Pinoys with cerebral palsy enter IT world

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Like in many areas of human activity, ICT has brought empowerment to the PWD (persons with disability) sector. Many accounts have already been written about blind persons who have successfully made PCs their ?eyes? to a new world of opportunities. [caption id="attachment_6206" align="aligncenter" width="453" caption="A PCPI patient trying out Indra's access technologies"][/caption] There have been very few stories, however, of persons with cerebral palsy overcoming their disability through ICT. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that cause physical disability in human development — one of the cruelest illnesses that can afflict a person. But, a partnership with tech firm Indra and the Philippine Cerebral Palsy Incorporated (PCPI) could just provide the tool for cerebral palsy patients to finally create their own success stories. At a recent turnover ceremony at the PCPI headquarters in Makati City, local executives and employees of the Spanish IT giant formally donated a PC unit that contains software that can be used in the physical therapy of cerebral palsy patients. The donation is part of Indra?s ?Accessible Technologies? program to address the needs of PWDs when it comes to accessing and using technology. The program, made up of solutions and services that promote accessibility and social inclusion, is also actively promoted and utilized in Europe and parts of North and South America. In the Philippines, Indra is promoting the use of two of the program’s foremost solutions, the Headmouse and VirtualKeyboard. The Headmouse, with the use of an ordinary webcam, allows a user to control a computer’s cursor with head movements. The Virtual Keyboard, on the other hand, is an onscreen keyboard with predictive capabilities, reducing the number of keystrokes needed to type out a user’s most commonly used words and phrases. Both software can be downloaded for free from the program’s website. The collaboration started when PCPI saw the potential of the software for cerebral palsy patients and approached Indra to present and demonstrate their use during the Scientific Congress of the National Cerebral Palsy Awareness and Protection Week held in September. With the favorable response from the cerebral palsy community, Indra and PCPI decided to partner in using the software for the physical therapy of the children with cerebral palsy under PCPI. Indra executives said that with the Headmouse and VirtualKeyboard, patients will have a more independent interaction with technology – exploring the Internet, communicating through email or instant messaging, or using other computer software for education or employment. Indra, which was formerly known as Soluziona, said it created the software in line with its corporate slogan — innovation for all, which asserts that technology can only be fully effective and pervasive if all kinds of people will be able to use it. Its Accessible Technologies program was thus born and now serves as their corporate responsibility program to address the needs of PWDs when it comes to accessing and using technology. ]]>

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