Senate Passes Bill to Help Learners with Special Needs

For inclusive education.
Photo/s: Shutterstock

The Senate on Monday approved on final reading a measure seeking to ensure equal opportunities for learners with special needs, which is seen as a major step forward to promote inclusivity in the basic education sector.

Twenty-three senators unanimously approved Senate Bill 1907, sponsored and co-authored by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, which declares that no learner with disability will be denied admission and inclusion in any basic education institution.

Under the measure, at least one Inclusive Learning Resource Center should be established in all cities and municipalities in the country.

These centers will offer linguistic solutions for deaf learners' concerns, speech-language pathology and audiology services, physical and occupational therapy, counseling and rehabilitation, and medical and transportation services, among others.

The facilities are also mandated under the bill to implement the Child Find System to ensure that all learners with disabilities who don't receive basic education services are identified, located, evaluated so that they can be included in the general education system.

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The Inclusive Learning Resource Centers will be staffed by multidisciplinary teams of professionals and experts, including special needs teachers, educational psychologists, guidance counselors, psychometricians, developmental pediatricians, physical therapists, and speech and language therapists.


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