SORSOGON CITY --- The United States government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the country’s first Inclusive Education Community Resource Center (IECRC) in Sorsogon East Central School here.
The IECRC is part of USAID’s three-year Gabay project with P92.3 million budget allocation aimed to assist and provide quality education among school children with physical handicap specifically blind, deaf, and deafblind children in Sorsogon province.
Dr. Thomas LeBlanc, USAID director/Philippines Office of Education joined with Department of Education (DepEd) Usec. Diosdado San Antonio and Sorsogon City Mayor Ester Hamor for the inauguration of the country’s first IECRC.
The USAID-supported education center provides braillers, braille embossers, hearing aid devices, and other assistive technology and equipment for use by early-grade students with visual and hearing impairments.
The program and partnership efforts will enable teachers to produce appropriate learning materials for 2,100 children with sensory disabilities.
“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,” LeBlanc in a press statement of the US Embassy said.
The project is implemented in partnership with Resources for the Blind Inc., a local non-governmental organization.
Gabay project is designed to increase access to quality education for blind, deaf, and deafblind children.
Aside from Sorsogon, the USAID will also establish two more IECRCs later this year in Batangas City and Maasin City according to the US Embassy press statement.