Tag Archives: United States of America

What Lea Sicat Reyes has said

In her column “Insight Avenue,” Lea Sicat Reyes has asked how can disability intervention in the Philippines become accessible to persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the country with limited resources and what should be done about it.

Countries like Vietnam, Togo, and India have successful programs in place that cater to children who live with visual and hearing impairments and other physical, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities,” she noted after mentioning the countries with similar context to the Philippines but have effectively addressed disability- related concerns.

“The Philippines can definitely gain valuable insights from their common practices,” she added.

So Reyes suggested pursuing partnerships between the government and civic groups that have the capacity to empower stakeholders. The Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF), for instance, has initiated a program in Vietnam that would “provide an integrated effort to teach deaf children sign language at a very young age, helping them to get ready to learn when they enter formal primary school.” It also funded a program on inclusive education for the PWDs in Malawi which “tests innovative methods to raise enrolment among children with disabilities who are not in mainstream schools and also supports the development of an inclusive education policy.”

Throughout the country, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the LAJ Philippines- LEGO funded the creation of the National Centers for Children with Disabilities in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

Reyes noted, too, that a community-based approach where intervention is concerned is both practical and sustainable. Parents and families must then have a working understanding of their children’s intervention program. The disability-related concerns in the Global South1 should be studied more since “resources are readily available and systems are already in place to provide maximum support for children with disabilities” in the Global North2.

“We can no longer overlook the need to address the plight of children with disabilities in the Philippines. If we continue to allow these to fester, more and more children will be deprived of a chance to have a better quality of life. The time to act is now.” ~ Lea Sicat Reyes

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of unicefphilippines

1The Global South refers “Third World” (i.e., Africa, Latin America, and the developing countries in Asia), “developing countries,” “less developed countries,” and “less developed regions.”

2The Global North is home to all the members of the G8 (United States of America, Japan, Russia, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France) and to four of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

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Standard label?

How could the members of the world’s largest minority be known in a variety of names?

The Philippines has officially referred to them as “disabled persons” last July 22, 1991. Section 4 of the Republic Act No. 7277 has defined them as “those suffering from restriction or different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.”

Fifteen years later, though, the law that was otherwise entitled as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons was amended and Section 4 of the Republic Act No. 9442 renamed every disabled person in the country as a “person with disability.” The title of Republic Act No. 7277 was changed to the “Magna Carta for Persons with Disability” and all references to “disabled persons” to “persons with disability”.

This must be the reason why Americans with a disability are labelled as “individuals with a disability”; Canadians and Vietnamese with a disability as “people with disabilities”; and Indians with a disability as “persons with disabilities.”

Moldovans with a disability are “invalid,” though—a portrayal that The Rhythmic Arts Project has claimed to “elicit unwanted sympathy, or worse, pity toward individuals with disabilities.” TRAP has further advised to use the terms person with a disability; people with disabilities; has a disability; or have disabilities instead.

If someone is using a wheelchair to move around, describe her as a “wheelchair user.” What some may classify as a “birth defect” or “affliction” is actually a “congenital disability” or “birth anomaly.”

There’s no need to describe someone as “a victim of [the physical condition]” when you can just say “has a [the physical condition]”. It could also be “has had [the physical condition]”; “experienced [the physical condition]”; or “has a disability as a result of [the physical condition].”

A “person with Down Syndrome” is different from a “Down’s person” or “Mongoloid” (the last two terms are simply derogatory). A “person who has epilepsy/people with seizure disorders or epileptic episodes” is also not the same as an “epileptic.”

Those that some in the society claim “the mentally ill,” “crazy,” “psycho,” or “mental case” should just be termed “people who have mental illness” or “person with a mental or emotional disorder.” Those it call “blind-hearing impaired,” “deaf-mute,” or “deaf and dumb” should be identified as “people who are blind,” “visually impaired,” “person who is hard of hearing,” “person who is deaf,” or “the Deaf.” Deafness is a cultural phenomenon and should be capitalized in this particular instance.

“The use of outdated language and words to describe people with disabilities (PWDs) contributes greatly to perpetuating old stereotypes.” ~ The Rhythmic Arts Project

Video taken from the website of the Disability Horizons

A Measuring Body?

Till now, The PWD Forum cannot find a country where persons with disabilities (PWDs) will be absolutely safe and sound.

It cannot be in the United States of America where The PWD Forum has 212 viewers. Chairman Sachin Pavithran of the U.S. Access Board and the disability policy analyst in the Utah State University still sees “misguided sympathy” and “warped forms of discrimination” 25 years after the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed.

It cannot be in Canada where The PWD Forum has 36 viewers. Even with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, columnist and public health reporter Andre Picard of The Globe and Mail observes that “we continue to treat inclusion of people with disabilities as a privilege rather than a right.”

It cannot be in the United Kingdom where The PWD Forum has 18 viewers. The digital news and views service CommonSpace has reported that the government has cut disability job support by 40% following controversies over the social security sanctions regime.

But then, nothing is absolute. The PWD Forum just hopes that it could convince its readers to act on the social problem physical disability has come to be.

“Discrimination occurs when, for some unfounded reason, those with disabilities are labeled as having “special” needs that are assumed to be better met at “special” schools.” ~ Sachin Pavithran

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the Charlestown Middle School

Pi Kappa Phi (Southern Team)

On a mission, riders and crew from Washington, Texas, New York, Ohio, California and Michigan has cycled across the United States of America to raise funding for the awareness on people with disabilities (PWDs).

They started in Long Beach, California last June 12. Then they continued towards Barstow, Pahrump, Las Vegas and Lake Havasu. After stopping in Parker, they still travelled to Wickenburg, Tempe, Dallas, Atlanta, Carolinas, Virginia, and Washington.

The men are members of the Pi Kappa Phi, a fraternity known before as Push America. They have a charitable arm—The Ability Experience—that planned the Journey of Hope. It has raised $556,000 to date to assist and work with people with disabilities.

Among the men are Pat Lynch, a sociology and mass communications major at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York; Matthew Sutter, a communications major at the University of Toledo in Ohio; James Woolridge, an industrial management major at Purdue University in Indianapolis, Indiana; and Stephen Bendziewicz, a biology major at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Aside from the Pi Kappa Phi (Southern Team), there are two other teams that are scheduled to reach Washington, D.C. on Aug. 8. The three teams will cover a total of 32 states and 12,000 miles of biking. Each of the riders will average 75 miles per day.

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” ~ Pat Lynch

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity – PiKapp UMass

Peoria

Peoria has just been awarded the Hon. John R. Sticht Excellence in Disabilities Accessibility Award!

Peoria is one of the largest 150 cities in the United States of America. Based in the survey of the WalletHub last year, Peoria is the most suitable place for a disabled person to live and work in Arizona and the second in the entire state.

The city has just renovated its baseball stadium so that every person with disability (PWD) in the vicinity can ‘facilitate greater access to seating, restrooms, the field, vendors, and other amenities’. The stadium has more than 200 wheelchair seats available and a wide ramp.

In 2011, the Peoria Municipal Court had been expanded and reconstructed to allow accessible parking, variable height counters for city clerks, push button building access, and appropriately labeled and designed handrails, ramps and workstations. Inside the courtroom, each workstation as well as the juror seating area is accessible.

“The City of Peoria is a diverse city, respecting all of the needs of our citizens,” said Carl Swenson, the city manager. “Besides our efforts to be as sustainable as possible when constructing city facilities, we do our best to go beyond what is required to meet the needs for those with disabilities.”

“This award is an honor for us. Before each project we design, we first think about how best to meet the needs of all residents. This award is validation that we are thinking and doing the right things.” ~ Ed Striffler

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Unravel Travel TV

Apolinario Mabini: the sublime paralytic

Apolinario Mabini was a Batangueno. He was poor, too. He had to support himself all throughout his school years to be able to study at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Manila and at the University of Santo Tomas. Later, he established a private school in Manila and did legal work despite of his infantile paralysis.

He was regarded the “brains of the revolution.” As the President of the Council of Secretaries as well as the Secretary of the Exterior, he was the one who advised then-president Emilio Aguinaldo on the latter’s decrees and proclamations. He was the one who drafted the rules that government municipalities and provinces should observed in his time.

He just resigned in March 1899 and was arrested by the American forces. After he was freed, though, Mabini resumed writing about his criticisms of the government. Eventually, he was captured again and exiled in Guam. He died of cholera after 15 days of liberty.

“To tell a man to be quiet when a necessity not fulfilled is shaking all the fibers of his being is tantamount to asking a hungry man to be filled before taking the food which he needs.” ~Apolinario Mabini

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the Audiopedia