, ABBR, unrelentingly, continues
persisting on delivering even better services
to everyone who knocks on its door, and also continues
fighting with courage and much devotion to the
redemption of our citizens affected by mild or
serious disabilities. Its magnificent sole purpose
ABBR has been awarded with several Merit's Titles
and Diplomas, among of which The National Human
Rights Award - 1999, granted by the Ministry of
Justice and delivered by the President of Brazil
in December, 1999.
4. ABBR's Profile
Offer integrated physical rehabilitation services
to people from all ages with quality and social
responsibility, stimulating their potentials and
maximum independence for living life to the fullest
and with dignity.
Keep being recognized as a pioneer Rehabilitation
Center in Brazil, constantly seeking excellence
and promoting knowledge in a
_ Ethics and integrity in the relationship
with all public; _ Humanized care;
_ Transparency in our actions; _
_ Stimulate innovation; _
ABBR is a private, non-profit organization,
considered to be as of Municipal, State and Federal
Public Utility - similar to 501(c) - since 1957
and is recognized for all of its pioneer activities
in physical rehabilitation in Brazil as a National
Reference Center Institution. The institution
operates solely in the State of Rio de Janeiro
due to the multidisciplinary and integrality of
Services are provided to infants, toddlers,
young adults, adults and the elderly. About 70%
of our patients are from low income families.
5. Governance Structure
ABBR is a legally constituted, non-governmental
organization, created by the joining of ideals
and efforts of volunteered citizens who hold non-profitable
ABBR's statute was created by its founders
intended as a permanent guideline for the organization's
purpose and its formal governance and policies.
1. General Assembly - vote resolutions, elect
and dismiss members of the Board, approve the
annual work plan.
2. Board President - represents the Board
3. Board of Directors - monitor the organization's
4. Advisory Board - make recommendations to
the organization's operations
5. Fiscal Council - acts as an audit committee
These are non-remunerated members who voluntarily
dedicate part of their time and professional experience
to the organization. There is also a cooperative
group represented by voluntary women from the
high society we call "Legionnaires",
ABBR's chief executive officer is primarily responsible
to carry out the strategic plans and policies
as approved by the board of directors.
6. Rehabilitation Center Services
We are committed to delivering exceptional,
multi-disciplinary rehabilitation services to
enable physically disabled patients to reach their
maximum level of independence following injury
Our staff is formed by licensed professionals
with expertise in physical medicine and rehabilitation
committed to a humanized and individualized practice,
and their actions are always directed towards
the social inclusion of impaired individuals.
ABBR's Rehabilitation Center has
the following health care professionals:
Physiatrists; Orthopedists; Rheumatologists;
Neurologists; Sports Medicine Physicians; Physiotherapists;
Occupational Therapists; Speech Therapist; Psychologists;
Pedagogues; Music Therapists and Social Workers.
We offer the region's most comprehensive
range of physical rehabilitation services, including:
peripheral nerve injuries
Our broad range of services enables us to
treat patients of all ages with physical disabilities
spinal cord injuries
neuromuscular and skeletal disorders
At ABBR, social workers are an integral
part of the team, helping patients and their families
cope with the practical and emotional concerns
that accompany diagnosis and treatment of many
illnesses or disorders. Social workers interview
families to gather income information, counsel
families confronted with social and financial
difficulties, intervene in crisis situations,
provide information about public policies and
assist in discharge planning.
After being evaluated by our doctors, patients
are directed to one of our six Units of Treatment
to be cared by a multidisciplinary team of health
professionals who work integrated throughout patients'
7. Funding Sources
ABBR has been performing its activities,
implementing new routines, improving the quality
of services, repairing and fixing its premises,
acquiring material and equipment thanks to financial
donations received from all over the world.
ABBR's revenue comes from three distinctive
- Corporate and Individuals grants and contributions
- Health insurance companies and privately held
- Public Grants and Contracts*
* Public grants and government contracts are
not enough due to the high costs of treatment
and high demand from the community. Because most
services offered are destined to low income people
(those who cannot afford private services or health
insurance plans), the organization has a deficit
budget most of the time. Donations received are
solely destined to the maintenance of activities
and improvement of the premises.
ABBR is compliant to Regulatory Agencies
and Unions and keep management accounts controls
which include independent auditing services. Financial
statements are publicized in newspapers and affixed
on the bulletin boards throughout the institution.
8. Our Numbers
(last 3 years)
& PRODUCTS PROVIDED
at the Rehabilitation Center
Devices (prostheses, orthoses,
shoes, wheelchairs, etc.)
(last 3 years)
under treatment in the Rehabilitation
under treatment in the Rehabilitation
10. How To Contact Us
Address: Rua Jardim Botânico,
660 - Bairro Jardim Botânico - Rio de Janeiro
/ RJ - Brazil
Zip Code: 22461-000
Phone Number: (011) (55) (21)
3528-6363 / Fax: 2274-6942