During COVID-19 outbreak, people with disabilities need accessible information

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Alfian Andhika Yudhistira is a blind student at Airlangga University. (Personal Doc.)

UNAIR NEWS – One of the rights of the person with disabilities in Law Number 8 the Year 2016 concerning Persons with Disabilities article 5 number 1T is they have the right to express, communicate, and obtain information. However, there are still many media in Indonesia that are deemed less friendly to disability. One of them is information access and socialization on Corona Virus or COVID-19.

Prof. Dra. Myrtati Dyah Artaria, MA., Ph.D, a lecturer and professor of Anthropology UNAIR stated that blind people need to read and get as much information about the current pandemic. Obviously, with written information that is translated into audio.

“When someone makes an informational video, it is better to think about whether both deaf and blind people can access it,” Prof Myrta said during the interview by UNAIR NEWS team on Wednesday, April 15.

People with disabilities have a lot of technology literacy. However, Prof. Myrta hopes there will be community service carried out by the disability care community that pays more attention to these people. For example, technology training on reading various kinds of media for the blind, and training on making essays for deaf people.

Besides, she also emphasized that the government can take the role of increasing understanding of persons with disabilities. Also, it helps improve public understanding of people with disabilities. “If this happens, they can access easily,” she said.

Alfian Andhika Yudhistira, one of the blind students at Universitas Airlangga said that government facilities related to the COVID-19 case were helpful. However, the problem is color-based distribution maps are given no alternative text. It does not help blind people who want to know the area is safe or not.

Alfian gave an example on radar.covid19.jatim and forumcovid19.jatimprof.go.id currently not yet accessible for screen reader application users.

“Indeed, the website is useful for people who can see it. However, it was hard for us to understand because of too many images, logos, which were not given alternative texts. Thus, we don’t understand the map, “he said.

The Role of Many Parties is Needed

Alfian said that people are required to play their role and take action for people with disabilities. According to him, accessible information media is essential to minimize the spread of wrong information among persons with disabilities.

He also said that several things the community could help people with disability response during the COVID-19. For example, local health centers can pay more attention to disabilities in their area.

“Local health centers must also begin to pay attention to disability in their areas. By giving people with disability reminder to wear a mask, “he added.

Besides, those who are in the line of programmers making information can help us by updating their website to be more accessible for people with disabilities. As well as making discussions with disabilities, that the web and their apps have been accessed or not. (*)

Author: Ulfah Mu’amarotul Hikmah

Editor : Binti Q Maruroh

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