The National Council on Disability Affairs Board recently approved a resolution “Requesting the Commission on ICT/National Computer Center to Deputize the Philippine Web Accessibility Group (PWAG) to Undertake Web Accessibility Assessment of Websites”.
Here is the complete Board Resolution No. 13 Series of 2008:
“Resolution Requesting the Commission on ICT/National Computer Center to Deputize the Philippine Web Accessibility Group (PWAG) to Undertake Web Accessibility Assessment of Websites of Participating Agencies and to Enjoin Member Agencies of NCDA to Comply with Web Accessibility Minimum Requirements”
WHEREAS, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Article 9 recognizes the importance of persons with disabilities’ accessibility to information and communication (ICT) to enable them to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
WHEREAS, the Philippines is a signatory and has ratified the said instrument on April 15, 2008, and is bound to ensure that the provisions of the Convention are achieved and realized.
WHEREAS, the Philippines has undertaken an “Interregional Seminar and Regional Demonstration Workshop” in 2003 in partnership with the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), to promote web accessibility in Southeast Asia, which resulted two outcome documents, the “Manila ICT Design Recommendations” and the “Manila Declaration on Accessible ICT”.
WHEREAS, three workshops series were conducted for 200 web designers and advocates in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to capacitate them to develop accessible websites to open up GO and NGO programs and services available to PWDs.
WHEREAS, a national interface was held to assess the progress of the 3 regional workshops and to address the low web accessibility compliance of concerned agencies, a MOA was forged between NCWDP now NCDA , and the CICT-NCC tasking the latter to 1) monitor the web accessibility compliance of participating web designers and advocates, 2) include web accessibility in its regular training programs; and 3) create relevant policies promoting web accessibility. Further, a committed core group of trainees organized themselves into an e-advocacy group, which is now known as the “Philippine Web Accessibility Group” (PWAG), to help the government push web accessibility compliance among GOs and NGOs.
WHEREAS, despite the initiatives and the existence of the Convention for PWDs that supports accessible ICT, large amount of information that can be found in government websites remain inaccessible to them, hence there is a need to effectively monitor compliance to web accessibility standards or at least providing reasonable accommodation to ensure access to information by PWDs.
WHEREAS, the Commission on Information and Communication Technology – National Computer Center (CICT-NCC) as the mandated agency on all matters related to ICT is short of skilled technical people to monitor all government agencies compliance to web accessibility.
RESOLVED, AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, upon the recommendation of the Sub-Committee on ICT and Executive Committee, the Board requests the Commission on Information and Communication Technology-National Computer Center to deputize the “Philippine Web Accessibility Group” (PWAG) to undertake web accessibility assessment of websites of participating agencies.
RESOLVED, FURTHER, to enjoin member agencies of NCDA to comply with web accessibility minimum requirements.
Let copy of this Resolution be furnished to the concerned member agencies of the Council.
MATEO A. LEE, JR
Deputy Executive Director