Digital Accessibility for the Blind
By Zyra P. Paguio
SPET I - Balanga Elementary School, Date Posted Dec. 5, 2018
We say that technology helps people a lot. It makes life easier. Everything is possible when using technology. Just a snap of your fingers, you’re done with your work, you can already get the result or the product of what you are doing. That is how wonderful technology is.
How about people with visual impairment? Does it ever crossed your mind, how they deal with technology? Does it make their life easier too? Do they become productive in our society using technology, just like us? Are digital technologies accessible for the blind? Do they get equal access in using technology like normal people do? As we enjoy the latest technology, do we think of those people who are visually impaired?
The technology changes rapidly. It is always upgrading. How are the persons with visual impairment catch up with the ever-changing technology advancement? As they are still in the process of mastering, the newly-found technology, here comes the new digital invention. Of course, the sighted one could easily adjust but how about the visually impaired? Would it be fair to say that someone is left behind? Are the developers and inventors ready to accommodate their needs as the technology changes rapidly?
When a normal child comes to school, they can easily adjust with the way of learning because of the instructional materials used by the teacher while the child with visual impairment can only hear what the teacher is saying. Are there materials for them also? Are they enough? Is the availability of learning materials applicable for them? Is it enough to say that we include them in a regular classroom setting? We always say that we cater 21st century learners. Are they not included in the 21st century learners?
In a technological advanced employment setting, the normal one hired first because the employers think that they are more productive than the person with visual impairment. The person with visual impairment before they get a job, there will be lot of conditions. They will be given set of tests if they are capable to work. Companies would not hire them because of limited capability. They will get a lower position because of lack of training and practice when they are still undergraduate due to lack of digital accessibility for the blind. Visually impaired lose the chance to perform and contribute to the society. They don’t get equal opportunity in the society. Is the technology in workplace a friendly-user for them? Is it right to blame them for lacking of knowledge in using digital technologies, that is why they could not land for a job that they are dreaming of? Or Are we the one that should be blame for lacking of knowledge on how to include, connect and find solutions in order to join them in a society?
Let us consider the persons with visual impairment because they are important part of the population. Technology is important in life but we should make it inclusive for everybody.