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Historical Perspectives

1902 – During the American regime, the interest to educate Filipino children with disabilities was
expressed more than a century ago.

Mr. Fred Atkinson – General Superintendent of Education

 Reported to the Secretary of Public Instruction that deaf and blind children are
found in a census of school-aged children in Manila and in the nearby provinces.
 He proposed that these children be enrolled in school just like the other children.

1907 – Special education program formally started in the country.

Mr. David Barrows – Director of Public Education

 Worked for the establishment of Insular School for the Deaf and Blind in Manila.

Miss Delight Rice – an American educator

 Was the first administrator and teacher of the special school.

At Present - School for the Deaf – Harrison Street, Pasay City

 Philippine National School for the Blind – Polo Road, Pasay City

1926 – 1949

 1926 – Philippine Association for the Deaf (PAD) composed mostly of hearing impaired members
and special education specialists.
 1927 – the government established the Welfareville Children’s Village in Mandaluyog, Rizal.
 1936 – mrs. Maria Villa Fransisco was appointed as the first Filipino principal of the School of the
Deaf and the Blind (SDB)
 1945 – National Orthopedic Hospital opened its School for the Crippled Children (NOHSCC) for
young patients who had to be hospitalized for long periods of time.
 1949 – Quezon City Science High School for gifted students was inaugurated.
- Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PFRD) was organized
1950 – 1975

 1950 – PAD opened a school for children with hearing impairment.

 1953 – the Elsie Gaches Village (EGV) was established in Alabang, Muntinlupa, Rizal to take care
of abandoned and orphaned children and youth wth physical and mental handicaps.
 1954 – first week of august was declared a Sight Saving Week.
 1955 – private sector supported the government’s program for disabled Filipinos.
- Lodge No. 761 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks organized The Elk
Central Palsy Project Incorporated.
- First Parent Teacher Work Conference in Special Education was held at the SDB.
 1956 – The First Summer Institute on Teaching the Deaf was held at the school for the Deaf and
the Blind in Pasay City.
 1957 – the beginning of the integration of deaf pupils in regular classes.
- Bureau of Public Schools (BPS) of the Department of Education and Culture (DEC)
created Special Education Section of the Special Subject and Services Division. The
inclusion of special education in all regions of the country.

The components of the special education program included

1. Legislation
2. Teacher training
3. Census of exceptional children and youth in schools and the community
4. The integration of children with disabilities in regular classes
5. Rehabilitation of residential and special schools
6. Materials production

- Baguio Vacation Normal School ran courses on teaching children with handicaps.
The Baguio City Special Education Center was organized.
 1958 – the American Foundation for Overseas Blind (AFOB) opened its regional office in Manila.
- AFOB assisted DEC for many years, regarding the consultancy services in the teacher
training program, focused on the integration of blind children in regular classes and
materials production at the Philippine Printing House for the Blind.
 1960 – some private colleges and universities started to offer special education courses in their
graduate school curriculum.
 1962 – Manila Youth Rehabilitation Center (MYRC) was opened. The center extended srvices to
children and youth who were emotionally disturbed and socially maladjusted.
- DEC issued Circular no. 11 s. 1962 that specified the “Qualifications of Special
Education Teachers.”
- PFRD sponsored the Second Pan Pacific Rehabilitation Conference in Manila that
convened international experts in rehabilitation of handicapped persons.
- Experimental integration of blind children at the Jose Rizal Elementary School in
Pasay City.
- First National Seminar in Special Education was held at SDB in Pasay City
- St. Joseph of Cupertino School for the Mentally Retarded, a private day school, was
- Training of DEC teacher scholars at the University of the Philippines commenced in
the areas of hearing impairment, mental retardation and mental giftedness under
R.A. 5250.
- Philippine General Hospital opened classes for its school-age chronically ill patients.
 1963 – with the approval of R.A. No. 3562, the training of DEC teacher scholars for blind children
started at the Philippine Normal College.
- The Philippine Printing House for the Blind was established at the DEC compound
with the assistance of the American Foundation Oversees Blind, UNICEF and CARE
- Manila Science High School for gifted students was established.
 1964 – the Quezon City Science Schools Division followed suit with the establishment of the
Quezon City Science High School for gifted students
 1965 – marked the start of the training program for school administrators on the organization,
administration, supervision of special education classes.
 1967 – BPS organized the National Committee on Special Education.
 1968 – with the approval of R.A. No. 5250, the teacher training program for teacher of
exceptional children was held at the Philippine Normal College for the nes ten years.
- First Asian Conference on Work for the Blind was held in Manila.
 1969 – classes for socially maladjusted children were organized at the Manila Youth Reception
Center. The Jose Fabella Memorial School was divided into five units and assigned to different
parts of Metro Manila
1. Philippine Training School for Boys – Tanay, Rizal
2. Philippine Training School for Girls – Marillac Hills, Alabang, Muntinlupa
3. Reception and Child Study Center – Manila
4. Elsie Gaches Village – Alabang
5. Nayon ng Kabataan – Pasay City
 1970 – training of teachers for children with behavior problems started at the University of the
- School for the Deaf and Blind were recognized into two separate residential schools:
1. School for the Deaf (PSD) stayed in the original building
2. Philippine National School for the Blind was built next to PSD
- Paaralan ng Pag-ibig at Pag-asa, a special school was established.
 1971 – DEC issued a memorandum on Duties of the Special Education Teacher for the Blind
 1974 – the First National Conference on the Rehabilitation of the Disabled was held at the Social
Security Building in Quezon City.
- Southeast Asian Institute for Deaf (SAID), a private day school, was established
 1975 – Division of manila City Schools implemented the Silahis Concept of Special Education in
public elementary schools.
- Six schools were chosen to organize special education programs for the different
types of exceptional children.
- Until today, Silahis Centers continue to lead in the inclusion of exceptional children
in regular classes.
- DEC was reorganized into the Ministry of Education Culture (MEC) where the Special
Subjects and Services Division were abolished. The personnel of the Special
Education Unit of MEC while the other half was assigned to the Special Education
Unit of the MEC National Capital Region in Quezon City.

1976 – 2000

 1976 – Proclamation 1605 declared 1977-1987 as the Decade of the Filipino Child.
- First Camp Pag-ibig, a day camp for handicapped children was held on
Valentine’s day in Balara, Quezon City
 1977 – MEC issued Department Order No. 10 that designed regional and division supervisors of
special education programs.
- West Visayas State College of Iloilo City started its teacher training program and
offered scholarships for qualified teachers.
- Here are some schools which opened in the same year:
1. The Bacarra Special Education Center
2. Division of Ilocos Sur
3. Bacolod Special Education Center
4. Division of Bacolod City
 1978 – marked the creation of the National Commission Concerning Disabled Persons (NCCDP),
which later renamed National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP) through
Presidential Decree 1509.
- MEC memorandum No. 285 directed school divisions to organize special classes with a
set of guidelines on the designation of teachers who have no formal training in special
- University of the Philippines opened its special education teacher training program for
undergraduate students.
- Philippine association for the Deaf started its mainstreaming program in the Division of
Manila City Schools.
- The Davao Special School was established in the Division of Davao City