Video Credits: ACT Alliance via Youtube
Image Credits: Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth, and Social Policy
I am quite happy with the implementation of programs giving importance to the persons with disabilities in our country, nowadays. The administration is currently establishing necessary measures to mainstream programs for persons with disabilities into the current programs of the country. The government is also strengthening the implementation of the laws that would protect the PWDs and give due recognition to their contribution to the society.
Persons with disabilities may be incapable of performing some or specific tasks or functions compared to those who are non-disable but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t do anything to help the country in terms of development. Thus, giving due recognition, providing them an easy access by removing the barriers and opening a door for them is one great move of the administration.
According to the report made by the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank, a number of more than 1 billion persons in the world have some form of disabilities. This corresponds to about 15% of the world’s population. Around 110-190 million people have very significant difficulties in functioning.
In the Philippines, with around with 93.73 Billion population, there are 1,443,000 persons with disabilities or 1.57% of the population based on the 2010 Census of Population and Housing (2010 CPH).
Source: Philippines Statistics Authority
What is a Disability?
A disability is any state or condition of the body or mind which keeps an individual from performing a regular action thereby giving them limitations to participate in the day to day activities. This incapacity would prevent them from interacting in with the world around them thus giving them a feeling of insecurity and isolation.
Disabilities may be in many forms. It may be physical, mental or emotional. There are some forms of disabilities that are not even noticeable.
Different Types of Disabilities:
Vision Impairment - also known as visual impairment or loss of sight is a disability that is related to sight. It can range from blurred vision up to total loss of sight or blindness. Some person may have acquired it since birth while others may have acquired it through accidents or environmental factors. Several types of vision impairments can also be due to aging while others can be due to brain damage among others. Having a clear vision is one factor for us to have a normal movement and completion of several tasks.
Image Credits: deccanchronicle.com
Physical Disability– This pertains to physical aspects of a person. In order for us to properly function, we need complete physical parts from head to toe. Absence or malfunction in any part of the body can greatly affect our movement thus, can be regarded as a disability. This defect can be acquired since birth, accidents or as a complication of other diseases such as Diabetic which may result in leg amputation.
Image Credits: Pixabay - Vectors
Mental Health Conditions - Thinking, Remembering, Learning and Mental Health are all related to the mental condition of a certain individual. Intellectual disability and/or Inability to think clearly, remember, learn can be caused by several factors such as defects since birth or due to some environmental factors. Disabilities related to mental health include mental retardation or psychological defects, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc.
Image Credits: old.bbusinessinsurance.com
Hearing Disability - Hearing, or auditory perception, is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations, changes in the pressure of the surrounding medium through time, through an organ such as the ear. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearing)
Image Credits: Spice4life.co
Absence or defect in auditory perception can affect an individual in properly performing a task. Hearing impairment can be acquired since birth, accidents or aging. If an individual who is deaf since birth, will most likely, be mute or unable to speak.
Emotional or Behavioral Disability
An emotional or behavioral disability is a disability that impacts a person's ability to effectively recognize, interpret, control, and express fundamental emotions. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 characterizes the group of disabilities as Emotional Disturbance (ED).
Some of the characteristics and behaviors are seen in children who have an emotional disturbance include:
· Hyperactivity (short attention span, impulsiveness);
· Aggression or self-injurious behavior (acting out, fighting);
· Withdrawal (not interacting socially with others, excessive fear or anxiety);
· Immaturity (inappropriate crying, temper tantrums, poor coping skills); and
· Learning difficulties (academically performing below grade level).
Children with the most serious emotional disturbances may exhibit distorted thinking, excessive anxiety, bizarre motor acts, and abnormal mood swings.
Many children who do not have emotional disturbance may display some of these same behaviors at various times during their development. However, when children have an emotional disturbance, these behaviors continue over long periods of time. Their behavior signals that they are not coping with their environment or peers.
Source: Parent Center Hub
PWDs Current Condition in Our Society:
As of now, the education system in the country is yet to provide additional facilities and a curriculum that would cater persons with disabilities. There are limited numbers of government institutions or schools that are offering courses, specifically designed for the disabled person. Some privately owned schools are available but they are charging high matriculation fees. Due to the limited number of schools offering a special education program for PWDs, persons who have minor disabilities are being accepted by government schools and they are allowed to join regular classes.
PWD children who came from well- to-do families are likely to avail the services of those private institutions. Others, who cannot afford the fees and matriculation and has no access to government institutions or schools were forced to attend government schools or in worst case scenario, would not attend schools.
Not all PWD have access to public schools or similar institutions. Although the law clearly states that disabled persons shall be provided with adequate access to quality education and ample opportunities to develop their skills (Section 12 of the Republic Act 7277), the said provision cannot be pursued if there are not enough facilities in the country. The government should concentrate first on providing enough facilities and technical persons in order to realize this mission.
People with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed than a non-disabled person. The employment rate of people with disabilities is higher than those who non-disabled person. One of the major reasons is that the many PWDs were not able to attend schools and get sufficient training. Secondly, because of discrimination, they are not being given an opportunity to work.
The government is promoting equal opportunity for employment. Section 5 of RA 7277 provides that five (5%) of all casual, emergency and contractual positions in the Department of Social Welfare and Development; Health; Education, Culture and Sports; and other government agencies, offices or corporations engaged in social development shall be reserved for disabled persons.
The government administration is now in the process of strengthening the implementation of the Accessibility Law or Batas Pambansa Blg 344, An Act to Enhance the Mobility of Disabled Persons by Requiring Certain Buildings, Institutions, Establishments and Public Utilities to install Facilities and Other Devices.
PWD Logo :: Image Credits - pwdrighttosuffrage.files
This law requires all buildings and public utilities to provide easy access to persons with disabilities by providing special lanes for the front-line services, ramps with a handrail which must comply with the required gradient, toilets for PWDs which must have grab bars and has enough space for the wheelchair to turn.
Image Credits: RestoreIndependence.com
Ideally, all offices offering front line services to all including persons with disabilities should be located on the ground floor of the building. Although for some instances that it may not be possible, the maximum recommended slope for a ramp shall be equivalent to 1:20.
The ideal slopes for ramps:: Image Credits - UN.org
Likewise, same law requires all public utility vehicles to provide designated seats for persons with disabilities over and above the discounts given to them.
Individuals who may found violating these provisions shall be held criminally liable and punishable under the law.
Privileges and Benefits:
Section 22 of the Republic Act 10745 (amendment to RA 7277) expanded the given special privileges and benefits to persons with disabilities. This includes a 20% discount and exemption from the Value Added Tax where applicable, on the availment of goods and service for the exclusive availment and enjoyment of the PWD.
Other privileges include discounts in fare, fees, matriculations and other discounts as expressly provided in RA 10745. (Source: www.ncda.gov.ph/disability-laws/republic-acts/republic-act-no-10754-an-act-expanding-the-benefits-and-privileges-of-persons-with-disability-pwd/)
This law does not only cover all PWDs but also give special privilege to their guardians.
mage Credits: sharon lopez via bitlanders.com
Allow me to share this old commercial of McDonald's, entitled "Kuya" which shows how a person with a disability is included in the society. A very touching commercial.
Disclaimer: IThe author does not receive any compensation from sharing this video.
Video Credits: McDonalds, "Kuya" via YouTube
Persons with disabilities should not be considered as a hindrance to development and should not be regarded as a burden. They are also human with given abilities and skills. We only need to devise a method in order to help them improve their given talents. They should not be given help because of pity. Rather, they should be provided with facilities because they are part of the human race. Just like all of us, they are capable of giving services and has the right to their own development.
While we are thinking of our personal needs and development, let us not forget that these people also have their own needs and are also aiming for personal development.
We need to move forward without leaving anybody behind. After all, this is the world for everybody.
Thank you for reading.
Have a wonderful day!