An Antiqueña has found passion in mentoring teachers of visually impaired learners.
Milagros B. Wayno said even after retiring as a rehabilitation specialist at the Resources for the Blind, Inc. (RBI) in Cubao, Quezon City in 2018, she continues her passion to teach.
Wayno completed her “Training of Trainers Diploma in Teaching Multi-Handicapped Blind” at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1993.
“Currently, I serve as (a) consultant of the Department of Education – Central Office in the curriculum development for children with visual impairment,” she said in an interview on Friday afternoon.
The DepEd – Central Office has found it necessary to review its curriculum for children with visual impairment to make it more relevant to the times, Wayno said, adding that the curriculum would be used by schools and teachers across the country.
“One of the sensory inputs I had was teaching pupils on how to properly use the cane,” she said.
Wayno noted that while the DepEd would have no face-to-face classroom instruction and pupils would not be required to report on school opening, it is still necessary for teachers to teach their students how to use the cane during emergency cases.
“Pupils need to be taught to use (the) cane as (an) assistive device for what if there would be a fire incident that would happen in their homes,” she said.
Aside from being a part of curriculum development, Wayno also serves as a resource person in the DepEd webinar on inclusive education for blind pupils.
“The Philippines up to now is being acclaimed by the World Leaders on Visual Impairment to have the most number of blind children mainstreamed in schools because our country has that inclusive education,” she said.
Being a teacher of a blind person requires a deeper commitment because he or she has to address both the pupil’s educational and emotional needs, Wayno said.
“As a teacher, one should have love and compassion for the blind pupil,” she said.
Working at the RBI for the past 30 years since July 15, 1988, has enabled Wayno to help numerous blind pupils complete their college education and even graduate school to become successful career persons.
“We had one totally blind student assisted by the RBI who ranked ninth when she took the Licensure Examination for Teachers about three years ago,” she said.
Wayno recounted that the RBI, which was founded by American Dr. Arthur Lown in 1988 and who was succeeded by American Pastor Randy Weisser, started as a center where the blind could listen to the books of the Bible that have been tape-recorded.
“The RBI also was then into distributing tape-recorded Bibles even outside Metro Manila until only in 1991 when we discovered that there were several preschool children in the new resettlement for urban squatters in Bagong Silang who were blind,” she said.
The RBI then enrolled them at the nearby elementary school until it decided to run its own preschool for the blind.
“About 3,000 to 3,500 teachers from all over the country were also trained and given scholarships by the RBI so they would be equipped in handling their blind pupils,” Wayno said.
She has been delivering lectures at the Philippine Normal University (PNU) every summer since 1995 for graduate students taking up their master’s degree for teachers of the visually impaired.
Wayno also represented the country in the East Asia Pacific region and was a key person in developing a Functional Curricula for Blind Children with Additional Disabilities Ages 3 to 5 in 1994 aside from her other speaking engagements abroad.
She served as a resource person of the Workshop on Modification of DepEd Multi-Factored Assessment Tools (MFAT) for Children with Sensorial Disability in 2019. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency