The State of Children with Disabilities in Eastern Samar

Nymia Pimentel Simbulan1 and Medical Action Group, Inc.2

1Department of Behavioral Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences,
University of the Philippines Manila
2Health and Human Rights Non-government Organization

Abstract

The study focused on children with disabilities (CWD) in Philippine society. It described the socio-economic conditions of CWD and their families, and the nature and extent of the problems they experienced. The findings from seven municipalities in Eastern Samar revealed that CWD come from big and poor agricultural families with low levels of education. Hearing, mental, physical and visual disabilities were the most common forms of disabilities of children. While majority of the families recognized that CWD have special needs, most families were unable to meet these because of economic difficulties and inaccesibility of programs and services. It is urgent to capacitate families of CWD to address their needs and develop positive coping behaviors through family-centered programs and services that will help alleviate their conditions and problems, raise their capabilities and expand their options. This will entail collaboration between various stakeholders in society and the community.

Key Words: children, children with disability, health, Philippines