BAGUIO CITY – To ensure that SM City Baguio’s workforce is constantly trained with regard to the proper care of persons with disabilities, the mall recently conducted a seminar on “SM’s Role on Caring for Special Customers.”
Mall administration employees, affiliates, tenants, security guards, and janitorial personnel attended the seminar which aimed to inform the participants regarding PWDs and how to handle their needs. This sensitivity initiative is a regular activity of SM to further educate all who work in the front lines and the back offices in providing the better service to persons with disabilities (PWDs).
SM invited Mr. John Paredes, Integration Coordinator of Northern Luzon Association for the Blind (NLAB) to discuss on how to assist and relate to people with visual impairment. This initiative is through the SM Committee on Disability Affairs, under SM Cares program, which strengthens its mission to serve Person with Disabilities (PWDs) headed by Engr. Bien C. Mateo.
Another lecture was presented by Arch. Jaime Silva, director of the Apolinario Mabini Awards of the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PFRD) and the Alyansa ng may Kapansanang Pinoy (AKA Pinoy) regarding the rules on assisting the visually impaired and earthquake resiliency, survival and PWD evacuation preparedness.
He emphasized in his lecture that with proper information dissemination on how to handle PWDs the more people would be aware and be more sensitive in dealing with persons with disabilities. He thanked SM for conducting PWD seminar in every mall twice a year which helps promotes the well-being of PWDs.
“If you fail to see the person but only his disability, then, who is blind? If you cannot hear your brother’s cry for justice, who is deaf? If your heart and mind do not reach out to your neighbor, who has the mental handicap? If your attitude towards persons with disabilities may be their biggest disability, and yours too,” Architect Silva said.
Assistant Mall Manager Rona Vida Correa hopes that through the seminar, SM employees will have a better understanding to the needs of people with disabilities. With this, SM can further promote a non-handicap environment.
SM also presented their facilities for PWDs like designated parking spaces, PWD ramps, comfort rooms, areas in the cinemas, priority lanes and priority for elevator use to ensure that the mall was really a best place for everyone.
By Karren Nobres