Why we exist
Mexico is a country that has minimal state funding for therapy and equipment for individuals with a disability. Access to these basic services are limited and there are many barriers that face an individual living with a disability. The reality of this is isolation, a lack of education, unemployment, poverty, development of preventable secondary complications and premature death.
Recognising the Need
An estimated 9.17 million people live with a disability in Mexico, 7.5% of the population. Only 15% of people with a disability are receiving secondary education, 47.2% are employed and 45% live in poverty.
Awareness of disability rights is low among both people with and without disabilities.
Why is it so important?
The difference the right input can make is life-changing. It is essential that an individual with a disability is assessed from a very early age so that they can gain access to specialised equipment and individualised therapy input.
It is also crucial that families and healthcare providers have better access to education and more follow-on support.
We do not believe that any child should suffer the consequences of not having access to the right piece of equipment, regardless of where they live in the world.
Laura Brown de Rodriguez, a qualified UK Physiotherapist travelled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in September 2009, to work as a volunteer. She spent three months working within various rehabilitation settings supporting children and adults with disabilities. Laura’s experiences as a volunteer inspired her to set up Therapies Unite.
Laura believed that the key to improving existing and developing new services for people with disabilities was to work with local people and provide them with the necessary education and support. The main goal of Therapies Unite was to establish long term changes and to focus on developing basic services to have a maximal impact on disability and the independence of service users.
Since 2011, Laura has returned to Puerto Vallarta 12 times spending from 1-7 months during these visits establishing Therapies Unite and developing its services.
Therapies Unite today
Therapies Unite is currently running three independent services; Catrin’s Penguins, Catrin’s Clinic and the Volunteer Program.
As well as setting up and running our own independent projects, we also support the development of existing rehabilitation services at special needs schools, disabled children’s centres, physiotherapy clinics, elderly care homes and we also work with the local Government to improve access to therapeutic support, education and advice.View Our Projects
Therapies Unite aims to provide education at the appropriate level for its service users. This is one of the key principles to enabling long-term changes. In addition to providing education for the service users, Therapies Unite is committed to educating the local community about disabilities helping to reduce prejudice and promote integration into society.
Therapies Unite aims to empower families, caregivers and healthcare professionals to enable them to enhance the level of care they can provide and have improved knowledge and confidence to develop their skill levels.
This relates to being aware of what services are available locally for people with disabilities. In addition, it relates to the physical and mental barriers that exist for the disabled community in accessing the services they require. Therapies Unite aims to reduce these barriers and have a central hub where people can access information about local services that are available to them.
Therapies Unite wants to inspire change in the attitude towards and provision of services for people with disabilities within the local community. In addition, we want to inspire families, students and healthcare professionals to learn more about disabilities and to think about ways they can make positive changes for people with disabilities within their community.
Therapies Unite believes that no one should be excluded based on their physical or mental ability level. We believe that access to rehabilitation and in particular community-based activities and sports groups should be open to everyone. Therapies Unite will commit to supporting the development of such groups.
This is a key aspect underpinning all of our principles. Therapies Unite strives to achieve positive changes that are long-lasting and sustainable for the local community.