Disabled Village Children

    Disabled Village Children

    David Werner  |  2022


    Select format:
    Filled with clear and detailed information along with easy-to-implement strategies, Disabled Village Children is for anyone interested in the well-being of children with disabilities, especially those living in communities with limited resources. The English edition has recently been updated to reflect changes in how we talk about disability, and to include new information on burn rehabilitation, prevention of contractures, and seizures and epilepsy. Also available in Spanish.

    “With a little help, encouragement, and freedom, a child with disabilities can often become her own best therapist.”

    Disabled Village Children

    Disabled Village Children focuses on community-based rehabilitation, which respects the knowledge, skills, and resources in a community to create programs to support people with disabilities. This manual covers identifying primary and secondary disabilities, developing skills for daily living, and working through behavior problems. It also discusses how to help communities become more involved in supporting children with disabilities. This book clearly illustrates concepts with hundreds of drawings and photos, and is easily accessible and understandable. 

    Readers will find instructions on how to build six different wheelchairs using local resources; useful therapy techniques, such as making fun and educational toys; ideas for improving playground accessibility for all children; and low-cost rehabilitation aids and adaptations for home and community. 

    Have you used Disabled Village Children or other Hesperian materials in your work? Share your experiences with us!

    View Sample Pages

    Table of Contents (PDF)

    Chapter 4: Examining and Evaluating the Disabled Child (PDF)

    Praise for Disabled Village Children

    "At the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii, we use Disabled Village Children to teach teachers and family members how to support the related services needs of children with severe disabilities... The book works well for us because it supports simple English with wonderful drawings. Everyone whom we train speaks English as a second language, and everyone appreciates the pictures that illustrate the written concepts. The book clearly explains the most common disabilities and provides good examples of interventions that can be done using locally available materials. We have made wooden and PVC equipment adapted from designs in the book, and used many of the ideas in the book to support the needs of children on very remote islands. The ideas are creative and address basic needs of children with disabilities all over the world."
    Katherine Ratliffe, PhD, PT, Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaii

    "Disabled Village Children is not a book just for children, or just for use in villages, or only for the Third World. This book contains... many thought-provoking rehab ideas which run counter to the traditional Western rehab approach, yet which are eminently appropriate in many areas of the non-Western world."
    Newsletter of the Cross-Cultural and International Physical Therapy Interest Group

    "...Disabled Village Children is the benchmark manual on community-based rehabilitation... (Hesperian's) new series of books on early intervention for children with disabilities are beautiful as well as extremely useful."

    "Disabled Village Children is a powerful, engaging, and readable reference for (developing world) health and rehabilitation workers. It provides ideas and techniques relevant for the novice and the veteran, as well as for the interested observer... The power of Disabled Village Children derives from its simplicity as well as from its recurring theme of a "bottom-up" approach to health and rehabilitation in rural communities."
    Marc Krizack, Rehabilitation Consciousness