“Just because a man lacks use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.”
That is the words of the blind American singer Stevie Wonder on how he coped with his disability and to reach the success that for him, almost seemed impossible.
There are times when a person with special needs is neglected badly by society, seeing them as worthless and incapable of casual work.
Deprived of the chance to work independently and have their own businesses, persons with disabilities struggle for a fair shake in life.
But the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has made their wishes come true.
The trade department has launched its “Persons with Disabilities Economic Empowerment Program” to help the integration of PWDs into the mainstream society.
The program provides the following interventions—enterprise-level assistance, enabling environment and policy advocacy.
In a simple ceremony that took place last July, DTI ROG Undersecretary and Permanent PWD Focal Person Zenaida C. Maglaya provided Myrla P. Sedenio of the National Council for Disability Affairs with a copy of the DTI Manual on Disability Inclusive Governance.
Witnesses to the said event were DTI-Resource Generation and Management Service staff, led by Zenaida F. Pre and Aurora A. dela Rea, with Randy Calsena of NCDA. The ceremony was held at the DTI Main Lobby wherein the DTI Mural on Disability Inclusive Governance is displayed.
The DTI Mural on Disability Inclusive Governance features persons with disabilities/organizations in the various parts of the country that DTI helped through its programs and services.
Both the handover ceremony and the mural are part of the DTI Calendar of Activities in support of the 41st National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week Celebration last July.
The celebration was geared “to strengthen national efforts towards disability prevention and rehabilitation to enable the effective integration of persons with disabilities into the mainstream of society.”
The theme for last year, “Lokal na Pamahalaan: Kabalikat sa Pagtupad ng Karapatan ng mga Taong Maykapansanan,” focused on regional/local efforts, particularly of local government units in increasing awareness about persons with disabilities and promoting their rights.
DTI started to improve its catalog during its yearly trade fairs and exhibits by putting and adding products locally-crafted here in the Philippines and created by disabled workers.
This won the hearts of different business owners and employers to start treating PWDs as normal working individuals.