Enrollment In Basic Computer Literacy Training For The Blind Now Open!

Cover image of Digital Literacy Training.

ATRIEV invites you to participate in the Digital Literacy Training, a
full-blown computer literacy  training for persons with visual
impairment. You will learn how to operate Windows 10 operating system
and Microsoft Office 2016 applications together with a screen reader
like NVDA or screen magnification software, the Internet and World
Wide Web, and Computer Security & Privacy. Not only that, exciting
workshops on self-acceptance, personality development and platform
skills await you!

Inclusive Date: April 13, 2020 to May 28, 2020.
Class Schedule: Monday to Saturday – 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Class Duration: 40 days.
Location: ATRIEV Training Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines.

Who can join?

  1. blind and low vision persons
  2. at least high school level and higher
  3. with or without computer background
  4. from all over the Philippines

Registration deadline is on or before April 4, 2020. Only a few slots
are available. Full tuition fee sponsorship is offered for training
applicants who will meet the sponsorship qualifications.

For requirements and other details, please feel free to contact us at
the following:
Mobile numbers: +63 977-7059766, +63-917-502-6591 and +63-923-616-4376
Landline numbers: +632-7587-2042 and +632-8367-9633
Look for Ms. Marsh Balcueva. Please contact us  from 9:00 AM to 5:00
PM, Monday to Friday only.

Feel free to share this good news with others.

Our Partners in sight, Partners in Deed

This is the Logo of ATRIEV

Twenty-five years ago, one blind pastor had a vision of using technology so that blind people can lead better lives. So he started a computer training in DOS right in his own backyard which eventually was institutionalized as Adaptive Technology for the Rehabilitation, Integration and Empowerment of the Visually Impaired Incorporated also known by its nickname ATRIEV.

ATRIEV has lasted and endured because of its valuable friends and partners who were recognized during the modest celebration of ATRIEV’s silver founding anniversary held on November 26, 2019 at the Marikit Function room of One Shangrila Place, Mandaluyong City.

Dubbed as “25 Years of Creating Vision Beyond Sight; Be our Partners in Sight, Partners in Deed”, ATRIEV gave due recognition to the following:

Cover image of ATRIEV @25 With CBM

Christoffel Blinden-Mission (CBM)

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.
In 2003, CBM provided ATRIEV a five-year grant that jump-started ATRIEV’s formal organizational set-up. Through the CBM grant, ATRIEV established a six-person full-time staff which assured the quality delivery of its services. CBM continues to provide salary support to ATRIEV staff as well as support to training, employment efforts and disability inclusive orientation projects.

CBM was ably represented by Ms. Erly Ocasiones, Program Manager, CBM Country Office Philippines and Ms. Julie Ann Nery, Livelihood cluster Field Coordinator.

Cover image of ATRIEV @25 With LILIANE and NORFIL

Liliane Fonds of The Netherlands with NORFIL Foundation’s Partnership for Inclusive Development (PFID) as Strategic Partner

The Liliane Fonds of the Netherlands aims at giving children and youngsters with disabilities, up to 25 years, in developing countries to enable them to participate and count in their community. NORFIL Foundation is the Strategic Partner Organization (SPO) of the Liliane Fonds in the Philippines under the Partnerships for Inclusive Development (PFID) team. As an SPO, NORFIL provides financial and technical support to local non-profit and people’s organizations supporting children and youth with disabilities.

In 2007, Liliane Fonds gave support to 25 ATRIEV trainees. To date, Liliane through NORFIL Foundation, has provided tuition and dormitory sponsorships to more than 400 blind trainees. NORFIL has also given support to the training of over 500 teachers in the use of assistive technology as a teaching and learning tool.

NORFIL Foundation was ably represented by JonalynGalamgam, Program assistant, Partnerships for inclusive development.

Cover image of ATRIEV @25 With University of The Philippines, College of Education

University of the Philippines, College of Education

The UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES, the country’s National University, has partnered with ATRIEV through the UP College of Education, Diliman campus. Aware of technology’s role in the education of persons with disabilities, special education students of the UP College of Education participate in ATRIEV’s Basic ICT for SPED Teachers training so that they will be able to use assistive technology in both Windows and Android platforms in teaching their future students. Since 2018, ATRIEV has conducted two batches of ICT training for the UP College of Education students. Both institutions plan to formalize the partnership in the succeeding years UP College of Education was ably represented by Dr. Marie Therese Angeline Bustos, former Dean, College of Education, University of the Philippines.

Cover image of ATRIEV @25 With One Meralco Foundation

One Meralco Foundation

One Meralco Foundation (OMF) is the social development arm of Meralco. OMF undertakes various projects for the upliftment of disadvantaged sectors within the Meralco franchise areas. In the Christmas of 2018, OMF launched “Kita-Kita Ngayong Pasko” an employee giving project to support ATRIEV’s programs. Among the programs supported by One Meralco Foundation are nationwide teacher training on assistive technology, social media marketing training for persons with disabilities and Android accessibility training for children and youth with disabilities. One Meralco Foundation was ably represented by its Program Manager, Mr. Neil Celeste Rara, during ATRIEV’s 25th founding anniversary event. With One Meralco Foundation and ATRIEV working hand-in-hand, the blind will truly see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Making A Difference With AI

No description available.

AI in Mobile Legends is something that I can beat up easily, but with Microsoft’s AI for Accessibility Hackathon, wherein more than 400 individuals over 8 countries across Asia Pacific participated, AI is going to become a tool to overcome accessibility challenges for people with disabilities.
Microsoft Philippines focused on accessibility issues connected to visual impairment, and with their partner, ATRIEV, four problem statements were identified. Teams were formed to conceptualize a solution for each problem statement, and every team consists of ATRIEV representatives and other Microsoft partners. Together with my co-trainers, Anthony Lozada and Rafael Pataray, we were with Czar Castro, Sonny Lozada, and Miguel Arcilla to create our team, Eye Browser.

It never registered to me how lucky I am to be in an event with that calibre until I learned that I was talking to a Business Analyst, Technical Specialist, and Software Developer, and with that, I had to step-up my game. The problem statement assigned to us was about increasing the accessibility of websites through AI, and with my playful mind, I thought of our team name, Eye Browser. Well, it’s kind of brilliant, right? The “Eye” is for those who have visual impairment and “Browser” because it’s about the web. Okay! Okay! I admit. I suggested that team name jokingly, and surprisingly, my teammates liked it. So, there you go, Team Eye Browser.

In order to come up with an idea for the solution, our sighted team members had to empathize our target persons, which are the VIs. You might think empathizing is an easy task, but it is not. When our sighted members truly understand the situations of the VIs, only then they can think of a solution for the problem, and that became challenging for us, ATRIEV representatives. From the introduction of screen reader, how we use computer, and the accessibility issues we encounter, Sir Anthony, Sir Rafael and I explained all that to the point where empathizing never stopped even we’re in the comfort room.

Challenging, but all the hard work paid off when we were able to conceptualize an answer to an accessibility issue and actually win first place in AI for Accessibility Hackathon PH. Now, as an idea comes to life, let us all hope for the Eye Browser to make a difference in the lives of visually impaired persons.

Basic ICT (Windows and Word) for SPED Teachers Training 2019

Cover image of Basic ICT Training

Enrollment for Basic ICT for Teachers Training is now open

ATRIEV will conduct a 5-day training for the teachers of special education, alternative learning system, or rehabilitation specialists for persons with visual impairment. This training teaches the participants on how to use a computer (particularly Microsoft Windows OS and Microsoft Word application in tandem with a screen reader) as a teaching tool.

When: Nov. 16, 2019 to Dec. 14, 2019 (Saturdays only); 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Where: ATRIEV training center, Rooms 308 Timbol Singh Bldg. No. 2, 915 Aurora Blvd. Corner Albany St., Cubao, Quezon City

Training participants who will be successful in completing the training will receive the corresponding certificates.

Please register with ATRIEV not later than November 13, 2019 to assure your slot in the training. Hurry! Limited slots are available. Registration is on a 1st come, 1st serve basis. To register, please feel free to contact us at +63977-705-9766 and +63923-616-4376 and look for Ms. Marsh Balcueva. Please contact us from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday

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See you at our new office!

White Cane Safety Day Celebration 2019

Image contains participants from the different organizations attended the event.

Where It All Started

For centuries around the world, cane, staff or stick was used to guide blind people in their travels. It was used to alert them of the obstacles in their paths. The use of white cane was claimed to have started in 1921 which was attributed to James Briggs, a Bristol photographer who lost his sight due to an accident. He used the cane for the pedestrians and vehicle users to know that he was blind. He chose to paint his cane white so it would be visible even at night. From then, white cane was used not just to aid persons with visual impairment but to serve as a sign for people to know their disability.

In the Philippines, the “White Cane Safety Day” was celebrated every first of August in accordance with RA 6759 of 1989, which declares that it is the policy of the state to promote and protect the physical, moral, and social wellbeing of all persons with visual impairment.

Since then, efforts have been made to celebrate the “White Cane Safety Day” by organizing programs and services for visually impaired and spread awareness to persons without disability.

The Advocacy Continues

For the “Sight Saving Month,” which is celebrated every August, the “White Cane Safety Day” served as an opening activity. Different programs like Braille writing contest was held.

The theme for the 30th White Cane Safety Day Celebration was “Puting Baston, Simbolo ng Kalayaan ng Taong May Kapansanan sa Paningin: Dapat Kilalanin, Igalang at Pagtibayin.” This theme emphasizes the role of the white cane as the symbol that someone is a person is blind or visually impaired.

As part of the grand celebration, an activity called “White Cane Walk” led by the Philippine Blind Union. The walkathon was joined by different organizations such as resources for the blind, Visuals, NOVEL, and other organizations. ATRIEV also joined the walkathon at least 25 representatives including the staff, trainers, and trainees.

The White Cane Walk started from Camp Aguinaldo Gate 2 Capinpin avenue and walk along the North bound lane of EDSA towards the People Power Monument where the program proper was held. Hundreds of visually impaired walked with their White Canes as a symbol of their freedom.

The program’s guest honor representing DepEd Sec. Briones was Undersecretary Tonisito Umali of the Events and Legal Affairs and Liason Office of the Department of Education. Philippine Blind Union gave away White Canes and braille with stylus. BENETECH-Bookshare, a non-profit organization which advocacy is Global Literacy and Inclusion gave away 3 Google Nexus Tablets through Philippine Representative Ms. Aggie Angeles.

Looking Forward

Looking back the journey for having an inclusive society for the visually impaired has gone a long way. The celebration of the White Cane Safety Day won’t end in the celebration itself. It will continue through the organizations who work hard to organize events that will spread awareness, through the visually impaired who show their talents and skills, and prove to everyone that disability will never be a hindrance to one’s success, and to people who strive to understand people with visual impairment and treat them as equals. With this, we are looking forward to a more accessible community for the visually impaired.

MOA Signing Between ATRIEV and Capiz State University: Building Bridges Towards Inclusive Society

Image contains Ms. Lourdes Borgonia (ATRIEV’s program coordinator), Dr. May Dumapig (campus administrator), Dr. Judel Protacio (dean of College of Education, Arts and Sciences), Ms. Sandra Escabarte (CapSU Pontevedra Extension in-charge), and Dr. Matilde Tonel( extension coordinator) signing the MOA contract.

Over the years, ATRIEV has been successful in making its mission possible in transforming the lives of hundreds of people with visual impairment and educating thousands of teachers, parents and other stakeholders through its programs and services. Of course, it will not happen without the support and assistance of different private and public institutions such as schools, universities, companies and other agencies.

Taking steps to Possibilities

Capiz State University(CapSU), a public educational institution, has expressed care and support for persons with visual impairment in Visayas and decided to sign a memorandum of agreement in partnership with ATRIEV.

CapSU was no longer a newbie when it comes to trainings for visually-impaired students and for teachers because Dr. May D. Dumapig, the CapSU-Pontevedra campus administrator, is a mother to a low vision person, and has already joined a lot of ATRIEV’s computer trainings for teachers and parents in the past years. ATRIEV had also conducted a five-day Android training of trainers for the first time in the same campus last 2016, and was attended by 30 SPED teachers, student teachers and CapSU teaching personnel.

On July 22, 2019 , CapSU-Pontevedra has finally strengthened the bind between ATRIEV and CapSU through a MOA signing that will be effective within three years. It was represented by the ATRIEV trainers, Ms. Lourdes Borgonia (ATRIEV’s program coordinator), Dr. May D. Dumapig (campus administrator), Dr. Judel V. Protacio (dean of College of Education, Arts and Sciences), Ms. Sandra Escabarte (CapSU Pontevedra Extension in-charge), and Dr. Matilde C. Tonel( extension coordinator). It was held during the opening ceremony for the five-day Windows trainers training and was witnessed by the representatives from different schools, stakeholders and linkages around the province of Capiz.

Both parties agreed to join force for a program titled “BALIKATAN”, under the banner program of CapSU-Pontevedra, Extension Department with the slogan: “Suporta sa Aton Komunidad para sa paglab-ot sang ila Damgo kag Gugma sa Pagbag-o – support for our community to reach their dreams and to love change (SAKDAG-sa Pagbag-o).”

This program aims to increase community awareness and participation on inclusive education, launch support programs for students with special needs, develop a more committed and competent faculty to handle students with special needs, and equip persons with disabilities the appropriate skills and knowledge in using technology for learning and entrepreneurial ventures.

These will be conducted through activities such as training for teachers and students with special needs, training of trainers for the visually impaired on using computer applications and Community-based training for stakeholders and persons with disability.

Join Us with Our Mission

Compared to other progressive countries, it’s still a long way for us to achieve a friendly society for persons with disability, however, leading this kind of partnership project would be a great start in breaking barriers and building bridges towards inclusion and accessibility.

Just like what Helen Keller quoted, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Let’s work hand-in-hand in accomplishing our mission to empower persons with disability, improve their way of living, stop stereotyping, inculcate disability awareness and encourage inclusion for all.

Sitel Academy Plust ATRIEV 2018

Photo image of Ms. Mariel Valbuena in Sitel Philippines

In memories of one of the most hardworking, versatile and inspiring family member of ATRIEV, Ms. Mariel Valbuena.

To the family, please accept our heartfelt condolences for your loss. This might be a very tough time for you but we hope that you will find the comfort and love you seek through our prayers.

To Mariel, thank you for the laughter, optimism, inspiration and positive vibes that you have shared with us. We lost a jewel like you, but your memories will be kept in our hearts forever. You will be greatly missed and remembered by everyone.

Goodbye Mariel, and may your soul rest in peace.

English Language Communication Training Announcement!

Cover image of English Language Communication Training

Do you want to improve your language skills in English grammar and usage?

If so, you are invited to attend a 25-day English Language Communication Training. This course aims to prepare you for possible call center, web writing and transcription job opportunities.

When: August 20, 2019 to September 18, 2019; 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Saturday.

Where: ATRIEV Training Center, 2nd Floor, 1680 Corner E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue and Los Angeles Street, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines.

Registration Deadline: on or before August 14, 2019. Full tuition fee support is available for training applicants who will meet the sponsorship qualifications.

Target Participants:

  • Persons with visual, speech, and mobility impairment.
  • At least 18 years old.
  • At least high school graduate.
  • Must pass the basic computer literacy, Intro to Computer Science, Writing for the Web, or General Transcription Trainings of ATRIEV.
  • Must have a good track record during the training at ATRIEV; and
  • Must have a ready-to-work attitude.

For qualifications, requirements and other training details, please feel free to contact us at +632-411-1664, +632-725-4191, +63977-705-9766 and +63923-616-4376 and look for Ms. Marsh Balcueva. Please contact us from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday only.

“OrCam: Breakthrough Assistive Device Now In ATRIEV”

ATRIEV Board Remir Romualdo with representatives from OrCam, Aboitiz Foundation, St. Joseph Foundation and the 5 beneficiary institutions after the MOA signing.

True to its name and slogan of “Creating vision beyond sight” – the Adaptive Technology for Rehabilitation, Integration and Empowerment of the Visually Impaired (ATRIEV) recently signed on June 13 a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to become one of the six organizations as beneficiaries of the 25 OrCam MyEye 2.0 from Aboitiz Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility program.

OrCam MyEye 2.0 is the world’s most advanced wearable assistive technology device, that increases the independence of people who are blind, visually impaired, or have reading difficulties through its tiny, intuitive smart camera. This powerful pocket computer, the size of a lipstick case, easily attaches magnetically onto the eyeglasses, uses Artificial Intelligence, that instantly reads text, recognizes faces, identifies products, bank notes, tells you the time, date, and more, just by pointing your finger, tapping the button on the side, or doing gestures. This is the same AI technology installed in smart cars or the Autonomous Vehicles.

The MOA with Aboitiz Foundation Inc. and St. Joseph Foundation Inc. entrusted five out of the twenty-five OrCam units to ATRIEV for the next two years. And this happened barely four months before the organization’s celebration of its 25th founding anniversary.

“OrCam will be very helpful to us. This will allow our trainers who are either blind or still with light perception to use the breakthrough device in their different community-based deployments in far-flung areas. Our trainers doesn’t only handle visually impaired people, but also sighted PWD trainees in these communities,” said Antonio D. Llanes Jr., Executive Director of ATRIEV who signed the MOA.

ATRIEV graduates, who are gainfully employed, and even students doing research and are running for academic top honors in the secondary and tertiary levels may also qualify to borrow this hi-tech device at the office from Program Coordinator Lourdes B. Borgonia. They must comply with all the requirements of the organization, which was duly approved by Aboitiz Foundation. Each borrower is only given a maximum of three months to use the device, based from ATRIEV’s Electronic Device Loan Agreement form.

“For those who are interested in borrowing OrCam from ATRIEV, we will soon be offering training to our pool of trainers and graduates, on how to use and take care of this very expensive, but highly advanced assistive device,” the founding father of ATRIEV added.

The 25 OrCam MyEye 2.0 assistive device that are strictly on loan to the six institutions serving the visually impaired will remain as the property of Aboitiz Foundation Inc., the social arm of Aboitiz group.

“The Aboitiz Foundation is pioneering an incredible initiative with OrCam’s breakthrough artificial vision technology. Meeting the recipient organizations and the wonderful team from ATRIEV was a critical part of what made the launch event and training successful, and very special. Everyone was kind, professional and a pleasure to work with. We’re excited and proud to launch OrCam’s assistive technology in the Philippines,” said Jon Wolff, OrCam Technologies Regional Director for Australia and Asia who demonstrated on how to use the wearable hi-tech device.