The Accessibility Ally Talks in a Dialog with PWD Leaders

Today, the first ever national dialog with persons with disabilities (PWD) leaders was held at the auditorium of the Department of Social Welfare and Development at Batasan Pambansa Complex in Quezon City. This event was organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA).

Representatives from around 21 PWD organizations attended the dialog. I had the privilege of attending the event as one of the members of the board of trustees of ATRIEV Computer School for the Blind. With me was Mr. Tony Llanes Jr., ATRIEV’s founder and executive director.

Julius with some of the organizers and attendees of the dialog

The main goals of the dialog were to identify the priority concerns and issues of the different PWD sectors and to determine institutional mechanisms to ensure the participation of persons with disabilities in the country’s governance. A number of participants were given the chance to point out a particular concern and a mechanism to address it.

Taking the said opportunity, I explained to the organizers and attendees the major concern regarding the lack of accessible information in government websites. In my short talk, I discussed the definition of accessibility and the importance of accessible information to PWDs. I also stressed out the fact that accessibility doesn’t entail a huge amount of financial resources, and that I as an ally of accessibility am willing to prove this fact and help in making their sites accessible.

Julius talking about accessibility in the DSWD-NAPC dialog with PWDs

One of the country’s existing mechanisms of accessibility is the Accessible Website Design Guidelines. This is a law implemented by NCDA and the National Computer Center. I continued by stating that while I support this law, I believed that the accessibility checkpoints included in it should be examined and improved. You can read about my thoughts regarding this in my post entitled “Aiming to Improve the Web Accessibility Standards of the Philippines”.

Other attendees also discussed several valid concerns and issues as well as the mechanisms to address the said points. At the end of the dialog, the main speakers included in their summary the concern regarding accessibility and deemed it as one of the priorities which the agencies involved should focus on. I was honored to have the chance to meet several representatives of government agencies and non-government organizations who showed genuine interest in making their websites accessible.

This has been a very good experience for me and I thank the organizers for holding this dialog. To everyone who attended the event, rest assured that I am always willing to help you in your goal to provide accessible information to everyone.

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2 Responses to “The Accessibility Ally Talks in a Dialog with PWD Leaders”

  1. Erick Marco Ramos Says:

    as usual… good work man!

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