More than 100 people, including SM mall agencies, tenants, affiliates, mall admin employees and media practitioner, as well as Persons with Disability Affairs Office(PDAO) representatives and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) participated in the 2016 PWD(Persons with Disability) Seminar. During the four hour seminar, the participants were reminded of the equal rights, entitlement, social inclusion and participation of persons with disability, the implications of disability issues and the experience of disability and impairment.
Through the SM Committee on Disability Affairs, SM Olongapo and other SM malls conduct the seminar to strengthen its goal to give quality service to Persons with Special Needs.
During the seminar, participants discussed extensively the pertinent laws related to PWDs and how everyone can contribute to fostering respect and restoring positive images of persons with disabilities, in order to promote disability rights and inclusion.
SM malls offer fully accessible friendly facilities to PWDs, including compliance to all architectural features and facilities like PWD ramps at the mall main entrance and exit; access ramps from main street to arcaded sidewalk; washrooms and toilets; parking stalls; lowered counter/priority lane; pregnant and elderly, pwd slots inside the cinema; fitting rooms, public payphones /ATMS or Automatic Teller Machines and directional and information signages within the common areas.
It can be recalled that in 2008 SM malls were given the Apolinario Mabini Award as the Disabled Friendly Establishment of the Year under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. SM malls were commended by the Mabini Awards Committee for the efforts of providing inputs on non-handicapping environment and changing the attitude towards the PWDs that people should not hesitate to extend kindness and concern towards them.(PR-SMOL)