Lawmakers urge Congress to create SPED centers for deaf-mute and blind children nationwide

LAWMAKERS have proposed the creation of municipal special education centers for deaf-mute and blind children all over the country.

Reps. Diosdado Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) filed House Bill 6495, which seeks to ensure the ease of accessibility for such children to special education facilities in every municipality throughout the country.

“The bill is timely and important as it seeks to address the problem of limited special education (SPED) facilities by establishing special education centers for the deaf-mute and blind,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo said as compared to normal children, deaf-mute and blind children have different and special needs which require careful attention and care.

The Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) had already reported the inadequacy of programs and the poor access to SPED due to the limited number of special schools and SPED centers in the country, Arroyo said.

Under the bill, each municipal special education centers will assist the DEPED in providing deaf-mute and blind children special quality education and related services as well as vocational and transitional services.

The DEPED shall develop special education courses for adoption and implementation by the accredited institutions of higher education and universities, the bill said.

The courses shall include subjects related to special education and adaptive physical education, special education supervision and administration and special education research.

The DepEd is also mandated to grant scholarship with necessary stipends and allowances to institutions of higher education which already offer such similar courses.

The centers are also mandated to make an annual report to the DepEd with regard to the number of recipients, by age, severity, and nature of deaf-muteness and blindness; the number of professional and family members directly served by, or serving in, each center; and the types of services provided.

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