CANCER SUPPORT AND REHABILITATION OF SPEECH-IMPAIRED PWDS
NVAP addresses the need to raise the awareness that cancer is preventable through proper diet and nutrition as well as through a healthy lifestyle. NVAP interacts with other allied organizations both here and abroad in order to enhance its knowledge base on cancer, its prevention, cure and rehabilitation. The regular activity is esophageal speech training wherein laryngectomees or speech-impaired Persons with Disabilities were taught how to speak again despite the absence of their vocal cords. A total of eleven speech-impaired PWDS were sent to Tokyo and Bangkok in year 2000, 2002 and 2004 to become AFLA-certified esophageal speech instructors through a program grant from AFLA. Since then, these trainors teach esophageal speech for FREE to all those who wish to learn the technology on how to speak again without vocal cords. Almost a hundred PWDs have benefitted from this technology through the years. On November 22 – December 6, 2010 and on February 14-28, 2011, NVAP invited the officers and speech trainors of AFLA to conduct a comprehensive esophageal speech training for beginners as well as trained additional speech instructors. A total of forty-two (42) speech-impaired PWDs were given this specialized training in this recent program. Through these training programs, PWDs are given the chance to overcome their disability, return to their normal lives and become useful members of the society once again. To date, only NVAP offers such FREE specialized training to PWDs. AFLA headquarters is in Japan and all its officers and trainors were Japanese. They have a board composed of the leading ENT doctors in the Asian region.
In 2006, the PLC was awarded the prestigious Shigehara Award as the Most Outstanding Laryngectomee Organization in Southeast Asia by the AFLA for its exemplary performance in esophageal speech training. The award was given in Hongkong during the AFLA 2006 conference. On July 12, 2010, the UP-PGH Department of Rehabilitation Medicine celebrated the “32nd National Disability and Rehabilitation Week” with their annual Recognition Award of Outstanding PWDs. Engr. Emer Rojas was given this award in recognition to his valuable contributions and selfless support to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) specifically in the rehabilitation and recovery of new speech-impaired PWD patients. In 2012, another Shigehara Award was awarded to NVAP in Beijing, China during the AFLA convention for its exemplary service and support in rehabilitating voice-impaired cancer patients.
NVAP members also conduct regular hospital visits, monthly membership social meetings and assists in the medical, funeral and spiritual needs of its members. Such activities boost the morale as well as provide the necessary support to fellow PWDs at the time when they needed it most.