By Gerard Joseph Atienza, ASP Bacoor Chapter Secretary
The National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA) held their Communication Planning Workshop on Disability on 18-19 March 2013 at the Subic Bay Travelers Hotel and Event Center, Olongapo City, Zambales.
The two-day seminar aimed to produce a communication plan that will guide the members of NCDA’s Subcommittee on Advocacy in the implementation of their respective communication strategies for their programs and services that are relevant to and inclusive for persons with disabilities, pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other laws (Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities and its amendments).
The participants were composed mostly of information officers from various government and non-government organizations, including Autism Society Philippines (ASP).
The workshop was opened by Ms. Carmen Zubiaga, NCDA Acting Executive Director, who discussed the objectives of the workshop. Among the topics that were discussed on the first day of the seminar included Advocacy Advertising, The Power of Branding, and Evolving Media, which were facilitated by Ms. Emily Abrera and Ms. Criscelle Capistrano, the President and the Managing Director of the Foundation for Communication Initiatives, respectively.
The second day featured a brief discussion on the Incheon Strategy to Make the Right Real for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific, after which each participant was asked to come up with their own respective strategies in making rights real for PWDs.
The member participants worked together to produce the proposed essence of NCDA as an organization, which will serve as its branding. Among the brands that the group have incepted was “PWD, Champion and Enabler,” with the traits of “Responsive, Nurturing, and Connecting.”
As the ASP representative to the seminar, I have seen firsthand how the Council works to pursue rights for PWDs and the willingness of different government agencies to support and include PWDs in their respective programs and activities. By constructing effective communication plans, groups that have PWDs as their constituents will be able to promote the abilities of each individual and benefit them in the long run.