Monday, March 4, 2019

Autism Advocacy Leaders come together at the Angels Walk for Autism 2019

Different various organizations have gathered all together at Mall of Asia Arena to support the Angels Walk for Autism on March 03, 2019 with the help of The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) and with SM Cares, the Corporate SocialResponsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings. Since it began in 2007, the walk continues to advocate for acceptance, accommodation, and appreciation of Filipinos with autism towards an Autism-OK Philippines. 

Before we all head up to pre-walk, a short program was held inside the Mall of Asia Arena. Guest performers from the Autism community showcase their talent in singing, dancing, and instrument playing. They have such amazing talents that some normal persons don't have and it's really a pleasure watching their live performance in the stage. 

The festivities will include acts from special guests and performers on the autism spectrum, and a special presentation on ASP’s milestones since its foundation in 1989. The program include the presentation of the annual ASP Autism Angel Achievement Awards to Samantha Pia Cabanero (for Advocacy), Eduardo Enrique Munarriz (for Athletics), and Carlo Gregorio Veluz (for Visual Arts). It will also incorporate the induction of the new ASP Board of Trustees, composed of parent advocates; and the first set of officers of the ASP Self-Advocates Circle, composed of adults with autism.



ASP will also award the Autism Works Partners of the Year honors to Dohtonbori Philippines, a Japanese casual dining pioneer and to Willis Towers Watson, a global leader in risk management and consultancy, for their unwavering commitment to creation of productive opportunities for jobseekers with autism.
Former President Fidel V. Ramos, who issued EO 711 of 1996, instituting the commemoration of the National Autism Consciousness Week, will be honored by ASP as the Father of the Philippine Autism Advocacy. “FVR’s leadership opened the doors for the government agencies and private institutions to begin the path towards genuine inclusion of persons on the autism spectrum,” shared Mona Magno-Veluz, ASP National President, “His administration’s disability-inclusive policies have put the Philippines ahead of our ASEAN neighbors in advocating for persons with autism and other invisible disabilities.”
This year’s Angels Walk for Autism celebrates our country’s legacy of strong leaders that have brought the autism advocacy forward for the last 30 years, across 97 chapters, with 13,000 members and have become the foundation on which the next generation of leaders will build the future.

It is the society’s highest recognition, celebrating exemplary leadership that has a significant and positive impact on advancing ASP’s vision of acceptance, accommodation, and appreciation of persons with autism in an Autism-OK Philippines. Beyond awareness, Mr. Sy’s leadership has inspired tangible, measurable action through the accomplishments of SM Cares. Hans T. Sy honored as the inaugural recipient of the ASP’s Leadership Award for Autism Inclusion and Welfare.

“Although many are aware of autism, very few people actually understand what it means to live life on the autism spectrum. SM Cares and ASP come together as a community to remind everyone that autism awareness and acceptance should be part of their everyday lives.  Awareness is a good thing, but acceptance is far more meaningful,” said Engr. Bien Mateo, SVP of SM Supermalls and Program Director of SM Cares Program on PWD’s.

Over 20,000 participants families, professionals, supporters from the government and private sectors, from the Philippines and overseas are expected to join the annual walk from the MOA Arena to the SM MOA Music Hall. The walk is held with the support of the MOA Arena, SM Mall of Asia, National Council of Disability Affairs, ASEAN Autism Network and the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability.

The pre-walk program will be led by Ms. Dang Koe, ASP Chair Emeritus and the inaugural ASEAN Prize Laureate 2018. The ASEAN Prize aims to recognize inspiring achievements and contributions that foster the ASEAN identity, promote the ASEAN spirit, and champion the ASEAN way. ASP is among the active movers behind the ASEAN Autism Network and the ASEAN Mapping Project.



SM Cares is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Its advocacies include Programs on Persons with Disabilities, Children and Youth, Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, Environment Sustainability, Senior Citizens, and Overseas Filipino Workers (SM Global Pinoy). As a responsible integrated property developer, SM ensures that its CSR programs serve as a catalyst for positive change in the communities that it supports.

The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization working towards an environment that empowers persons with autism spectrum disorder to become the best of their potentials self-reliant, productive and socially-accepted members of the community. ASP labors to establish institutional mechanisms to support persons with autism and their families. Established in 1989, the organization composed of 13,000 members spread over 96 chapters has been at the forefront of providing services to families and individuals affected with autism.

Website: www.autismsocietyphilippines.org
FB / IG / Twitter: @autismphils
Email: autismphils@gmail.com
Website: www.smcares.com.ph
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