Malls' policies and its significance to social inclusion of persons with disabilities

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Author: Allanic, Mattlyn Moselle G. et.al

Accession Number: 859

Class No: AV-UGT

Author No:

Copyright Year: 2016

Abstract:

This Participatory Action Research focused on the advocacy building of PWD-friendly establishments in Iloilo. This study investigated the policies of malls and its significance in social inclusion of persons with disabilities with the aim of strengthening advocacy on PWDs’ rights. The researchers believed that this study would greatly help not only the PWD sector but also for the whole society. This study, in the big picture, aimed to: 1) reveal positive perception toward PWDs; 2) make changes bit by bit by starting in Malls through gathering information and data about their policies for PWDs; 3) enter the personal lives of PWDs for the researchers to fully comprehend the thoughts and feelings of PWDs regarding discrimination and the policies of malls; 4) ensure social inclusion of PWDs so they would have a voice in making decision that will affect their lives and that they enjoy equal access to markets, services, and political, social and physical spaces, and 5) essentially to advocate social inclusion for PWDs. The study is expected to benefit specific groups: first, it will be of big benefit to the government to know the needs and importance of PWDs in the society, and also the absence of some significant needs of PWDs in malls. Through the predominant themes that have emerged in the study, facilities, service and staff development may be modified, improved or directly dealt with to make the socialization more beneficial to PWDs. The researchers coordinated with the local government asking for the present city ordinances concerning PWDs. The researchers presented their ideas to be part of the advocacy building for the benefits of the PWDs and the council responded that they are much willing to be part of the advocacy. Results were presented to the City Councilors namely Hon. Lady Julie Grace Baronda and Hon. Jose Efrain Treñas III. The councilors are the authors of the existing city ordinance concerns the PWD. With this process, the research questions of this study were all answered. First, the researchers conducted an interview with the malls’ managers about their policies in their mall and it was found out that malls’ 1 and 2 did not have specific policies but only complies in the Accessibility Law. On the other hand, mall 3 said that they had their own policy independent to the law. Second, in terms of facilities, Mall 1 is the most accessible among all with the presence of separate CR with signage, telephones, washrooms entrances wide enough, and fire exits very easy to locate for PWD that the two malls don’t possess. In services, common offered by three malls were the PWD discounts and the PWD priority lanes. Malls 1 and 2 offered outreach programs for and with PWD. Yet among three malls, only mall 1 offers information area for PWD and persons-in-charge for PWD (or they called it the mall cares). When it comes to staff development, all three malls conducted security trainings. Only malls 1 and 2 gave and attended seminars in handling PWD and allowed Job Employment of PWD. Mall 1, on the other hand, accepted and allowed lectures and seminars coming from the PWD for the awareness and improvement of the staff. Third, there were positive and negative responses shared by the PWD regarding the policies of the malls during the focus group discussion. The following are their responses when asked what is mall for them: shopping, entertainment, dating, socialization, relaxation, grocery shopping, food, and socialization. Fourth, malls’ 1 and 2 policies are aligned with the laws and ordinances stated on prior stage. Mall 3 lacked some facilities written in Accessibility Law that they were not able to meet like the ramps, wide entrances, railings, wheelchairs, washroom, public telephones, seating accommodations, and many more, and violated RA 9442, Title 3, section 1 (Discrimination on Employment) since they do not accept PWD as workers in their mall. Fifth, the suggestion for MALL 1 was on their services. It was an audio teller for visually impaired. For MALL 2, they recommended a separate comfort rooms, safety exits, clear signage, black and white linings near escalator and an audio teller for visually impaired and nearer information area. For MALL 3, when it comes to their facilities, they recommended a parking area, railings, separate comfort rooms, safety exits, clear signage, ramps, and black and white lining near escalator. For their services, discounts, audio teller for visually impaired, and nearer information area were recommended. And lastly, for their staff development, they recommended a coordination with PWD associations, seminar for the management about accommodating PWD, and training of personnel, especially security guards on how to handle PWD.


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