Physios must support disabled colleagues, says WCPT

Physical therapists should make a ‘considerable effort’ to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in their professions.


Karen Atkinson, chair of the CSP equality and diversity group, was on the paper's project advisory group

That is the message in a briefing paper that was published by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) this month.

The paper calls for positive attitudes and support from peers, educators and employers – and a wider acceptance of individuals with a range of abilities in the community at large.

In addition, it reports on the findings of an international survey of the WCPT’s member organisations, which gathered information about the current education and practice of physical therapists with disabilities.

Prompted by a CSP motion

The paper was compiled in response to a CSP motion on disability rights, debated at a WCPT general meeting in 2011.

Karen Atkinson, who chairs the CSP equality and diversity group, helped raise the motion and was part of the paper’s project advisory group. She told Frontline the briefing had taken a long time to prepare due its broad scope.

Ms Atkinson said: ‘Following a survey carried out by the WCPT in 2013, this paper provides a good overview of the situation in terms of legislation and the engagement with disability issues in different countries.

‘It’s also a great resource for groups who want to increase awareness of the issues and for physios who are including more disabled students in their educational settings, or disabled employees in their work places.’

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