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Foundation for Active Rehabilitation Print E-mail

Field: Rehabilitation
Target group: persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) using wheelchairs
Institution: Jozef Pilsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw, Poland


  • Rehabilitation of disabled people after SCI.
  • Help persons with SCI return to normal, active life, education, job (social and vocational activation).
  • Promote an active lifestyle and sports.

Foundation for Active Rehabilitation (FAR) started its activity in 1988. It was established to help people with severe spinal cord damages. Every day at least 3–4 new persons suffer severe spinal cord damages resulting from accidents. In most cases they are young and in the midst of a professional career or college studies; the majority are between 15 and 30 years of age. Mentally fully competent, suddenly they became handicapped due to arm and/or leg paralysis, with all the emotional, psychological and social problems involved. It is not easy for them to accept the thought of spending rest of their lives on the wheelchair.
The Foundation follows the best world’s standards, but also establishes its own methods of rehabilitation. Thousands of people are constantly in its care. FAR tries to provide them with everything they need in the particular moment, they are informed and taught to adapt to challenges of daily living and to cope with personal problems.

FAR enables them gaining new job qualifications.FAR fills the gap between medical treatment at hospital and isolated, chained to bed life that the disabled person have to face back home. FAR provides an alternative way of being for them offering the possibility to return to social and professional life.
FAR is a unique non-governmental structure with a complex multi-level programme of active rehabilitation for people with spinal cord damages in wheelchairs. It’s the only organisation in Poland with a complete, advanced and efficient programme of social and professional rehabilitation of disabled people after spinal cord injury.
The first contact with FAR is the most important for a person after a spinal injury. It usually takes place in hospital or rehabilitation centre. First contact instructors – disabled people on wheelchairs, very active and independent – visit hospitals and rehabilitation centres in the whole country. They look for people with a spinal injury. They are trying to convince them to take part in ‘active’ rehabilitation. They serve as examples of what a person after spinal lesion is able to do. They recommend training camps organised by the Foundation for Active Rehabilitation. They also take care of the patient’s family. They inform about abilities and needs of a disabled person, and they introduce methods of active rehabilitation to medical staff.
FAR arranges nationwide specialised rehabilitation courses conducted by instructors in wheelchairs. These instructors act as tutors and, most importantly, provide a role model for disabled persons who are often confined to bed, usually very vulnerable and more often, even depressed. At the camp, during 7-day workshops the participants learn to perform independently such every day activities like managing the new multi-function, “active” type of a wheelchair, getting dressed, moving about and moving around the city using public transportation etc., as a precondition to the independent work and/or study. There are also lectures, seminars and discussions that cover a variety of topics starting with specific health issues, but also addressing psychological, social and other practical problems.

FAR directs its support not only to people with spinal cord injury. It also trains medical doctors, therapists, nurses and other people that have contact with disability, spreading the idea of active reha73 bilitation. Since 1995 the Foundation has made a significant effort to introduce the principles of active rehabilitation into the medical schools curriculum. During FAR camps and regional courses disabled instructors use sport as a tool to make people, who just become disabled, more independent, and to help them return to normal life.

FAR have eminent achievements in the field of such sport activities like sailing, canoeing, swimming and diving. Our instructors have created and implemented successfully a new swimming programme for persons with severe spinal cord damages. Every camp consists of five disciplines: technique of using a wheelchair, workout and condition building, swimming, table tennis and archery. Sport, as something very universal and common, is a perfect base for communication and integration of people from different environments.

Contact information:
Rafał Skrzypczyk
Fundacja Aktywnej Rehabilitacji (Foundation for Active Rehabilitation)
ul. Inspektowa 1
02-711 Warszawa
tel./fax: 48 22 651 88 02 (03)
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This comprehensive programme develops and requires nearly all of competences, skills and knowledge.
We work on these mainly for these skills:

  • Estimate and assess the activity potential of a patient/client through tests, observations, etc… and describe the resulting functional profile.
  • Master the ability to safely apply the Adapted Physical Activity programmes, including regular evaluations, using risk stratification and pre-programme screening.
  • Master teaching, training and coaching skills (didactical skills), needed for a well-balanced approach in a therapeutic environment.
  • Be able to adapt activities to the functional potential of the participants.
  • Master management strategies including a planning model approach in providing sport and physical activities for people with impairments, disabilities handicaps, disorders, etc…
  • Master those skills which are necessary in the preparation of a strategic policy for managementand integration of Adapted Physical Activity programmes within the multidisciplinary character of rehabilitation.

Example of good practice was described by Bartosz Molik from Jozef Pilsudski University of Physical Education in Poland.



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