Microsoft and partners launch key digital resources for PWDs

Microsoft Philippines, in partnership with the ATRIEV Computer Training Center for the Blind, the CBM Livelihood Cluster, CBM Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University Education Department, and NORFIL Foundation today launched key resources for persons with disabilities (PWDs) during the We Can Do I.T. Employers Forum at Microsoft’s headquarters in Makati City.

These key resources are the Digital Literacy Training Manual for teaching the visually impaired, and the employment portal for PWDs seeking job and entrepreneurship opportunities.

The Digital Literacy Training Manual is a comprehensive step-by-step guide for teachers and trainers who want to introduce the use of Microsoft productivity tools in tandem with a screen reader software for teaching the visually impaired. The manual also includes modules on soft skills customized to their needs and abilities.

The manual is written by visually impaired trainers themselves who have shared their years of experience in teaching digital literacy and soft skills to the visually impaired. It is a joint project of Microsoft Philippines, ATRIEV Computer Training Center for the Blind, and Ateneo de Manila University’s Education Department.

Also launched is, an online job and livelihood resource hub connecting persons with disabilities seeking employment or entrepreneurship in the Philippines. It is managed by the Foundation for These-Abled Persons, Inc. (FTI). The website also provides a place for employers to announce job openings for persons with disabilities.

According to Microsoft Philippines Legal and Corporate Affairs Director Attorney Raul Cortez, the introduction of the manual is an achievement that will equip PWDs towards a brighter future. “Microsoft Philippines, ATRIEV, CBM Philippines, the Ateneo, and NORFIL Foundation all worked hard in bringing these resources from ideas to fruition. We share the belief that given the right tools, PWDs have great potential and capacity to truly contribute to nation-building through their drive and talents. We look forward to seeing how these new resources can improve many lives.”

These new efforts augment Microsoft’s contribution to technologies that aid the visually impaired. Currently, Microsoft has the Seeing AI app (downloadable for free in IOS devices), which uses AI to identify visual cues such as faces, emotions, and handwriting. That data is then converted into audio descriptions for the visually impaired.