Technology boost could help with disabilities: survey
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