AUSTRALIA ENHANCES LEARNING FOR VISUALLY-IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN CEBU
Australian Ambassador Rod Smith speaks with Stephie Elaine Navaja, one of the visually-impaired students of Cebu Braille Center Inc (CBCI) at the Cebu Normal University during his recent visit there.
The Australian Embassy’s Direct Aid Program (DAP) provided a small grant to CBCI to acquire learning aids, including Braille dictionary, talking scientific calculator, zoom magnifier and Perkins brailler, as well as musical and sports equipment to enhance the delivery of special education for children with visual impairment, including those with multiple disabilities associated with blindness. The grant was facilitated by Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development volunteer Zoe Batten who shared her expertise on capacity building, skills transfer and institutional strengthening with CBCI.
“We hope that Australia’s modest assistance will help CBCI reach out to more young students who are in need of specialised learning assistance. We will also continue to explore options for supporting inclusive education, disability research, and capacity building of people with disabilities and disabled peoples’ organisations through scholarships,” Ambassador Smith said.
The Australian Government remains committed to addressing the needs of people with disabilities and has partnered with a number of organisations in the Philippines towards this end. Since 2006, DAP has provided more than Php3 million for programs that helped increase disabled people’s access to livelihood and income-generating activities, and to social services such as health and special education.