Ateneo Special Education Society (SPEED)’s Sparkle: A Reappearance and a Celebration of Diversity and Abilities

Written by: Mia Geronimo

Edited by: Naomi Sandoval

 

After three years, Sparkle is finally making a comeback as one of the Ateneo Special Education Society’s (SPEED) largest advocacy projects. Sparkle is a fair geared towards the improvement of the social skills of PWSNs (Persons with Special Needs) from the organization’s partner area institutions and spreading awareness about SPEED’s advocacy to the rest of society both inside and outside Ateneo. Volunteers are welcome to sign up to become buddies or partners to PWSNs for the duration of the Saturday afternoon. There is so much to see in the event: activity booths, inflatables, performances/talent shows, you name it all. Sparkle never fails to bring out the child in everyone, which is why it is no wonder that each person leaves the event with large and radiant smiles on their faces.

Every Sparkle event has a different theme, and each theme conveys one of the organization’s advocacies, which is to celebrate the beauty of the special needs sector. This year’s theme is Safari to highlight the concept of diversity. Through Sparkle, SPEED endeavors to emphasize the very essence and beauty this diversity brings. Imagine this: You spend a wonderful day on a safari. What do you see? Biodiversity – animals of all sorts, sizes, shapes, and personalities. A half-day exposure to PWSNs of different ages, personalities, prowesses, and everything else in between is like going to a safari, in which one sees animals of all kinds and sorts. This theme parallels the perception of a human society that is just as diverse, just as colorful and filled with people who possess unique ways of seeing the world.

As we welcome and celebrate each other’s differences, let us remember that the PWSN sector consists not only of individuals with differences in ability, but in personalities, talents, skills, and so much more. Sparkle aims to show that PWSNs, with all their capabilities and gifts, can do many things that invoke amazement. This is manifested in our activity booths. Among many other skills and talents, many PWSNs possess a deep love for creation. Be it arts and crafts or cupcake decorating, PWSNs will show us all that we can and must look beyond the limiting labels of disabilities to appreciate that diversity in personalities and special gifts are what PWSNs deserve to be recognized for.

In closing, dear reader, Sparkle has been capable of helping SPEED slowly but surely achieve its mission and vision: the inclusive society for PWSNs that we continue to dream of and strive to turn into reality. We invite all to become a part of this vision of a society that accepts each and every individual and continues to grow in love and happiness. So what are you waiting for? Join SPEED for an afternoon of joyous laughter and light-hearted fun with the special needs sector! Happening on November 17, 2018, at Ateneo de Manila’s Bellarmine Field from 1-5PM. Sign up online at tinyurl.com/Sparkle2018Buddies.

            For any concerns or inquiries, send us an email at ateneospeed@­gmail.com or visit our official Facebook page.

 






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