The Adaptive Sports Program is designed to ensure that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) appear alongside all citizens as active participants in the sports and physical activities. In the Philippines, access to sport for the disabled is hampered by poverty, lack of awareness, and lack of accessible sports facilities.
We have identified adaptive sports as the key initiative to further strengthen and expand the venues for mainstreaming the inclusion of PWDs in all aspects of society.
Yearly, natural calamities plus constant insurgent warfare in remote parts of the Philippines contribute to disabled military and civilian casualties. Other causes of disability result in approximately 15% of the population living with a disability. Most of the newly disabled are faced with having to move around and earn a living in a non-disabled friendly country.
The disabled Filipinos who do take up sport discover this is a way to regain self-confidence, access psychosocial support, hope and maintain fitness.
In accordance with Article 30.5 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we want to engage PWDs and uphold their rights as equal, active and engaged citizens through sports participation.
Although the Philippine disabled sport contingents are smaller and less funded by the government, Filipino disabled athletes have been bringing in more medals than their able-bodied counterparts in equivalent international games. This is not because sports for the disabled are easier, but because of the will and ability of the athlete to excel.
The Adaptive Sports Program provides opportunities for people of all abilities to engage with and participate in sporting programs. We aim to increase the participation of persons with disabilities in sports and recreational activities in the society alongside with their counterparts
We have launched the first ever cross-disability adaptive dragon boat-racing program in the Philippines, The Power Paddlers.
Our future focus involves opening more and more sports to persons with disabilities. This includes swimming, wheelchair basketball, goalball, and boccia ball.
"I volunteer with PADS for over a year and has much exposure to the Deaf community. I learned their culture and their language. I am lucky to have had this experience"
"The Break the Silence Project has made me feel motivated and really enhanced my skills. It has given me an opportunity to meet new friends who share the same passion."
"It was my teacher who originally encouraged me to learn Sign Language. Now, I am happy to continue learning and developing my interpreting skills."
"As I learnt Sign Language, I also discovered a lot of things about the Deaf community and that made me realize how I love to be with the Deaf as well as understanding their culture."
"After attending the Break the Silence Project, I am hopeful for the future and happy to see such like-minded people learning Filipino Sign Language."
"After attending the Break the Silence Project, my skills have improved and I have a much deeper understanding of Deaf interpreting."
"After volunteering during Typhoon Yolanda, I realized that the PWD community is the more vulnerable sector and that they need to have more integration with society at large."
"I want to make a difference for the People with Disability community. The discrimination I see makes me cringe. I will strive to improve my Sign Language skills to help create an inclusive society."
"As a teacher, I want to spread the rights of my students who live with a disability, to enable them to contribute something valuable in society."
"The Break the Silence Project has enhanced my ability to use Filipino Sign Language, and allowed me to understand my next steps in this space."
"My experience volunteering with PADS opened my eyes and heart to the Deaf world and as I went into the community. I learned about the challenges they are facing including lack of accessible social services."
"My niece is Deaf, and it is important to be able to communicate with her. I also want to help as many people as I can through my advocacy and my work."