Posts Tagged ‘web accessibility’

Malaysia’s Monumental Gathering of Accessibility Advocates

October 14, 2011

This week in Kuching, Sarawak, one of the largest accessibility events was conducted and organized by a dynamic group dedicated to supporting accessible online information. A massive crowd of more than 400 people gathered to learn about and subsequently support web accessibility in the country’s biggest web accessibility seminar.

Attendees of this event consisted of high-ranking government officials of Sarawak and other Malaysian states, developers and designers of websites, IT students–basically people from all walks of life that are interested in web accessibility. The seminar was held on October 12, 2011 at the Grand Margherita Hotel in Kuching.

some of the audience in the October 12 accessibility seminar in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Talking About the Public’s Role in Web Accessibility

I had the privilege of being one of the speakers in this momentous event. I explained about everyone’s role in making the Internet a more accessible place. The 400-strong group and I looked at the basic ways on how to ensure that online contents are accessible. Generally, these consist of text descriptions for images, proper use of HTML codes, and keyboard-driven web elements. During the discussion, I pointed out the fact that all of us, whether we make websites or are simply Internet users, can all play a role in making online information accessible to people with disabilities.

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Raising the White Cane toward a More Accessible Internet

August 2, 2011

Today, a historic forum on web accessibility was held by several agencies of the Philippine government. This event was held at the training room of the Occupational Safety and Health Center in Quezon City. The Web Accessibility Forum was held as part of the celebration of this year’s White Cane Safety Week—the white cane being a worldwide symbol used by persons who are blind to signify their disability.

The event was an inter-agency gathering of leaders and representatives who were truly interested and willing to provide accessible information to persons who are blind and people with disabilities in general. The participating agencies included the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the House of Representatives, and the Philippine National Police. Non-government organizations such as Resources for the Blind Incorporated participated in the forum. The representatives of the government agencies consisted of web masters and web administrators. I was very fortunate to be invited as one of the resource persons during the forum.

Julius talking about web accessibility during the forum

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How We Can Improve the Accessibility of the Department of Science and Technology Website

June 13, 2011

When I was a kid, I used to watch this TV program called Sineskwela. It was a show focused on explaining the basic concepts of science to young viewers. I must admit I had a hell of a time watching that show. In between each segment of Sineskwela were ads that aim to raise the young viewers’ interest in science and technology.

I remember those ads were produced by our country’s Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Looking back, it was good to have seen how DOST makes an effort to promote science and technology to the future leaders of the Philippines.

Growing up, I learned much more about the department’s responsibilities and activities. And as such, I found it necessary to look at the accessibility of one of DOST’s main tools for promoting science and technology and advocating its vision—its official website.

Let us take a look at the accessibility of the website of the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology, www.dost.gov.ph.

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Accessible Metal: How a Metal Website Supports an Accessibility Standard

June 1, 2011

Apart from being an advocate of accessibility, I’m also a long-time metal enthusiast. Although I listen to all types of metal, the ones I truly enjoy are doom, gothic, and death metal.

With this in mind, it’s really no surprise that I spend a good amount of time scouring the Net for metal websites. And oh, what joy was it for me when I saw a metal website which, in addition to being an excellent resource, demonstrates a good level of accessibility.

Before telling you about the site, I’d like to explain how the site supports one of the principles of web accessibility.

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To the Recipient of the Disabled-Friendly Website Award

May 15, 2011

“It’s not only user friendly; it’s certified accessible.”

This is a statement included in an announcement by the National Computer Center about the Philippine Community eCenter )PhilCeCNet) website, a recipient of the Disabled-Friendly Website Award in 2009.

According to the announcement, the Disabled-Friendly Website Award is given in recognition to websites that are “disabled-friendly” – sites that are accessible to all, including users with physical disabilities. This award is given by the Philippine Web Accessibility Group (P-WAG) in partnership with the National Council on Disability Affairs.

Upon reading the (relatively old) announcement, I became very interested to look at the PhilCeCNet website (http://www.philcecnet.ph/).

What did I see?

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How Accessible is the Website of the Philippines’ Department of Education?

May 11, 2011

In my mischievous youth, I saw the Department of Education, or Dep Ed, as the almighty provider of the glorious announcement of the suspension of classes during stormy days–nothing more, nothing less. Growing up, I saw the true significance of the role that Dep Ed plays and the importance of the information it aims to provide.

Dep Ed’s website, in particular, aims to provide that information to anyone who is interested. But how accessible is Dep Ed’s online information anyway? Let us take a closer look at the accessibility of the website of one of the Philippine government’s most important departments.

Below is an accessibility review of the website of the Department of Education of the Philippines (www.deped.gov.ph). The Department of Education is responsible for regulating and managing the Philippine system of basic education. The DepEd website contains information such as the agency’s profile, advisories, memoranda and notices, and news.

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Learning About Our Right to Accessible Online Information

May 2, 2011

Today I had the chance to talk to a dynamic and insightful group about web accessibility. This group consisted of visually impaired students and professionals who are currently taking up an assistive technology training conducted by ATRIEV Computer School for the Blind.

ATRIEV's training participants and Julius, discussing web accessibility

Our mini web accessibility talk was part of the training’s topic on Internet navigation for visually impaired persons. I was invited by ATRIEV to discuss this topic, and on the first day, I asked the training participants if they wished to have a discussion about web accessibility. The group said yes, and I was very happy about it.

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Continuing to Work on the Accessibility of Malaysian Websites

April 20, 2011

A few days ago, I shared an accessibility review of the Sarawak Government Portal. In this post I want to share a review I’ve made for another Malaysian website.

The site I reviewed below is the Official Website of the Ministry of Planning And Resource Management. I reviewed the English version of the site. Similar to the previous post, I used the JAWS screen reader and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 in doing the accessibility review.

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Working on the Accessibility of Malaysian Websites

April 18, 2011

Last year, I had the privilege of conducting the first web accessibility workshop in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Since then, the event’s organizers and I have communicated closely via email. And as part of our commitment to help the Sarawak government, we provide reviews and recommendations to help ensure that their websites remain accessible to persons with disabilities.

Below, I’d like to share one of the reviews I’ve recently done for the Sarawak government. This is an accessibility review of the Sarawak Government Portal (www.sarawak.gov.my). I used the JAWS (Job Access With Speech) screen reader in accessing the site’s pages. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0 is the document I used in doing the review.

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Web Accessibility Workshop at De La Salle University – Manila

February 21, 2011

The first web accessibility workshop in De La Salle University – Manila was organized today by the university’s industrial engineering students and their professor, Mr. Ron Polancos. I had the privilege and honor of being the speaker in this event. The workshop was held from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at the university’s information systems laboratory. More than 20 participants attended the event. They consisted of industrial engineering students currently taking up information technology subjects.

Julius and the DLSU students during the web accessibility workshop

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