Observing National Rehabilitation Awareness Week
This year the National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation (NRAF) is observing National Rehabilitation Awareness Week during the week of September 16-22. The foundation’s mission is to educate people about the benefits and impact of rehabilitation; develop programs which aim to increase opportunities for the nearly 50 million Americans with disabilities; and help those who are disabled live up to their fullest potential.
The mission of National Rehabilitation Awareness Week is to support rehabilitation professionals, healthcare facilities, and the NRAF in promoting awareness about the vital role that rehabilitation professionals play in healthcare, as well as to promote professional pride. Along with the message of awareness, this week is also used as a celebration to recognize the power of rehabilitation and share the message that through rehabilitation there is hope, achievement, and success.
This year’s celebration will be especially poignant following the 2012 Paralympic Games in London in which hundreds of athletes competed for Olympic metals and defied their own physical challenges. The popularity and success of this year’s games has emphasized the fact that a serious injury or physical limitation is something that can be overcome.
The reasons why someone needs rehabilitation are varied. Someone may be born with a physical deformity, and so they need rehabilitation to learn to sit up, crawl and other physical milestones that most infants achieve independently. A traumatic injury may leave an individual paralyzed in some portion of their body, so rehabilitation is necessary to help them learn to live their lives with these new physical limitations. Additionally, stroke victims typically need rehabilitation if they have lost the ability to control the use of various muscle groups.
It is through the compassionate and patient care of rehabilitation professionals that individuals are able to have a chance at a better life following an event or diagnosis that limits them physically.