Workshop on ICT Accessibility for Persons with Disability Event for disabled people’s organizations and media
12-13 December 2017
Myanmar Independent Living Initiative (MILI), established in 2011, is a self-help organization led by disabled persons that has been working at various levels and fighting for equal rights, inclusion and independent living of people with multiple types of disabilities in Myanmar. MILI promotes disability access in employment, education, health, disaster-risk reduction, social-enterprise, social, political, electoral and public sectors.
LIRNEasia is a pro-poor, pro-market think tank established in 2004. It has been working on catalyzing policy change through research to improve people’s lives in the emerging Asia Pacific by facilitating their use of hard and soft infrastructures through the use of knowledge, information and technology.
Myanmar ICT Development Organization (MIDO), established in 2012, uses Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool for the development of the country by narrowing the digital divide in Myanmar; using ICT for the country’s development and the safeguarding of human rights; and encouraging the emergence of good Internet policies for ICT users. The three organizations organized a two-day workshop on ICT Accessibility for people with disabilities (PWDs) on 12th and 13th December 2017, bringing together PWDs and members of the tech community in Myanmar.
This workshop had the following objectives:
a) To provide an opportunity for the disabled community to learn about ICT accessibility for the disabled
b) To allow those working in the ICT sector to learn about the issues the disabled community face
c) To identify the problems faced by the community in gaining accessibility
d) Working up a draft document of recommendations to be presented to the Members of Parliament the next day. All the objectives were achieved.
The course saw the participation of numerous DPOs, representing individuals with multiple disabilities, as well as members of the tech community. The Myanmar National Association for the Blind (MNAB) spoke on the progress made in developing an open-source text to speech engine (TTS) in the local language. Strong efforts were made to ensure participation of representatives of the mobile telecom companies. Two indicated they would attend, but in the end none did. The organizers provided the following to facilitate meaningful and effective participation of all the participants.
- Accessible ramp to the stage and podium for speakers and participants on wheelchairs.
- Sign language interpreters for the deaf participants.
- Caption typing service for the deaf participants unable to use sign language.
- Simultaneous interpretation in Myanmar and English