Web Accessibility Presentation in the Presidential Human Rights Committee at Malacañang

I did a short web accessibility presentation yesterday in Malacañang. This presentation was held at the office of the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC) and was part of a meeting where disability groups discussed a number of issues related to the needs of persons with disabilities.

I had the privilege of talking about web accessibility in front of a small but very appreciative and heedful group. The group included Under Secretary Severo Catura, Executive Director of PHRC; a number of PHRC’s staff; Mr. Lauro Purcil, President of the Government Union for the Integration of Differently Abled Employees; and representatives of NGOs focused on advocating persons with disabilities.

Julius doing a web accessibility presentation in the office of the Presidential Human Rights Committee

First I showed the group how blind persons use the computer. I used a screen reader in this demonstration. A screen reader is a type of software that enables the user to hear the text displayed on the screen.

After this demonstration, I talked about web accessibility, its definition, and significance. Using the screen reader, I visited the website of the Office of the President of the Philippines. There I pointed out certain accessibility issues in the site, and I explained why these issues prevent persons with disabilities from fully accessing its information. In addition to identifying the accessibility issues, I provided recommendations to make the President’s site more accessible.

At the conclusion of the accessibility presentation, I gave Under Secretary Catura a letter containing my accessibility review of the website of the President’s Office. Under Secretary Catura said that he will forward the letter to the Office of the President. He also stated that PHRC will coordinate with concerned government agencies to conduct meetings focused on web accessibility and making government websites accessible. I look forward to helping the Presidential Human Rights Committee in these activities.

Many thanks to Under Secretary Catura and the staff of PHRC for giving me the opportunity to do this accessibility presentation in their office. I also want to thank Mr. Lauro Purcil for inviting me to the meeting and for making this presentation possible.

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9 Responses to “Web Accessibility Presentation in the Presidential Human Rights Committee at Malacañang”

  1. Rio del Rosario Says:

    Web accessibility really helps but I hope movie accessibility could also be implemented in the Philippines.
    I am a visually impared filipina rsiding in Japan at present and working in a non profit organization who supports visually and hearing impared people by producing captions and audio descriptions for movie films.
    These services enables people who are blind/visually impared and deaf/hard of hearing to enjoy and appreciate movies even though they couldn’t see or couldn’t hear.
    Barrier-free movie screening services are also implemented in Japan wherein latest films with captions and audio descriptions are being shown in the theater.
    I hope this kind of services could also be done for local films in the Philippines in the near future.

    • Julius Charles Says:

      Rio,

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing those interesting pieces of information.
      I, as a blind person, am a huge fan of movies with audio descriptions.

      I agree with you. I hope that in time, our country would realize the importance of accessibility in the field of entertainment.

      Julius

  2. Rio del Rosario Says:

    Julius,
    It’s nice to hear that you are also a huge fan of movies with audio descriptions.
    What kind of movies do you often watch? Is it an American film?
    If there would be a chance for you, just like as what you’ve done on the presentation about the web access, please also talk about the importance of the accessibility for the field of entertainment.

    • Julius Charles Says:

      Rio,

      Thank you for your reply.

      I am a fan of science fiction, horror, and action films. Those are the movies with audio descriptions which I normally watch. Almost all of these movies are American films.

      Regarding your idea of showing audio described movies in my presentations, yes, after talking about web accessibility, I always make it a point to discuss and share this information with the participants. In my last presentation, I shared with them a few minutes of the audio described format of The Godfather, and they were all amazed by this assistive technology.

      It’s an honor to meet someone like you who works for accessibility in the field of entertainment.

      Julius

  3. Rio del Rosario Says:

    Julius,

    I’m so glad to hear that you are always giving time to also discuss about accessibility for the field of entertainment on your presentations.
    I hope we could work together to promote the use of audio description to make the media more accessible for the visually impared people like us.
    Let’s help our fellow V.I. filipinos!

    If there are some ways that I could do to help you in discussing about audio descriptions on your presentations, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Rio

    • Julius Charles Says:

      Rio,

      Thank you very much!

      I agree that similar to computers and the Internet, entertainment should also be accessible to blind and visually impaired persons. It is one of our human rights, after all.

      Also, if you need any help in making websites accessible, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Cheers!

      Julius

  4. Rio del Rosario Says:

    Julius,
    Thanks for always keeping in touch.
    I hope this could be the start for us to work together for the promotion of the accessibility for web and for the field of entertainment.
    Looking forward for that day to come!

    Rio

  5. Julius Charles Says:

    Thanks, Rio.
    I also am looking forward to working with you and helping to promote accessible entertainment.

    Let’s do keep in touch.

    Julius

  6. Rio del Rosario Says:

    Thanks.
    also, thank you for sending me an e-mail on my personal address.
    I already replied on that mail so please check it.
    -Rio

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