The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched the first Inclusive Education Community Resource Center in the Philippines today at Sorsogon East Central School.
The center is part of USAID’s three-year, Php92.3 million Gabay Project. Implemented in partnership with Resources for the Blind Inc., a local non-governmental organization, Gabay is designed to increase access to quality education for blind, deaf, and deafblind children.
Two other Inclusive Education Community Resource Centers will be established later this year in Batangas City and Maasin City. The USAID-supported centers provide braillers, braille embossers, hearing aid devices, and other assistive technology and equipment for use by early-grade students with visual and hearing impairments. The partnership will enable teachers to produce appropriate learning materials for 2,100 children with sensory disabilities.
Director of USAID/Philippines Office of Education Dr. Thomas LeBlanc joined Philippine government officials led by Department of Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio and Sorsogon City Mayor Ester Hamor for the inauguration of the center. “Your efforts and partnerships are critical to building an inclusive environment for Filipino children, families and communities, who are all part of our shared future,” said LeBlanc.