Consistently, SM Olongapo conducts Seminar on Handling Persons with Special Needs in support to SM Cares Program on Persons with Disabilities and to the various government programs on PWDs. As the mall progresses, the aim to protect and treat persons with special needs also flourish.
In a seminar conducted recently, SM Olongapo invited speakers from the different special education schools; Minerva Vergara from Old Cabalan Integrated School- SPED Coordinator, Millette Sarmiento from Gordon Heights-SPED Coordinator and Veronica Galicia from Old Cabalan Integrated School- SPED Coordinator to talk about topics on How to Communicate with persons with Visual Impairment, Interacting with People with Disabilities, and How to Handle Customer with Hearing Impairment respectively.
Mr. Gonzalo Pascua, Jr. Head of City Social Welfare and Development Office, Ma. Eleanor Francisco of Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office and Regional and Federation President for Visual Group Andrew Perez, Nette Mortel, PR Manager of SM Olongapo and Rafael John Escalante, Building Administration Officer of SM Olongapo were also present in the seminar. Similarly, tenants, employees, and front liners were the target audience of the orientation and training.
“ Masayang-masaya po kami sa pagkakataong ito dahil ang SM ay nagbubukas ng malaking pagkakataon para sa katulad namin upang ma-access ng mabuti ang lugar na ito(mall) at natutuwa po kami dahil pinapahalagahan ng SM ang mga kagaya naming may kapansanan. Sana po ay magpatuloy pa ang programang ito dahil napakalaking tulong sa aming mga PWDs,” said Andrew Perez, regional and federation president, visual group.
“SM Cares promotes a barrier-free and disability inclusive environment. The SM Cares Program on PWDs have instituted key programs to address the needs of customers with special needs, which earned its reputation for being the most PWD-friendly establishment across the country. Facilities have dedicated areas for parking and proper embarkation and disembarkation for PWDs, special restrooms, ramps, some have braille signs, designed areas for PWDs in cinemas, as well as utilities with accessible height like pay phones and wash room sinks.” – SM CARES
Some of the Program’s notable initiatives which were held in partnership with some PWD organizations include the annual Angels Walk for Autism, Happy Walk for Down Syndrome, Special Movie Screening for the Blind and Deaf, White Cane Day for the Blind, Disaster Resilience Conference for PWDs and Senior Citizens, and special concerts for the benefit of the Filipino PWD. (SMOL)