The Autism Society Philippines and other disability groups were gathered together by the National Council on Disability Affairs to share their views in a three-day Demonstration-Workshop on “Handling Persons with Disabilities (PWD) who Travel” last January 20-22 at Cebu Pacific Building, NAIA Road, Pasay City.
It has been observed that the number of Persons with Disability (PWD) who travel by air for both domestic and international sector have tremendously increased. They travel to seek medical attention, attend seminars, conventions, or recreational purposes. Whatever their reasons are, their desire to travel should be met with encouragement and support. In order to have a meaningful travel experience, their needs have to be taken cared off collectively by the PWDs themselves, their families and travel service providers such as the airline industry.
To properly address the PWDs travel needs, the National Council on Disability Affairs, spearheaded by Mr. Randy C. Calseña, teamed up with Cebu Pacific Air in conducting the first Demonstration-Workshop attended by 60 Cebu Pacific and Tiger Air employees from different departments.
Ms. Carmen-Zubiaga, NCDA Acting Executive Director, gave her Disability Perspectives on concepts, models and legal bases sensitivity to PWDs during phone and transaction queries while other speakers shared their input in understanding different disabilities such as: Persons with Psychosocial disabilities, Physical Impairment, Deaf and Hard of hearing, Intellectual Disabilities focusing on Persons with Autism, and Visual Impairment.
Gina Luna-Bermudo, member of the Autism Society Philippines Board of Trustee, was among the resource speakers. As a flight attendant for 17 years and a mother of two frequent fliers diagnosed with ASD, Gina shared her experiences and knowledge in both areas: as a service provider and as a mother of travelers with special needs.
The Demonstration-Workshop served as an eye opener not only for the attendees but for the resource speakers as well. The collaboration of NCDA, Airline Industries, and the different disability groups for the benefit of travellers with special needs will definitely make each flight not only a trip that bring passengers to their final destinations but also a learning experience worth remembering.