An advocate for access, for all

As a child Tomas Lagerwall paid a visit to a “cripple center” in his native Sweden. “I remember seeing all those people sitting in wheelchairs doing nothing,” said Lagerwall, secretary general of Rehabilitation International, a network of more than 230 organizations in 90 countries devoted to promoting the rights of the disabled.

But over the years attitudes toward people with disabilities have changed, Lagerwall said at a talk at the School of Public Health in January. The 19th-century notion of institutionalizing them fell by the wayside as people with disabilities became more independent and capable of negotiating the outside world. “Today we talk about disability rights and an inclusive society,” Lagerwall said.

To that end Rehabilitation International is promoting a UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities as well as community-based rehabilitation (CBR), which provides cost-effective programs in developing countries where at least three-quarters of those with disabilities live. “The CBR concept is that two-thirds of the rehabilitation work can be done at the local level, with local staff. It does not have to be very costly.


Other On Campus


From pigs, the possibility of replacement tissue

From pigs, the possibility of replacement tissue

With donor organs unavailable for most of the 80,000 people awaiting transplants in the United...

Read more...


In medicine, a spiritual crisis

In medicine, a spiritual crisis

Medical science has, in the last century and a half, permitted miracles unimaginable in the day of...

Read more...


Giving names to the dead in the wake of 9/11

Giving names to the dead in the wake of 9/11

As the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York City began processing the victims of 9/11,...

Read more...

Download on the Apple App Store