Tech­nol­ogy boost could help with dis­abil­i­ties: sur­vey

The Myanmar Times - - News -

EV­ERY­THING from cross­ing the street to fill­ing in a vot­ers bal­lot to re­ceiv­ing alerts for nat­u­ral dis­as­ters could be made eas­ier for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties through tech­nol­ogy, a sur­vey re­vealed.

Un­der­taken by Ischool-Myan­mar, a lo­cal NGO, the sur­vey was lim­ited to peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties (PWD) who have ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion and were phys­i­cally ca­pa­ble of us­ing ICT.

“PWDs are us­ing ICT to com­mu­ni­cate with one an­other and ac­cess in­for­ma­tion,” said Ko Ye Win, pro­gram man­ager at Ischool-Myan­mar. Re­spon­dents from Yan­gon, Aye­yarwady, Bago and Man­dalay re­gions, as well as Mon and Shan states, par­tic­i­pated in the sur­vey which took six months to com­plete.

“Like in other coun­tries, sig­nals at pedes­trian cross­ings and on pub­lic trans­porta­tion are needed,” said one deaf re­spon­dent.

An­other re­spon­dent, who has par­tial deaf­ness and cere­bral palsy, said, “I would like to sug­gest that there be tech­nol­ogy for peo­ple who are hard of hear­ing in the event of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.”

Tech­nol­ogy could also be har­nessed to en­sure more in­clu­sive pol­i­tics.

“Cur­rently, peo­ple who are deaf or blind are all but ex­cluded from the po­lit­i­cal process – there are no au­dio files pro­duced by the hlut­taw on the coun­try’s laws and there are no sign lan­guage in­ter­preters on tele­vi­sion pre­sent­ing the news,” Ko Ye Win said.

The sur­vey, en­ti­tled “A Pre­lim­i­nary Sur­vey on the Ac­cess to ICT and Mo­bile Tech­nolo­gies among PWDs in Myan­mar”, also re­vealed tech­nol­ogy habits of re­spon­dents. Face­book and Viber were the most pop­u­lar ap­pli­ca­tions used by the par­tic­i­pants to com­mu­ni­cate and ac­cess in­for­ma­tion, closely fol­lowed by Gmail and cam­era apps. – Ei Shwe Phyu

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