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Interprofessional telerehabilitation for adult PWDs

Promoting Health Equality: interprofessional telerehabilitation for persons with disabilities in the Philippines

This projects aims to pave the way for effective interprofessional telerehabilitation for adult Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Philippine remote areas by empowering both local stakeholders and the College of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Santo Tomas (UST-CRS), through a multi-HEI partnership of Thomas More and KU Leuven.

By determining (so far) unidentified disability profiles of adult PWDs living in Binangonan's 17 island barangays (= villages or the smallest administrative division) and exploring facilitators and barriers to implementing and using telerehabilitation services, this project seeks to contribute to the quality of life of adult PWDs and promote their inclusion towards building inclusive communities in the Philippines with enhanced resilience.

Added value

The project's added value lies in providing UST-CRS with the necessary expertise to conduct high-quality research on telerehabilitation and integrate it into its education and communitiy work. This will enable UST-CRS to develop effective interventions for PWDs, informed by evidence-based research, and become a driver of change in the community. 

The project also provides capacity-building opportunities for Binangonan's local policy and societal stakeholders, enabling them to support and provide effective telerehabilitation services and take up their leadership role in the community. The project's proof of concept in the Municipality of Binangonan wil initiate sustainable upscaling mechanisms to enchance uptake in other remote areas in the Philippines. 

Sustainable development context

From a sustainable development context, the project aligns with the UN's sustainable development goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), since the project addresses the lack of essential data on disabilities and provides support for PWDs.

Additionally, by building the capacity of UST-CRS and local partners, the project will directly contribute to SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).


The project is a collaboration between

  • Academic stakeholders
    • Thomas More University of Applied Sciences unit Care & Well-being: Kirsten Schraeyen, Dorien Vandenborre, Tom Van Daele, Nele De Witte and Wendy D'haenens
    • KU Leuven: Wim Van Petegem
    • University of Santo Tomas: Anne Marie Aseron, Christian Rey Rimando, Georgina Moijca, Judith Damia, Diane Lotho, Kenneth Ramos, Christopher Cruz and Barbra Nava 
  • Societal stakeholders
    • Simbahayan Development Office
    • the Community Based Rehabilitation Unit

    • the PWD president and association

    • health workers

  • Policy stakeholders
    • Binangonan LGU officials



Kirsten Schraeyen

Kirsten Schraeyen (PhD) has been a lecturer-researcher in the Human and Well-being Research Group since 2004. She has expertise in oral and written language development disorders in a multilingual context.

Research line coordinator

Dorien Vandenborre

Dorien Vandenborre (PhD) has been a lecturer-researcher at the People and Well-being Expertise Centre since 2015. She has expertise in neurogenic communication disorders and qualitative research (in-depth interviews).