For the first time, the Philippines will host an International Leadership Summit in Inclusive Education at the SMX Convention Center Manila on Feb. 22 to 24, with the theme “I Am You—Opening Minds, Opening Hearts: Putting Values into Action.”
The summit will gather educators, legislators, service providers, support groups/associations, international organizations, disabled people organizations, international and local students, and parents to build an intentional and proactive community for inclusive education.
Given the broad scope of inclusive education—which encompasses people with disabilities, indigenous people, Muslims and other marginalized communities—most of the topics and discussion at the summit will focus on people with disabilities.
The end goal, organizers said, is to build on this summit “the beginning of a series of conferences and the greater essence of inclusive education—education for all.”
International experts in inclusive education will provide the keynotes at the Summit, namely Professor Tony Booth from the University of Cambridge, celebrated author of “Index for Inclusion” (translated into 40 languages), and David Hoff of the Boston-based Institute for Community Inclusion.
Vice President Leni Robredo will grace the event and provide welcome remarks, together with Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely, Unicef Country Representative Lotta Sylwander, and SM Supermalls president Anna Maria Garcia.
Sen. Bam Aquino and Rep. Alfred Vargas will present the joint bill to serve the people with disabilities worked on by the organizing committee spearheaded by the Fully Abled Nation.
Engineer Bien Mateo of SM Cares, Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi of Unilab Foundation, Carmen Reyes-Zubiaga of the National Council on Disability Affairs, and Atty. Adel Tamano will join them and share their programs and messages of inspiration.
For registrations to the summit and corporate sponsorships, please visit www.theteachersgallery.com, www.iamyouinclusion.net, or contact Mai Roble at 0977-8095110 or 0998-554-8522 or 02-769-3013.
The summit will also have extraordinary people sharing their overcoming-disability-to succeed 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, 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.