PWD centers in state universities proposed in Congress
MANILA, Philippines–To assist the large number of persons with disabilities (PWDs) finish their university studies amid their condition, a lawmaker has proposed the establishment of “accessible education centers” in state universities and colleges (SUCs).
House Bill no. 5270, which aims to “provide free auxiliary aids and services for less privileged PWD students” was proposed by Nueva Ecija Representative Estrellita Suansing.
Auxiliary aids and services refer to devices or mechanisms that allow PWDs to communicate effectively with others. These usually come in the form of interpreters, hearing aids, and Braille materials.
“From a survey conducted in 2009, only 25% of the total respondents either reached or finished college education,” Suansing said in a statement.
She said the free services and aids should enable PWDs to finish college education and later land better paying jobs.
The bill has already been referred to the committee on higher and technical education at the House of Representatives.
Suansing pointed out that studies showed great income disparity among PWDs, with many of them coming from low income families.
The accessible education center, in addition to providing auxiliary aids, will also be tasked to review the existing infrastructure and policies of SUCs.
“The Center would then submit said review as well as recommendations to the proper university or college official for appropriate action in order to improve infrastructure, academic and non-academic policies, rules, and regulations to cater to qualified students with disabilities,” the statement said.
Teachers and staff will also be trained on how to better accommodate PWDs.
The center will also deal with discrimination complaints and refer them to the proper university office.
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