I would like to share some of my activities with you since I came back from Japan. I attended the 3rd Philippine CBR Congress last October wherein focus on the government's economic development plan was geared towards inclusive growth was highlighted. With this efforts, PWDs in the Philippines are expecting to have greater opportunities in the job market. The discussion also served as a means to raise awareness about this theme among NGOs so they can aggressively advocate for such concept and encourage government agencies to support their activities.
Other than this, I chose to attend two workshops. The first one is about accessible tourism which showed ways in which hotels and tourist areas can be accessible for PWDS. This is a very important topic for me because I enjoyed my stay so much in Japan particularly visiting museums with devices that describe things in audio format with the help of sensors and tactile representations. Although here in my country, the focus is given too much on building ramps and Braille which seems boring if you really want to have fun, I am hoping for more developments in this area in the coming years. I also shared what I experienced in Japan to give my groupmates an idea about accessible tourism. The second is on inclusive education. Although the Philippines do practice inclusion in schools, there are still many issues that must be addressed such as the allocation of special education funds.
Last November, I traveled to Baguio City in the Northern area of Luzon to conduct the very first community-based training for special education teachers on Android accessibility for the blind. Our team also conducted sessions on inclusive education and things that must be kept in mind in it's practice. You can read the article I made about the training here:
Building Bridges Through Technology: ATRIEV Trainers’ Training in Baguio City by Irish Ayesa Mendez
Last December, the ATRIEV team went to San Pablo, Laguna at the Southern side of Luzon to conduct another community-based training this time for learners with visual impairments, parents and special education teachers at Pa-aralang Pag-ibig at Pag-asa (School of Love and Hope). I was the lead trainer for this training. We taught NVDA for Windows. Ｔhe photos with the ATRIEV team and some of the teachers we trained.
Moreover, my thesis finally got approved. Right now, the paper is still under grammar editing but I will send to you a copy once it is done. I am about to apply for graduation after arranging some other documents for the course. We also made an instructional video on how to navigate the computer using NVDA to be posted in YouTube. It is still under editing but I will send you the url once it is uploaded.
Thank you and take care.
Irish Ayesa Mendez
Duskin 15th trainee