The fundamental objective of Rehabilitation is to empower people with disabilities to maximize their physical and mental abilities to have access to regular community activities and opportunities and become active and contributing members of family/society. People with different disabilities of any kind including impaired hearing, speaking, moving, learning or behavior, of groups of all ages: children, youth, adults and elderly.
The International Bill of Human Rights includes many Acts (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Convention on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights, International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Convention on Rights of the Child, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons) and describes basis for the United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for People with Disabilities, stating: "The principle of equal rights implies that the needs of each and every individual are of equal importance, that those needs must be made the basis for the planning of societies, and that all resources must be employed in such a way as to ensure that every individual has equal opportunity for participation."
In 2001 a Joint Paper by WHO, ILO, UNESCO, UNICEF on contents and aims for Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) has been defined. CBR, created by WHO after Alma Ata Meeting, promotes the rights of disabled children, youth, women and men to live within their communities, to enjoy health and well-being and to fully participate in educational, social, cultural, religious, economic and political activities. CBR plays a key role for Rehabilitation strategies in the general community development against disabilities and lack of participation.
Therefore it is also a strategy to address human development towards the creation of “Inclusive Community.” The principle of “inclusion” is also applied to health and vocational services, cultural centers and communities, and is a “goal” also for Rehabilitation activities.
During the past two decades, in almost all countries, Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs) and Family associations have been established and strengthened. Meanwhile, in relation to these evolution in social and cultural fields, significant changes in the concepts of disability and rehabilitation developed. Rehabilitation is now viewed as a process in which disabled people or their advocates make decisions about services (to be assured by the Community in different ways) they need to reduce limitations in their activities.