Helping an International Organization Make Its Online Documents More Accessible

We had an excellent meeting about accessibility this morning. I was invited by the dynamic people at ATRIEV Computer School for the Blind to meet with the program officers of Liliane Foundation to help them evaluate the accessibility of Liliane’s online documents.

The Liliane Foundation is an international organization that aims to give access to medical and social rehabilitation to children and youngsters with disabilities in developing countries. Since 2007, the Liliane Foundation has been providing ATRIEV with support in terms of tuition fees and assistive devices for a number of the school’s deserving students.

The program officers of Liliane Foundation and Julius discussing the accessibility of Liliane's online documents

This short but productive meeting was attended by Liliane’s program officer from its head office in the Netherlands, the program officers of Liliane Foundation Philippines, ATRIEV’s executive director, and me. Our goal was to test the accessibility at the online documents given by Liliane to its partner organizations. The organizations need to provide the necessary information required by the online documents and submit them back to the foundation’s head office. Since a large number of Liliane’s partner organizations include members who have visual impairments and other types of disabilities, the program officers of Liliane, both from the head office and the local branch, wanted to be sure that the documents would be accessible to disabled individuals.

our group, working on the accessibility of Liliane's online documents

And that’s where I came in. During the meeting, I tested the online documents and identified their positive accessibility features. More importantly, I pointed out the accessibility issues in the online documents that make it difficult for users to properly and quickly perform the needed tasks. In a nutshell, the issues involved labels of check boxes and fields that weren’t positioned properly. This resulted to assistive devices not being able to correctly read the documents.

Everyone, particularly the program officer from Liliane’s head office, recognized and understood the issues I identified. The meeting ended with our assurance to one another that we’ll continue to keep in touch and work on improving the online documents of the foundation. I personally am looking forward to helping them improve the online documents to make it more accessible to the Liliane Foundation and to its partner organizations around the world.

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