Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Persons with Disability: Beyond Special Education

Having attended an exploratory meeting with various stakeholders of special education for the municipality I am in, I realized one thing: Special Education as practiced in the Philippines needs to be more than what it is now. Most scholars, students and parents of children with special needs are dead focused on putting their kids in the schools when there are other programs these children can benefit from.

Why so? Because normalization process for Children and Youth with Special Educational Needs (CYSEN) has to follow the path of the "regular child". Why would we populate the failing public schools with the so-called CYSEN when we can create a program tailored-fit for their success?

Think about it.

On to my afternoon.

The entire meeting I felt like the special education system in the Philippines totally missed the point, the point of practical education, education for life. The theme of the meeting was basic and yet it was substantial. I'd give half of my week just to go through the same meeting but I'd be giving the emphasis on the following issues for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) :
  • Identification of population of the sector 
  • Education Scholarship or Assistance 
  • Assistive Devices Assistance OR Medical Assistance (surgical operations)
  • Employment Assistance OR Internship/Practicum Assistance 
  • Discounts on Basic Commodities and Medicines
For PWD's, special education is simply one of the many programs and services they should have access to. It is an important part of their integration in the society but there is more to the lives of PWD's than special education.

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