The Center for Possibilities is scheduled to show its documentary on special needs entitled “Yakap” on February 22, 4:00 pm. I got to watch the film and I must say that it’s a must-watch. I also shared my thoughts on the blog about Yakap. The screening will be at the SMX Convention Center Manila, providing those who missed last year’s premiere an opportunity to view the much-lauded documentary which follows the lives of three families of children with special needs.
The screening will be part of the international leadership summit on inclusive education organized by the social enterprise, The Teacher’s Gallery. With the theme, “I Am You – Opening Minds, Opening Hearts: Putting Values into Action”, the summit which will run from February 22 to 24, aims to to spearhead a movement that will advocate for the right of the individual with disability to be educated in the regular classroom. #YesToInclusion is their call.
Renowned international experts, Professors Tony Booth from the University of Cambridge and David Hoff of the Boston-based Institute for Community Inclusion will deliver the keynotes. There will be paper presenters on how inclusion works, posing and challenging theories, and conceiving innovative concepts. Further, participants of the 2016 Boston Study Tour will report on benchmarking best practices in the US classrooms.
Expected to take part in the program are Vice-President Leni Robredo, Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely, and UNICEF Country Representative Lotta Sylwander. Senator Bam Aquino and Congressman Alfred Vargas will be presenting the joint bill to serve the people with disabilities worked on by the organizing committee led by the Fully Abled Nation.
Schools, parents, service providers and support groups will impart best practices/perspectives on how inclusion works for their children. To explain their support programs are heads of various associations: AD/HD Association, Autism Society, Cerebral Palsy, and Down Syndrome Association. They will also be joined by highly respected developmental and behavioral pediatricians namely Dr. Francis Dimalanta and Dr. Stella Manalo and the Harvard graduates from the International Education Policy program. For the local government unit, Mayor Rex Gatchalian will share Valenzuela’s educational programs serving people with disabilities.
Another portion to look forward to is the segment of extraordinary people relating their overcoming disability success stories – Sarah Jane Dela Rosa, a 22-year-old student with cerebral palsy fully included in a regular class; Eric Marco Ramos, the first blind person to qualify for the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program administered by the US Fulbright Commission and currently a faculty member at Philippine Normal University; Dr. Rex Bernardo from the University of Sydney, currently a professor of Mabini Colleges; and Joy Garcia, Chief Executive Officer of Tahanan ng Walang Hagdan. Finally, Mr. Tony Llanes, the blind founder of ATRIEV (Adaptive Technology for the Rehabilitation, Integration and Empowerment of Visually Impaired) will be demonstrating digital resources for the blind.
Alongside the talks will be the exhibition of #DrawDisability, a global art campaign launched by the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative in partnership with the Global Observatory for Inclusion and the UN Global Education First Initiative Youth Advocacy Group. It’s good to know that there are talks about inclusion in the Philippines. I highly recommend “Yakap,” the documentary on special needs. It’s heart-warming and an eye-opener. For inquiries and registration, visit www.theteachersgallery.com, www.iamyouinclusion.net or call 02-769-3013 / 0977-8095110 / 0998-554-8522.