The Department of Education (DepEd) has issued the “Child Find” policy for learners with disabilities toward inclusive education to increase their participation and ensure access to quality and equitable education.
Signed by Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla acting as the Officer-in-Charge, the DepEd Order No. 23 series 2022 was issued containing the policy which articulates the processes in ensuring that learners with disabilities are identified, located, and evaluated to facilitate their inclusion in the general basic education school system.
The policy also aims to provide means for the schools to monitor the implementation of the Child Find Process and promotes “cooperative advocacy for children with disability and developmental delays among stakeholders in the communities.”
The said policy was issued in adherence to the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (Republic Act No. 10533) Section 8 or the Inclusiveness of Enhanced Basic Education designed to address learners’ physical, intellectual, psychosocial, and cultural needs.
DepEd said that the new policy provides guidelines for DepEd personnel and teachers in implementing a comprehensive Child Find.
The policy, DepEd said, covers children, above the age of five, diagnosed with disabilities or observed to have developmental delays requiring special education and related services in public and private schools offering basic education, including those in the Alternative Learning System, the Muslim Education Program, Indigenous Peoples Education, community learning centers and Out of School Children/Out of School Youth.