The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

18 September 2009

Just like the First Time

Many frontliners hearts were tugged early morning of September 14, 2009 at SM Mall of Asia. “The Heart of SM,” a 10-minute documentary film initiated by the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD).

SM Frontliners during the sensitivity training

SM Disability Committee Chairman Engineer Bien Mateo welcomed the Mall Managers, participants and guest speakers, ASP National President Dang Koe, Architect John Silva, Chairman on Accessibility Committee for the United Architects Philippines and Tony Pasia Executive Director of Down Syndrome Association Philippines.

Ms. Dang Koe gave the orientation to our frontliners

After the primary showing to frontliners, many remarked “Na-kaka-touch naman.” (The documentary is very touching), as reported by the morning’s emcee. The documentary featured the different implementation of structures and other facilities that would provide accessibility to PWDs. Hoping to elicit a better understanding and deeper insight to the lives of the PWDs as they negotiate the PWD barrier-free mall.

Although managers at SM Mall of Asia headed SM MOA Assistant Vice President Stephen Tan and Mall Manager Perkin So, are familiar with ASP Autism Orientation, they still chose to stay and listen to the guest speakers.

I kidded him SM managers can already give the talks themselves because they have heard us so many times,” said Dang after her talk on Autism Orientation. “Nakakatuwa tingnan yung facial reactions ni Sir Bien while I was talking...talagang interested siya, as if listening to me the first time,” she continued.

The managers wanted to set a good example to the frontliners of the importance of the orientation, an expression of the serious and genuine partnership towards people with autism. Click here to read about the ASP-SM partnership.

The Understanding Special Customers and the documentary aim to inspire other public and private institutions in Asian-Pacific countries to follow SM’s model in PWD accessibility. For private or public institutions that would like to avail of orientation programs on understanding persons/customers with autism, please call us at 7-903-5496.

SM also hosts the upcoming Autism Beyond Borders Conference, ASP’s 11th National Autism Conference and 1st Southeast Asian Confernece this coming October 24-25 at SMX Complex and Post-Conference workshops on October 26-27 at SM Sky Dome. Click here for more details.


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