Empowering Persons with Disabilities through IT

Image of Ms. Jaelene Cristel Mina smiling

For the past two decades, technology has tremendously changed the way we live our lives. We can do video chat with our loved ones overseas in real time. We can edit and share documents, presentations and games anywhere any time. We have our groceries, clothes, gadgets and even cabs right at our doorstep using online apps. We can earn dollars right in the comforts of our homes through online jobs. Technology has also provided persons with disabilities a tool to compete in the knowledge-based economy of today.
The CBM Livelihood Cluster composed of four NGOs working for and with persons with disabilities, in partnership with Microsoft Philippines, CBM Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University/Education Department and NORFIL Foundation will conduct an Employers Forum with the theme, “WE CAN DO I.T. Using Information Technology to Expand Work Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities” to be held on Thursday, 22 November 2018 at Microsoft Philippines, 8th Floor, 6750 Ayala Office Tower 6750 Ayala Avenue Makati.

Image of Ms. Beverly Bravo smiling

The forum’s Keynote message will be delivered by Mr. Nicki Agcaoili, Executive Director for Industry and External Affairs, Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP). The forum will showcase IT-related employment initiatives of private and public institutions for persons with disabilities. Companies hiring persons with disabilities and persons with disabilities employed in the IT industry will also share their success stories.
In the afternoon, a digital literacy training manual for teaching the blind and a website serving as an employment hub for persons with disabilities will be launched to be led by Mr. Rainer Guetler, Country Director, CBM Country Office Philippines.
The Digital Literacy Training Manual is a comprehensive step-by-step guide for teachers and trainers who want to introduce the use of Microsoft productivity tools in tandem with a screen reader software in teaching the visually impaired. The manual also includes modules on soft skills customized to the needs and abilities of the visually impaired.
The manual is written by visually impaired trainers themselves who have shared their years of experience in teaching digital literacy as well as soft skills to the visually impaired. It is a joint project of ATRIEV I.T. Center for the Blind, Microsoft and Ateneo de Manila University, Education Department.
Also to be launched is www.equals.org.ph, an on-line job and livelihood resource hub connecting Persons with Disabilities seeking employment or entrepreneurship in the Philippines managed by Foundation for These-Abled Persons, Inc. (FTI). The website is a place where employers can also post their announcement for job openings.
150 participants from various companies, persons with disability groups, government agencies and local government units are expected to join the forum to learn about best practices and new tools and resources for maximizing an untapped work force called persons with disabilities.

About the Organizers
ATRIEV, or Adaptive Technology for Rehabilitation, Integration and Empowerment of the Visually-Impaired, is a not-for-profit organization that runs a range of training programs on computer literacy, accessible technologies, transcription, and blog writing; language communication and public speaking; and life skills, such as work ethic, working in teams, and self-affirmation for the blind, their families and their communities.
De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), particularly the office of Saint Brother Jaime Hilario Institute (SBJHI) offers free basic computer operations in certificate in computer application, behavioral training and bookkeeping to all persons with disabilities.
Foundation for TheseAbled Persons Inc. (FTI) is a non-profit organization that aims to enable emerging and existing organizations of persons with disabilities to become economically self-sufficient and to meaningfully participate through Capacity development, Bridge-Financing Assistance, Advocacy and Lobbying and Alliance Building.
Leonard Cheshire Disability Philippines Foundation Inc. (LCDPFI) is a national disability focused organization that promotes and protects the rights of PWDs in the Philippines. LCDPFI adapts a one stop shop model that provides livelihood support and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Other Partners
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Microsoft Philippines, the local subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, has been constantly bringing innovation and making its technology available to Filipino businesses and individuals since 1995. As a committed and trusted partner in nation-building, Microsoft Philippines has made it its mission to fuel growth and healthy communities, as well as transform locally-based businesses and empower them to compete in the global economy.
Christoffel Blinden Mission (CBM) is an international development organization committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in the poorest countries of the world. CBM addresses poverty as a cause and consequence of disability and works in partnership with local development organization to create an inclusive society for persons with disability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *