The WDFP Objectivess are designed to provide persons with disability equalization of opportuinities as well as the opportunities as well as the opportunity for greater and faster social integration and mainsteaming. These Objectivess are as follows:
- To become socially integrated ad economically productive individual.
- To have equal opportunities for personal, social adn economic advancement.
- To be able to mainstream in a society that is free from psychological and physical barriers.
- To live with dignity and enjoy the blessings of life like any other child of God.
Programs and Projects
Ten years after its organization, the WDFP started to evaluate and to take a close look at its Objectivess in the light of the present day realities, problems and prospects in order to maximize and effectively channel its resourcs to projects and programs that will eventually lead the disabled towards mainstreaming and social integration. Thus, the STEERS program was conceived in 1985. What is the STEERS Program?
STEERS is the acronym which represents WDFP's total approach to the problems of mainstreaming and social integration of disabled persons through:
S - Spiritual Enrichment
T - Travel and Tourism
E - Education thru scholarship and seminar-workshop
E - Employment thry skills training, referral and placement
R - Research and Publication
S - Sports and Recreation
- Spiritual Enrichment
- Travel and Tourism
- Education thru Scholarhip and Seminar-Workshop
- Employment thru skills training, referral and placement
- Research and Publication
- Sports and Recreation
WDFP fully believes in the spiritual approach to finding solutions to some basic moral and spiritual problems including those related to attitudes, values, conflicts and inner peace. A disabled person's spirituality can serve as a positive factor towards mainstreaming as he tries to reach out to other people about his thoughts, feelings, ideas, aspirations and expectations.
In the spiritual approach to mainstreaming, WDFP has instituted the annual retreat for paraplegics and oter disabled which has been held on the last week of December every year since 1975. During this 3-day retreat, the disabled participants are able to reach out ad relate to other participants, both disabled and non-disabled. On the other hand, members of the UP Community, where the retreat takes place in the University of the Philippines campus, interact with the disabled by providing them with food and other services in order to insure the success and continuity of the project. Going to church and attending religious services are components of WDFP's spiritual program.
Travel is a major component of the mainstreaming program of WDFP. Mainstreaming is a dynamic process; it suggests mobility. Thus, to mainstream, one must always be on the go. To the disabled, especially those on wheelchair, travel may yet be a dream to realize. For the majority, mainstreaming process of the disabled maybe difficult unless government and society can cooperate to eliminate all barriers that impinge on the mobility of disabled persons. The strict enforcement of the Accessibility Law could very well enhance and accelerate the mainstreaming of disabled persons. This means that public transportation. public buildings and offices, schools, sports and recreation centers, supermarkets and moviehouses,etc., must be made accessible to a wheelchair users.
WDFP has made some initial steps in helping a number of disabled in their travel in Metro Manila. Most of these disabled travelers are foreign tourists from Australia, Europe, Japan, United States and other Asian countries. The assistance that are WDFP provides is limited to information aon what to see, where to dine, where to visit, etc. Sometimes, individual members of WDFP serve as tourist guides.
In 1984, WDFP produced a 30-minute VTR documentary entitled, "Mabuhay"- Guide to Disabled Tourist in the Philippines. The documentary features tourist spots, establishments, activities of Filipio disabled and rehabilitation agencies that provide services to disabled persons.
WDFP believes in educations the most effective means by which the disabled can integrate himself and eventually mainstream into normal society. The integration process thru education is probably the most natural process without giving the disabled undue stress and strain.
Recognizing the importance of education in mainsreaming, WDFP has set up a scholarship program at the University of the Philippines for physically handicapped college students who are intellectually capable of pursuing a four year degree course of his choice. It has establishedbthe WDAP Scholarhip Endowment Fund, the interest of which is spent to support three WDFP scholars at U.P. WDFP also provide grants and aids to physically handicapped students taking vocational courses outside U.P. in the form of tuition and transportatio allowance. About 15-20 students per year are benifitted by this program.
Started in 1976, the WDFP Scholarship Program at UP has graduated a number of handicapped students who are now successful practitioners of their chosen profession. To mention a few, a post-polio who finished the Bachelor of Laws is now a judge in Cavite and another who is an AB Mass Comm. graduate is now actively involved in TV production in a number of television stations, while another was born without arms finished Fine Arts and is now a successful painter and is a member of the International Organization of Foot and mouth Artists.
Any pysically handicapped Filipino student interested to avail of the WDFP Scholarship Program at UP must first pass the UP College Admission Test. Interested parties should spend their inquiries to the Scholarhsip Division, Office of Student Affairs, UP Diliman, Quezon City or the WDFP office at 8 St. Michael Street, Cubao, Quezon City (Tel. nos. 721-3620 or 927-6064).
Another component of education program is the holding of seminar workshop on various areas of concern that will enhance and develop student personality and social skills such as leadership training and peer counselling.
Employment is probably the most critical and crucial factor in mainstreaming of the disabled. It is critical in the sense that the Philippines is teeming with unemployed people, therefore employment of the disabled becomes highly competitive. Proper education could serve as key to employment, and sometimes this is also true the other way around because educations requires logistics and therefore necessitates a steady income through employment for the disabled students. An employed disabled person develop a feeling of confidence and inner security. He tends to perceive himself with self-esteem and worthy of existence. He feels dignified. All of these contribute in a positive way to his mainstreaming odyssey.
WDFP does not have ay specific project for employment except the referral system for placement. This, in fact, is carried on a perconal basis by members of the board of WDFP, each on becoming a placement officer per se.
WDFP is also developing the Directory of Persons with Orthopedic Disability. The directory includes education background and occupational skills as the basis for matching applicant with job openings. WDFP is networking with the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) for job placement of persons with orthopedic disability.
WDFP has set up a referral system to assist disabled job applicants to find appropriate work compatible with their qualifications and level of disability. It also conducts a training workshop and seminar to develop marketable skills like painting, computer training, etc.
This program consists of two projects:
a) Basic researchon "Profile of the Phhilippine Disabled" as well as those related to disability prevention and rehabilitation. b)Publication of WDFP Newsletter and the Handicapables, which features human interest articles and personal accounts of paraplegics, as well as articles on disability prevention and rehabilitation of disabled persons.
WDFP participates in the Rotarympics, an annual sports competition organized by the Rotary Club of Diliman.
It also sponsors revreational activities for the disabled like outings, picnics, sight-seeing tours, etc.
To the disabled, recreation plays an important role in rehabilitation. It an serve as a therapeutic approach to some psychological problems that interfere in his rehabilitation. It can also contact with others. Most common forms brings the disabled into direct personal contact with others. Most common forms of recreation are attendingnparties, watching movies, ballgames, etc. which greatly facilitate mainstreaming of the disabled. WDFP is planning specific projects on recreation for the disabled.
Sports is one area of human activity where the disabled can actively participate regardless of the nature and level of his physical diability. Rehabilitationists have developed various sports that are adapted to suit the mobility of the players especially those on wheelchairs/ There are any sports both outdoor and indoor that the physically disabled can indulge in. WDFP is developing a sports program that will encourage healthly competition in various sports like basketball, table tennis, chess, backgammon and archery among the residents of the different houses for disabled in Metro Manila.
The social integration and mainstreaming program of WDFP appears to be an ambitious project for a single agency to undertake. It requires a lot of logistics. Hopeful of the positive results and impact of the program on the attitude and perception of the public towards of the disabled, WDFP will take up the challenge of assisting the disabled mainstream against the current.
All these programs are designed to help persons with disablity particularly students attain a greater and faster degree of social integration and mainstreaming.