Many of those who have disabilities have yet to claim their PWD ID and this article is for those who do not know if they qualify for the PWD ID and be able to claim the benefits and privileges that go with it.
According to Dr. Myla Rostrata of the Department of Health in Region 3, there are seven categories that classify the ID applicants These categories provide the basis for the granting of the IDs. These categories are:
Visual impairment – as far as we in PWDPhil know, there is no set grade that is considered to be the threshold that separates the disabled from the non-disabled. However, DOH specialists in the PDAO (persons with disabilities affairs office) in your town or city hall have a set protocol for determining who is visually impaired and who can qualify for a PWD ID based on visual acuity, or the lack of it. If the applicant’s eyes are discernible to be blind, then the applicant need not bring a clinical abstract to prove the disability, just bring your government-issued ID.
Hearing loss – anyone who cannot hear is considered to be disabled. However, there are various degrees of hearing impairment depending on the cause of the hearing loss. If you think that you are beginning to lose your hearing, it is best to try to have it treated right away. There are many occupations the depend on one’s ability to hear. If the applicant’s inability to hear is apparent, then there is no need to bring a clinical abstract to the PDAO when applying for the PWD ID.
Orthopedic disability – this category includes all those who have had amputations done to any of the extremities. This also includes those who have stunted growth because of dwarfism, a medical condition where the patient’s height and extremities did not grow to full mature size.
Learning disability – for students who cannot adjust to mainstream regular classes, they will need to go through the special education class program found in every public school. A learning disability is something that hampers or interferes with a student’s ability to learn basic concepts in math and science, knowledge that will help the student cope with everyday life. Without a basic education, the student will be unable to buy groceries, pay bills, earn a living or do any activity that requires critical thinking and stock knowledge.
Psychosocial disability – this is a category that includes those who have psychological and social problems that can leave them the sufferer unable to do what he/she normally does. These disabilities are not apparent and may not be easy to understand or to explain to health center workers who do not have a science background, thus the need for a clinical abstract to present to the PDAO, health center or DSWD regional office workers. Normally there are medical professionals who assess the application for PWD IDs, though some of them are not regularly available.
Chronic illness – There are illnesses that may not inherently lead to a disability but have been known to cause disability when a complication sets in. One such case is diabetes. Inherently diabetes does not cause disability. However, the inability to process sugar in your body may lead to complications such as diabetic retinopathy which could lead to blindness, sepsis which could lead to gangrene and later, amputation, or heart problems which could lead to a stroke. Again, some chronic illnesses are not apparent and will need a clinical abstract before a PWD ID is granted.
Mental disability – Sufferers of mental illness are automatically considered to be disabled and are sometimes automatically granted a PWD ID, as some mental illnesses can be apparent. Those with mental disabilities will usually need medical attention, constant supervision and assisted living arrangements as they are mostly unable to take care of themselves. Included in this category are children with Down syndrome, bi-polar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia. Sufferers of this category will need a medical/clinical abstract prior to the issuance of a PWD ID
Those who apply for PWD IDs must also remind their doctors or medical professionals that any information about the state or the nature of their disability must be handled with utmost confidentiality. A Pinoy with disability has the right not to divulge any medical or health-related information about themselves. As the non-disabled people have the right not be harassed for their medical informatio, PWDs should also be allowed to exercise the same right.