DOT accredits 13 deaf tour guides to escort deaf visitors
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has accredited 13 deaf tour guides to help escort deaf visitors around Manila’s tourist spots.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the program aims to give skilled deaf people training and allow a “barrier-free” tourism.
“Having tour guides skilled with knowledge of sign language and an understanding of the services needed by persons with disabilities (PWDs) is a must under the DOT’s thrust for barrier-free tourism,” Puyat said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Not only will this provide quality service to tourists with special needs, but more importantly, this will create opportunities, which are the very essence of an inclusive tourism industry,” she added.
The 13 tour guides were tasked to escort 30 students from the Philippine School for the Deaf around Manila’s popular tourist spots such as the Rizal Park, National Museum and Fort Santiago.
Puyat said the program was initiated by the DOT’s Office of Industry Manpower Development (DOT-OIMD) in cooperation with the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB).
DOT-OIMD Director Nelly Dillera said the Deaf Community Training Seminar in Manila accredited the 13 tour guides last March.
The DOT also coordinated with the Intramuros Administration (IA) to offer the services of the tour guides and cater to tourists with special needs.
According to the DOT, the deaf tour guides are members of the Deafinite Tour Guiding Service (DTGS), a non-profit, professional organization consisting of deaf tour guides committed to deaf identity, service excellence, and professional ethics. /muf
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