Last May 10, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde launched "The Benilde Exchange/Day of Whistles" which brings together a community of advocates to promote positive awareness, positive perceptions, and greater social awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities.
In the Green Room, 10th floor, of the School of Design and Arts building, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Champions and members of the sector gathered to empower the Benildean Community and its partners with a deeper understanding of The United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilites (UNCRPD). Cesar de Larrazabal, Director of the Center of Linkages and Advancement warmly welcomed everyone in attendance and assured Benilde's commitment in providing quality education for all. Dr. Lisa Martinez, Director of the Philippine Deaf Resource Center, and Mr. Lauro Purcil Jr., Lead Convenor of the Philippine Coalition on the UNCRPD highlighted that the convention is a major step toward changing the perception of disability and ensures that societies recognize that all people must be provided with the opportunities to live life to their fullest potential, whatever that may be.
Mr. Rod Nolasco of the NOVA Management Team discussed the PWD sector in the area of employment while Dr. Irma Coronel with the Advisory Council for the Education of Children and Youth with Disabilities (ACECYD) focused on the challenges for a more accessible public education system.
Mr. Mike Barredo, representing the Pilipinos with Disabilities, Inc. (PWD Inc.) Partylist vying for seats in Congress to represent the marginalized sector this May 10, synthesized the day's proceedings and reminded everyone of their vision to remove barriers, systemic and attitudinal, that hinder PWD participation in community life and to empower the PWD sector by uplifting existing economic and social conditions for its betterment.
De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde looks forward to spearhead more symposia of this nature to raise awareness not only within the Benildean Community but the whole nation as well.