Indonesia visually impaired people face constraints almost in every aspect in life including access, education, and also chance to work inclusively in all industry. Although there is a 1% national rule regarding disability employment, it is reasonable if companies can’t fulfil the quota if the applicant doesn’t meet qualification they need.
There are 3.75 million visually impaired people in Indonesia?*
80% are in productive age and 40% are in elementary to high school age.
Unmatched industry demand vs formal education capacity building
Most of existing educational institution didn’t teach competencies that meet industry requirement. Unfulfilled 1% (now 2%) employee quota for people with disabilities in a company (UU no 4 Tahun 1997, updated to UU no 8 Tahun 2016). Yet, no distinct punishment nor recognition in implementing this regulation. Technically there is a fine if a company doesn’t follow this regulation. Hence it is easily waive once the company make a statement “I don’t find those who fit to the job requirement I need”. Well, it is understandable though. Company only hire those who are valuable and beneficial for their return on investment.
Visually Impaired People become a dependent or lower income individual
Not only because the expertise not met industry demand, there is also a stigma that “employing visually impaired people is inefficient and costly”. Most informal sector not only earn less than UMR but also a perceived second class worker on society. While company considers it ‘costly’ because it generally takes more time to adapt with the office situation or even they have to build supporting infrastructure in the office. Again, return on investment.
Even those who excel still linger in its own community.
Sometimes, it is not because they are lack of skill, but because of the common environment’s inability in providing supporting infrastructure or transport accessibility. Mobility become a serious issue since most of them can not rely on private transportation while public facility still far more than ready. In our perspective, it is not time and money efficient.
2008: The First Encounter
In 2008, Suarise founder met Didi Tarsidi, the former Head of Pertuni and Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia Lecturer; and Hendra Jatmika (also known as Hendra Pianoman) for her final assignment in the university. This is the first time she knows about screen reading software as well as acknowledging visually impaired people truly potential.
2018: The First Initiatives
After have been teaching digital marketing for the last 4 years, this insight suddenly raised back and it was early in 2017 we start to talked about this opportunity with Yayasan Mitra Netra. Finally, almost one year afterwards, the team was finally set and the first training was held on February 3rd, 2018 with 10 trainees. It was a substantial learning for both side. We have explored and undergone numerous experiment within the training session to get the effective and efficient learning formula. We also evaluate and get people feedback to improve the training quality.
2018: The First Graduation
In 2018, we celebrates our Batch 1 graduation. There are 10 people who follow the training. During the process we realise that there are different learning speed
and capacities. Therefor, we divide the outcome to three types: graduate (proceed to ‘On the Job Training’), graduate with notes, and remedial. Nevertheless, some people decided to drop in the middle of the process.
This year we discover that not every website can be accessed easily using screen reader.
2019: The Second Graduation
On 9th December 2018, we celebrates our Batch 2 graduation. These talents, along the previous batch graduates, follow OJT process during 2019.
However, this year Suarise decided to have a short break for approximately half a year due to founders situation and postpone the Batch 3 training. We decide to focus on talents promotion during 2019 through our website and networks.
#TantanganAksesibilitas pilot programme
#TantanganAksesibilitas was planned to be a campaign that advocates digital accessibility to wider society. There are 2 diamonds for the target audience of this campaign.
The first diamond is ‘The Creator’: developers, designers, content writers, and testers.
The second diamond is ‘The Pillars’: educator, policy makers, advocates, and government.
2020: Indonesia First Global Accessibility Awareness Day
Suarise held the very first Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) and launched Launching Digital Accessibility Consultancy as part of Suarise services. We realise that empowering Visual impaired people is not enough by adding skill set alone. Many of them are struggled due to the unsupportive environment, including digital environment. Therefore, digital accessibility is necessary to transform the society and to sustain the impacts.
A11yID community and Accessibility Training
Following up the GAAD and WWWID Livecamp events on April, Suarise initiated a community whose members are people who work in the technology and digital product development sectors. A11yID is a telegram based community and open for designers, developers, UI/UX designers, Researchers, QA, Product Managers, and PwD who interested in the topic of building inclusive digital products and services. A11yID held monthly sharing session with various speakers, from sharing experiences, best practise, to discussions.