Project Inclusion: We are all abled differently

The Social Development Research Center in partnership with the UNILAB Foundation, will conduct a research study entitled “From the Margins to the Mainstream of Society: Transforming the Lives of Workers with Exceptionality, their Co-Workers, Business, Corporate Practices, Policies, and the Workplace”. The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed at the Bayanihan Center on August 3, 2013 to formalize the partnership. UNILAB Foundation Executive Director Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi attended the event together with her team. Organizations and schools handling individuals with exceptionality the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc., Independent Living Learning Center, Shine Special Education Center, Inc., Bridges Foundation, Inc., Autism Society of the Philippines, CARD Phil-PAFI, and The Learning Center also graced the event to express their support for advocating the inclusivity of people with exceptionality in the workplace.

The research will provide a picture of the present workplace of differently-abled persons the corporate practices, the policies pertaining to their conditions, and their relationship with co-workers. The workers will be identified as either exhibiting autistic spectrum disorder or mental retardation, based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorder 5 2013 (DSM-MD5). The study also aims to describe how the neurocognitive functions of persons with autism and the socio-emotional sense-abilities of mentally challenged individuals can be transformed into exceptional work performance and productivity. The research will be conducted in selected companies in key cities in the Philippines (at least 3 cities each in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao).

This project is headed by Dr. Robert E. Javier (College of Liberal Arts, Department of Psychology) with four co-investigators: Dr. Feorillo Petronillo Demeterio III (College of Liberal Arts, Research & Advanced Studies), Dr. Melvin A. Jabar (College of Liberal Arts, Social Development Research Center), Dr. Ron Resurreccion (College of Liberal Arts, Department of Psychology), and Dr. Raymund Habaradas (RVR College of Business, Research and Advanced Studies).