The Henry Sy Foundation Advocates for Inclusive Education

Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) hand signs a gratitude message to Henry Sy Foundation (HSF), Department of Education, and Pasay Local Government after they collaborated for the revitalization of the 12-room laboratory building of Senior High School students.

The Magna Carta for Disabled Persons in the Philippines ensures the rehabilitation, self-development, and self-reliance of individuals with disabilities, offering educational support from primary to tertiary levels, including vocational and technical training. Among these initiatives is the Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) in Pasay City. The school which has played a pivotal role for over a century in empowering individuals with diverse disabilities through education. This showcases the country’s dedication to inclusive education. Despite its historical significance and contributions, PSD, as one of Southeast Asia’s oldest institutions for the deaf, faces challenges due to aging infrastructure. The school lacks essential facilities and accessibility features, such as converted classrooms, worn-out corridors, limited vocational training space, inadequate furniture, deteriorated walls and ceilings, broken tiles and faucets, and insufficient lighting. Drainage issues lead to flooding, and there’s only one functional toilet, infested by termites and with a broken door.

Revitalizing a legacy

Through a collaborative effort, the Henry Sy Foundation, SM Foundation (SMFI), and the Department of Education’s Schools Division Office of Pasay City have revitalized the Senior High School building and a four-story, 12-classroom structure. This partnership, part of the DepEd’s adopt-a-school program, showcases the impact of teamwork in rejuvenating educational facilities for the community’s benefit.

The school, previously constrained by infrastructure issues, now boasts upgraded learning spaces for subjects like dressmaking, beauty care, cookery, electrical work, bartending, food preparation, ICT, and dance. A renovated dance studio with a dressing room and a conference area adds to the improved facilities.

Differently abled students from PSD focus as they attend their beauty and cosmetology class in their new building.

To promote safety and accessibility, the campus has new ramps and railings, ensuring smooth mobility for all students. Alongside refurbishing classrooms and conference areas, the SM group revamped the lobby and reception for a welcoming atmosphere.

Hygiene and comfort were prioritized with rehabilitated handwashing stations, separate male and female toilets with clean, functional cubicles, urinals, and facilities for persons with disabilities.

The covered court received attention too, now featuring a spacious stage for outdoor learning and recreational activities.

This initiative at PSD goes beyond physical improvements, aiming to create an environment where every student can flourish. It reflects the ongoing commitment of the SM and Henry Sy Foundations to inclusivity and empowering differently-abled individuals through education.

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