Joan Iven Abello

Board Member

Central Philippine University

Ai also known as Teacher Ai is a Licensed Professional Teacher. She is a graduate of Psychology and Management at the University of the Philippines Visayas and had her MBA from the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod. She also holds a Masters Degree in Special Education from the West Visayas State University. She was also the past chapter president of Autism Society Philippines-Iloilo. Currently, she is the coordinator of the Special Education Program, College of Education, Central Philippine University, Iloilo

She is also an athlete herself; she plays volleyball and is a finisher of the 2015 70.3 IronMan swim leg held in Mactan, Cebu. Sports is a huge part of Ai’s family; together with her husband and son, they make time to run, swim and learn other sports.

Her journey with Special Olympics started when her son, Akim, was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. It was in 2014 when Akim was enrolled in Kids Nook Integrated School that she learned about the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program. She found the program to be helpful to her son’s condition. From then on, she became actively involved with Special Olympics and have helped organized succeeding Young Athletes, Youth Activation, and Unified Sports activities in Iloilo City.

Being a mother of a child with special needs and an educator, Ai brings a vast amount of knowledge on intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as experience in the special education field.

Ai said that joining Special Olympics Pilipinas as a member of the Board of Directors will provide her a larger opportunity to continue the work on the on-going effort to make education more inclusive for all.
She has been inspired by the journey and achievements of Special Olympics athletes and hopes to provide more avenues for persons with intellectual disabilities to maximize their potential through sports.

Ai believes that inclusion is not just a process through which awareness is raised, but through which attitudes and practices are changed.