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Today, the International Organization of Telethons (ORITEL) is an organization that brings together 12 countries from the Americas that implemented the Telethon work to provide and develop habilitation, rehabilitation, and inclusion services for children and teenagers with disabilities.

Its comprehensive care system is comprised of Rehabilitation Centers and Institutes established in Chile, the United States, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, and Nicaragua (member countries.) Argentina is now preparing to set up its first Rehabilitation Center in the short term.

Annually and on average, this system provides multidisciplinary care to over 300,00 children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities with a special focus on neuromusculoskeletal disabilities, albeit including autism and other cognitive and developmental disorders in the rehabilitation model of some countries.

The health care and inclusive approach makes it possible to reach families and caretakers of persons with disabilities.

The predominant biopsychosocial approach proposes that the ultimate goal of rehabilitation is the effective inclusion of children or teenagers in the spaces that promote and deal with their holistic development within the framework of actions conducted to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities.

Main pillars

The permanent development of services included in the ORITEL network can be verified in multiple aspects, such as:

  • The continuous training of its professionals.
  • The inclusion of state-of-the-art technology for rehabilitation.
  • Administrative transparency, supported by external audits.
  • Quality certification for health care infrastructure.
  • The unreserved adherence to international standards that enshrine the rights of persons with disabilities, adherence that entails being proactive and responsible when advocating and promoting those rights in the societies where we are present.

Service recipients

Since becoming the governing organization providing support for countries joining in the work of Telethon, ORITEL is pleased to work in and continuously devote itself to many humane and healthcare activities and exchange knowledge among its vast, fruitful network of professional resources.

ORITEL has evolved in a remarkably consistent way, and now encompasses 12 countries that make up a melting pot of races and cultures and are mostly characterized by the presence of neglected populations, as is the case of the group of persons with disabilities.

The infrastructure necessary to provide health care was not only deployed in capitals and cities but also in areas far from activity centers where access to health care (in many cases even to the most basic of cares) remains one of the biggest challenges for low-income sectors.

In many cases, our users are immersed in a vastly complex social, economic, and cultural scenario.

Indeed, structural poverty, domestic and exogenous violence, single-parent families, poor education rates, social isolation, and, in some cases, undernutrition, are some of the clearest identifying features of our target population.

All of this happens in a continent that harbors the world’s largest population with disabilities and continues to lag in the design and execution of comprehensive public policies for these families.

ORITEL's Mission and Vision


The mission of ORITEL is to support and strengthen its network of member countries through actions and programs that contribute to improving the quality of rehabilitation and inclusion services provided to persons with disabilities.


ORITEL’s vision is to be recognized as the reference organization in the continent in the inclusion of persons with disabilities through comprehensive rehabilitation.

Additionally, ORITEL has the vision of being considered an organization that promotes scientific research in the field of neuromusculoskeletal disabilities.

International partnerships

ORITEL faces the major challenge of incorporating new strategic partners to access new knowledge and develop greater institutional capacities to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities.

In recent years, ORITEL has entered into agreements with renowned international organizations to promote societies becoming increasingly inclusive, thus creating synergies with civil society and government authorities.

An example of this is the partnership with the Organization of American States (OAS), in whose Washington D.C. Headquarters the bylaws of ORITEL were signed on October 2005.

On August 10, 2012, in Washington, D.C., both organizations committed to articulating joint actions aimed at the effective inclusion of persons with disabilities in the continent.

The joint work agreement entered into through a Letter of Intent was signed by José Miguel Insulza, former OAS Secretary General, and Mario Kreutzberger, president of ORITEL.

As a result of this alliance, ORITEL and OAS began working on designing and implementing the “Continental Campaign for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities” launched in March 2015 at the OAS headquarters under the slogan “Let’s push the boundaries.”

The initiative sought to promote the rights of persons with disabilities in the region by broadcasting messages through media across the continent.

A new journey

The technical cooperation agreement between the organizations was renewed in August 2017 when Luis Almagro, OAS Secretary General, and Mario Kreutzberger entered into a “Framework Agreement for Cooperation” in Washington.

This agreement established a regulatory framework to further carry out joint actions to contribute to the social inclusion of persons with disabilities and promote their rights.

This new agreement became the platform for the creation and implementation of the “Program for the Promotion of Inclusive Education in the Americas” for persons with disabilities as of September 2017.

The Program was launched in 2017 with the Inclusive Education Seminars in Paraguay (September 18 and 19) and Uruguay (October 27 and 28.)

In 2018, the seminars were held in Chile (May 3 and 4 ) and Mexico (May 7 and 8), and in 2019 in Peru (September 2 and 3.) For 2021, seminars are planned to be conducted as webinars.


The main objective of this regional program promoted by the OAS and ORITEL is to promote the rights of persons with disabilities and their full inclusion in a regular, unbiased, quality education system.

Specific objectives include:

  • Creating a Program for the Promotion of Inclusive Education for persons with disabilities as a human right. Promoting inclusive education as a right of children with disabilities.
  • Training the many public and private stakeholders who play a key role in the community and the educational processes of countries in the areas of theories and practices in educational inclusion at all levels of the school system. Training educational communities in theories and practices that will enable them to move toward inclusive education.

Training families and persons with disabilities from multiple organizations on aspects of the human rights of persons with disabilities to promote those rights be exercised, acting as agents facilitating the access and quality educational inclusion of their families and peers, promoting their autonomy, and fostering their independent life in the community.

Training families and persons with disabilities on aspects of the human rights of persons with disabilities to facilitate access and inclusion to quality education and foster their autonomy and independent life in the community.

Seminars target directors, teachers, and staff from the educational community, family members of children and teenagers with disabilities, and civil society organizations directly or indirectly connected to persons with disabilities.

In addition to the sustained partnership with the OAS, ORITEL has a close relationship with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other medical-scientific organizations.

Partnership for academic development

In November 2020, ORITEL signed an institutional collaboration agreement with the Latin American Society of Orthopedics and Child Traumatology (SLAOTI.)

The general objective of the agreement is to create a framework and coordinate joint actions of the organizations in academic and scientific development activities for their members.

The partnership was first initiated when the ORITEL-SLAOTI Program (POS) was launched in 2021, comprising specialized videoconferences designed to transfer updated knowledge in the treatment and prevention of pathologies of the musculoskeletal system.

SLAOTI is an organization made up of approximately 500 physicians from 22 countries in Latin America (except for the U.S., all other ORITEL countries are members) and its objective is to share knowledge and experiences in various forums and spaces in their areas of expertise.

Its physicians are Latin American, specialize in orthopedics and child traumatology, are associated with national scientific societies or societies in that area, and are strongly connected to eminent colleagues in Europe and the United States.

The agreement shall bring about multiple instances for both parties to train and incorporate knowledge, as well as foster increasing participation of specialists in the international biannual congresses organized by ORITEL.

Yet another design of high scientific value

In 2022, ORITEL entered into another relevant scientific partnership to build a database for the Gait Laboratory using artificial intelligence.

This initiative is based on an international agreement for scientific cooperation entered into with the Polytechnic University of Milan (public, science and technology university in Italy) and the Universidad Concepción of Chile.

The Gait Laboratories Database for the network shall use artificial intelligence (machine learning), thus allowing for suggestions on the best interventions for specific diseases or conditions.

ORITEL countries with Gait Laboratories shall provide the information constituting the basis for diagnoses, treatments, follow-ups, and the implementation of rehabilitation methods in diseases associated with movement.

This will also allow for sharing protocols, best work practices, and methodologies and for improving the use of movement analyses for clinical applications.

Some ORITEL figures


Persons with disabilities, the vast majority of which are children and teenagers, annually receive multidisciplinary care at Rehabilitation Centers and Institutes.


Rehabilitation Centers and Institutes in 12 countries of the Americas.


Professionals make up the medical-technical community working in the 115 Rehabilitation Centers and Institutes.


Professionals of the Network are trained by ORITEL annually in different therapeutic disciplines, diagnostic and functional assessment tools, and international quality certifications.


Children annually receive services in the ORITEL network that encourage school inclusion.


Children and teenagers who are served annually by the ORITEL Network are integrated into some Special Education areas.


Children and teenagers who annually receive assistance from the ORITEL Network fully or partially study at preschool, primary school, high school, university, and technical centers.


Children and teenagers who attended the ORITEL Network Centers and Institutes in one year had not yet been included in the education system.

ORITEL's scientific contribution to the continent

For 2022 and 2023, ORITEL has set itself the main institutional objective of developing Stage II (2.0 version) of the only continental Epidemiological Database related to the rehabilitation and inclusion of persons with disabilities, which shall have features focused on conducting scientific research projects.

This multidisciplinary database is called Disability Information System (SIDRO, by its Spanish acronym) and is the most significant medical-scientific and knowledge
management project that ORITEL has ever launched since its inception in 1998.

SIDRO centralizes, manages, and measures all data from the care provided in the Rehabilitation Centers and Institutes.

By the end of 2022, it is estimated that the engineering for Stage II shall be fully developed and, additionally, the technological suite designed to build the first Evidence- Based Health System (SBE, by its Spanish acronym) will be developed to later be integrated into Stage III of SIDRO.

Stage I of SIDRO came to fruition in 2021. The initial project was based on a technology platform that ensured the synchronized operation of two subsystems that host and measure the diverse, complex general data (summarized data that changes in time which was migrated into the system) from the Centers and Institutes of the ORITEL network.

Now, Stage II shall entail the unlimited storage of multi-dimensional, individualized data from each user with a quick process to cross-reference data and an efficient backup in a Big Data technology platform.

This shall provide access to even more precise, robust epidemiological data that will be available not just to members of the ORITEL Network, but also to future States and civil organizations of the continent.

These actions shall contribute to the development of health care, teaching, research, prevention, promotion, and protection strategies in this area bearing in mind that ORTIEL has a wealth of scientific data deriving from the more than 300,000 users annually cared for by its health care network (a wealth like no other organization in the continent possesses.)

Therefore, Stage II shall seek for SIDRO to place ORITEL and its network of countries in other ambitious spheres of work and specialized contributions.

Access to data generated by SIDRO shall entail, for instance, a significant contribution to the implementation of public (State) policies focused on promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Concurrently, a significant step to provide scientific evidence for all interventions carried out not just by the ORITEL network, but also by public and private health systems shall be taken, as the database shall be an empirical reservoir attractive enough to stimulate research in the field of disabilities.

The third evolution of SIDRO (Stage III), which is meant to go under development simultaneously with Stage II, implies, as was mentioned, building the first Evidence- Based Health System.

This state-of-the-art mechanism shall collect the evidence to support decision-making processes not just for the systematic improvement of services provided, but also to effectively and efficiently manage all strategic processes that the organization conducts for the benefit of its members.