“Kailangan bang naka upo sa wheelchair o naka saklay ang PWD bago siya i-consider na person with disability? Kasi PWD ako pero ayaw akong bigyan ng discount sa parmasya dahil ayaw maniwalang PWD ako.” – Mila, an epileptic.
Often when we see the acronym “PWD”, we think of a person who isn’t able to walk or move on his own, could not speak, see, or hear. Very few would consider the fact that a disability (or being ‘disabled’) does not only mean having physical impairments. You may be looking at a person who is able to function normally, has complete control of his limbs, but is actually considered a PWD because of an illness that limits his ability to perform other tasks.
It is probably because of this limited concept on disabilities that cause confusion and conflict in providing and allowing for a PWD’s rights and benefits. Senior citizens have long been enjoying their privileges (with the flash of an SC I.D. and they are immediately granted a discount, a free seat, or a prime parking space), while PWDs still need to fight it out with business establishments (such as in the case of Mila) in order to be given the right assistance.
Today’s article will focus on the Pinoy PWD, who he is and who determines if he is qualified to be called a ‘PWD’. If you or someone you know is a PWD (or you think falls under this category), share this with them too.
Who is a PWD?
R.A. 7277 or the Magna Carta for the Disabled Persons should the record straight for all of us. According to the law, PWDs are:
“Those suffering from restriction or different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.”
The definition covers people who are deaf, mute, blind, epileptic, and has physical malformations. They may have had these conditions from birth or were acquired due to a prior illness, an accident, a stroke or heart attack, and the like.
Some impairment are not physically obvious that is why it is important that PWDs carry with them an ID as proof of their condition and in most cases, to support their claim for special benefits and privileges.
To serve as reference, here is a list of illnesses and physical conditions that are considered ‘disabilities’ by the National Council on Disability Affairs. This, however, does not limit the conditions that may be considered ‘disabilities’, depending on the person’s physical or mental condition:
- Physical and Orthopedic Disability
- Visual Impairment
- Hearing Impairment
- Speech Impairment
- Intellectual Disability
- Psycho Social Disability (includes people with ADHD, Bi-polar disorder, long-term recurring depression, nervous breakdown, epilepsy, schizophrenia and other long-term recurring mental or behavioral problems).
In cases of multiple disabilities, the dominant disability is identified as the primary disability, followed by secondary or other disabilities.
Who determines if a person should be considered a PWD?
The establishment that issued the disability document, such as the:
- Office of the Mayor
- Office of the Barangay Captain
- National Commission on Disability Affairs (NCDA)
- DSWD Offices
- Participating organizations with Memorandum of Agreements with the DOH
- Apparent Disability Medical Certificate Licensed Private or Government Physician
- School Assessment Licensed Teacher duly signed by the School Principal
A person who is considered a PWD is entitled to rights, benefits, and privileges. We will provide you with a summary of the salient points of the IRR tomorrow.
Meanwhile, you may read our article on how to get a PWD ID here.