Information for All: the First Web Accessibility Seminar at the University of Santo Tomas

TomasinoWeb, an online-based student publication and a premier university organization, in partnership with the Advantage Management Group, held today the first-ever web accessibility seminar at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

Aptly entitled “Information for All”, the event aimed to explain the importance of web accessibility and the guidelines in making online content accessible. More than a hundred participants attended the seminar. The participants consisted of UST students taking up web development and IT-related subjects and a number of their professors. I had the honor of being invited as the speaker in the event.

Julius talking to the audience during the Information for All seminar

A Glimpse of the Web Accessibility Seminar

The seminar began with a demonstration of the use of the screen reader. A screen reader is an application used by blind persons and other people with disabilities in accessing the computer and the Internet. I showed the group how a blind person uses a screen reader to access common Windows programs and surf the Web.

Then we plunged into the main focus of the event: web accessibility. We discussed the definition of web accessibility, its benefits, and the accessibility laws in a number of countries.

After understanding web accessibility, we talked about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0). WCAG refers to a set of internationally recognized guidelines and principles in making online content accessible to everyone. I explained each guideline and showed examples of websites that follow WCAG. We also looked at sites that had accessibility barriers because they failed to follow the guidelines. To apply the topics we discussed, the group and I had a quick accessibility evaluation of a website suggested by the students.

the participants and Julius during the seminar

As an additional topic, a short demonstration of other assistive devices and audio-described movies was included in my talk. At the end of the seminar, the participants asked several interesting questions which I answered and provided examples for.

Cheers to TomasinoWeb and Advantage Management Group

I sincerely thank TomasinoWeb, the Advantage Management Group, and the University of Santo Tomas for letting me share what I know about web accessibility and assistive technologies. I also thank everyone who attended the event for their active participation, responses, and excellent questions.

I’d be very happy to help you in any accessibility-related activity you may have.

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