I Made it to the 12th National Conference in Sped EducationOctober 23, 2011
I am not a special nor a regular teacher; not a school administrator or a school staff; not a parent, but the grand-aunt of a special child [Alyana]. But yes! I managed to attend the conference yesterday on INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: Educating the Child with Special Educational Need in the Regular School. And I was one of the WALK-INS Dr. Edilberto Dizon was “lamenting” about. Some he said were calling up to 8:00 o’clock, Friday night trying to make reservations. But I can’t help it. My sked is so erratic, I can’t say whether it would be possible for me to attend up to the last minute, despite my want. The demands of film making is quite different from an ordinary work.
Anyhow, I found Dr. Dizon as energetic as when I first saw and met him in 2004 when I first attended the same conference with the topic: Pro-Life, Pro-God, Pro-Humanity… for the purpose of immersing myself in the world of special education and special people. That was my first initiative to know and understand Alyana’s world. I was on the research stage in the making of ALYANA—A STUDY OF AUTISM IN THE PHILIPPINES, and I did not know back then where to start. And God, yes, who else but God? led me to attend that conference where I found myself seated right beside the mother of two children with autism from whom I first heard of ABA, of Shanti Kilduff’s center [BMAC] and all. Being there was sort of a baptism to me…
Seven years later — at the UP Film Center where I used to work….
What brings you here? were the same question that I heard from Therese Bustos and Je-ann Villanueva who were part of the organizing group. To answer: I went there to update myself as to the real and current concept of inclusive education, and if the way I understand it is correct or not. I am happy to know that my understanding is correct at least, but I have learned many more of course about “inclusionary” education. In 2004, I do not remember hearing that word [inclusionary] yet. “Inclusive” was the more common term back then.
The conference speakers presented well except for the last one whose presentation turned out to be boring mainly because: 1) Her slides were not that readable. There were plenty of texts per slide at times. And they were “slided” too fast in some cases that I was wondering why they have to be used. They were gone midway while you were still reading them. Added to that were examples with texts presented in light, not bold fonts when the background is dark, in solid red crimson hue which ate up the light fonts; 2) The manner of presentation itself… I kept on hearing, ok. ok. ok. And most importanly, there was lack of eye contact with the audience. The speaker’s attention focused more on the slides. Well, I am just talking from the point of view of an ordinary viewer/listener… one of the several hundreds who attended the conference. It just made me feel I wanted to go home…because reading her presentation would have been the better option.
But I stayed on until 6 p.m… and got my certificate. [I have scanned and posted it so I can easily find it when needed…for notation purposes, not to get promotion or any of that sort. I really attended the conference just to update myself on what is happening in the sped world.] T-shirts for walk-ins will be available from Nov. 8 according to the announcement of Dr. Dizon. Pamaskong Handog!!!