Camille Villar lauds law on inclusive learning for students with disabilities: They deserve ‘to fulfill their potential and do more’

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By Billy Begas

House Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar hailed the enactment of the law that will make learning inclusive for persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Villar said the new law will break down the barriers being faced by PWDs to give them a brighter future.

“This is definitely a step forward in advancing the welfare of PWDs, particularly students, who now have access to free and mainstream education courtesy of a newly signed law. We must continuously work to ensure that we give them all available opportunities,” Villar said.

Villar is one of the authors of Republic Act 11650 (An Act Instituting a Policy of Inclusion and Services for Learners with Disabilities in Support of Inclusive Education) that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last March 11.

“Like many of us, children with disabilities deserve to fulfill their potential and do more. They need the necessary support from the government and other stakeholders in order that they will not be left behind,” Villar added.

Under RA 11650 the Department of Education (DepEd), is mandated to establish inclusive learning resource centers (ILRCs) in all school districts nationwide.

ILRCs shall support learners with disabilities (LWDs) in a manner that they could be included in regular schools in the least restrictive environment, provide school-based training for them, and ensure that they receive the appropriate services.

Existing special education centers (SPED) shall be converted to and renamed ILRC.

The newly approved law also creates an Inter-agency Coordinating Council for LWDs composed of heads of the Departments of Education, of Health, of Social Welfare, of Public Works and Highways, of the Interior and Local Government, of Labor and Employment, and of Finance, as well as heads of the Technical Education agency, Commission on Higher Education, and National Council on Disability Affairs.