February 4, 2023

Filipino Guardian

Sentinels of Filipino Free Press

[B-SIDE Podcast] People with disabilities and the rise of remote work

Follow us on Spotify BusinessWorld B-side

People with disabilities (PWDs) have benefited from the increase in remote work during the pandemic, according to ATRIEV (Adaptive Technology for Rehabilitation, Integration and Empowerment of the Visually Impaired), an organization that helps people with disabilities find technology-focused jobs.

In this B-side episode, BusinessWorld reporter Justine Irish D. Tabile joins ATRIEV Executive Director Antonio D. Llanes, Jr. and ATRIEV Chief of Operations Carolina C. Catacutan-Sam to discuss the impact of online -Jobs on the stigma of people with disabilities in the labor market.

“People with disabilities don’t ask for special treatment, what we want is decent housing,” said Ms. Catacutan-Sam, who is completely blind.


Technology is a balance.

“Even during the recruiting phase and going through the hiring process, we are looked down on. They don’t see our potential; They only look at our disabilities and not at our abilities,” Mr Llanes said.

Pandemic lockdowns and the subsequent boom in working from home have been beneficial for people with disabilities, who previously struggled with a lack of accessible transportation.

“Entering a job or an office is difficult for people with disabilities,” he said. “If it’s online, it would be less of an issue, apart from the accessibility of the platform they use to work.”

“Now that we have online jobs, that’s a balancing factor,” added Ms. Catacutan. “It’s really something that the government and private institutions may very well look into. If they can offer online jobs to people with disabilities, that would really help us a lot.”

“We can do what most people can do – but in a different way.”

“What we are demanding is the opportunity to be ourselves and the right to be different. We are people first. And the disability – it’s just a condition. And because of that disability, we can do what most people can – but in a different way,” Ms. Catacutan said.

Recorded November 2022. Produced by Joseph Emmanuel L. Garcia and Sam L. Marcelo.