The Portuguese Cerebral Palsy Association (Associação Portuguesa de Paralisia Cerebral - APPC) was founded in Lisbon on July 27th 1960 on the initiative of a group of parents of persons with cerebral palsy and therapists specializing in this rehabilitation area, who felt the need for an organization to deal with the problems experienced by these infants and youngsters. The APPC is an institution of and for people with this ailment, made up of parents, friends, therapists and Cerebral Palsy sufferers. It has been, ever since its founding, considered a Non-Governmental Organization with the legal status of a social response legal entity working in the public interest.

Founded by the Portuguese Cerebral Palsy Association (APPC), and with the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the first ever Rehabilitation Centre in the country was opened. Later, from 1974 onwards, there arose the urgent necessity of spreading needed support and rehabilitation facilities everywhere and to increase the level of integration in the standard treatments, which gave rise to a policy of expanding proffered assistance throughout the country.

The Portuguese Cerebral Palsy Association (APPC) has now opened branches all over Portugal, through a network of 13 Regional Branch Centers). All these Regional Centers have a shared orientation, led by a National Directorate, composed of members of all Regional Centers although these maintain full technical, administrative and financial autonomy. The (Federation of Portuguese Cerebral Palsy Associations - FAPPC) was started in 2006.

The Braga Regional Centre was founded in 1986, on the basis of the already outlined founding principles. Its main goal is providing specialized quality support for people with cerebral palsy and related neurological ailments throughout the greater Braga region.

As of 2007 all the Regional Centers have, for legal compliance purposes, been turned into legally independent institutions, although all of them have common statutes and principles, which has resulted in the founding of the A.P.C.B.- Associação de Paralisia Cerebral de Braga/Braga Cerebral Palsy Association.

The APCB is an IPSS (social purpose registered charity) based in Braga whose main aim is “the taking of preventative measures and for the training, social inclusion, involvement and provision of both individual and family support for persons with Cerebral Palsy and related neurological conditions in all the geographical districts in the Braga zone”.

The developmental and compliance requirements of Portugal’s social sector require the implementation of a Quality Management System based on the requirements of EQUASS (European Quality in Social Services). The first EQUASS Assurance Certificate was awarded to the Association in February of 2011. This acknowledgement system is based on 10 founding principles: leadership, staff, rights, ethics, partnership, participation, a person centred approach, comprehensiveness, result orientation and continuous improvement, thus emphasizing client satisfaction, or that of their caretaker, above all else.

Images: APCB thanks all its clients, families and workers for kindly allowing their personal image usage for the illustration of the services provided by the organization.