Web Accessibility Forum

I know that we have been very busy with our own work. But just to show to you that Philippine Web Accessibility Group has not been idle these past few months, I would like to announce that there will be a Web Accessibility Forum tomorrow, August 2, 2011 from 8:00 am to 12:00nn at the “Occupational Health and Safety Center in North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City in front of Veterans Golf Club.

This activity is in line with the celebration of “White Cane Safety Week” slated from August 1 – 6. The forum will convene the webmasters/web designers of different government agencies as well as key non-government stakeholders in making their websites accessible to Persons with Disabilities called for in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.

Mr. Julius Serrano of ATRIEV will be giving short lectures on access of blind persons on the Internet while I will be giving a brief overview of laws and Philippine circular regarding web accessibility.

This forum is free. You may want to drop in to OHSC if you don’t have conflict with your schedules. See you there! 🙂

Yay! First 120,000 Visits!

Facebook Pages Logos in front of Jojo's Facebook Profile Snapshot in blur.

Cheers!!!! My blog has reached its first 120,000 visitors since I started blogging actively in April 2008! 🙂

Actually my blog already reached the 120,000th mark a week ago. I wasn’t paying much attention to it since I am too much pre-occupied with the main culprit, Facebook! I visit my Facebook profile every time I’m connected to the Internet. The last time I posted something here was nearly three weeks ago, while my Facebook wall post is updated almost daily! tsk tsk tsk

Blogging and posting on Facebook wall are entirely different bananas. You need to spend a longer time composing a blog, while thinking a wall post will only consume around two minutes or so. Blogging entails a more detailed and insightful research on the topic. Since my blog is about deafness, deaf and their culture; I cannot deviate much from it. Inasmuch as I want to include issues from my other loves like web designing, Christian living and music, I am compelled not to post something about them simply because I will be “out of topic”.

Talking about Facebook stats; I already have 513 friends. Nearly a third of that are from my Social City buddies. The rest are my MCCID deaf students, alumni and friends. I’m also surprised that my V. Mapa High School classmates were able to track me down! I already have 20 friends from way back the time of Xanadu’s “Magic”, Air Supply’s “All Out of Love”, Irene Cara’s “Fame” and John Lennon’s “Just like Starting Over”. Yah! John Lennon was still alive when I finished high school! 🙂

I already created four Fan Pages in Facebook. The first one was for our college for the deaf, the second one was for Liliane Foundation Philippines, while the third one was for the first Filipino Sign Language Font which can be downloaded and installed for FREE. The latest is for our Philippine Web Accessibility Group.

Among the four pages, our college for the deaf topped with 855 likes with 319 active users. It is in this Page where I posted some very important announcements concerning the school. This is followed by Filipino Sign Language Font which has 606 likes and 92 active users. Incidentally, the FSL Font has already been downloaded more than 1500 times as of today, thanks to Facebook. Liliane Foundation Philippines has 54 likes with 30 monthly active users. Philippine Web Accessibility Group now has 50 likes with 48 active users.

One great feature of WordPress is its ability to track down the number of visits from your other WordPress designed sites using the same built in API keys. You can also use this for their equally neat Akismet spam blocking plugin. Based on this I was able to know the number of visitors from the following WordPress sites of:

My blog now has 222 posts with 583 comments and 512 tags. My top referrer is still Deafread.com now followed closely by Facebook. Thank you very much my dear readers, whether you are hearing or deaf! Now, on to my first 140,000th visitors! 🙂

1st Philippine Web Design Conference a Success

More than 400 attendees, way above the group’s goal, trooped to Asian Institute of Management (AIM) last July 10 to attend the very first Philippine Web Design Conference spearheaded by the newly formed Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO).

Panel of speakers
Conference Attendees
Who would have thought that an event as big as this would succeed? Although it was already planned as early as September 2008, it wasn’t until early April when everything starts to roll (thanks to the completion of registration at the Securities and Exchange Commission in March 31.). There were so many kinks to iron out. As late as July 6, the group was still having a problem opening a bank account at BDO due to a mile long requirements which includes the securing of the General Information Sheet (GIS) from SEC. And to top it all, even if more than 300 registered online, only two persons actually paid in cash!

Well, everything went great, way above our expectations! As part of the organizing team, I was aware about the group’s day-to-day developments. The bank account was successfully opened after I got the GIS from SEC. The Asian Institute of Management officials were very generous in giving the group a great venue, good food, free coffee and free wi-fi. The speakers were eloquent and knows their craft. The event started on time but ended quite late due to the Q and A part.

What I am really proud of is the successful holding of the “Disabled Friendly Website Awards” courtesy of the Philippine Web Accessibility Group and the National Council on Disability Affairs. Previous awarding rites were led by the government as part of their program of events. This time, I’m proud to say that it was done in a non-government affair and in front of “real” web designers, not just some government employees who attend government sponsored seminar-workshops with the sole purpose of escaping from work and getting the comforts of free hotels and travel.

I’m also doubly proud that all recipients of the awards were present. They were:

  1. www.philcecnet.ph – Official Philippine E-center Community Portal of the National Computer Center represented by Ms. Eloisa San Mateo (Government)
  2. www.blinding-light.com – Personal Website of Ms.Miko Reznor (Anna Monica Esguerra)
  3. www.lilianefoundationphil.org – Official Website of Liliane Foundation Philippines represented by Sis. Agnetia Naval, National Coordinator (Non-government Organization)
  4. webstandards.raquedan.com – Web Standards Website of Regnard Raquedan (Personal Website)

They all received a plaque of appreciation courtesy of the NCDA.

Awardees pose together with NCDA Director Geraldine Ruiz
Awardees (from left): Regnard Raquedan, Eloisa San Mateo, Sis. Agnetia Naval, Anna Monica Esguerra, Jojo Esposa and NCDA Director Geraldine Ruiz.

Regnard, PWDO’s President, on his interview by the Philippine Daily Inquirer said the group envisions third party certification for Web design in the Philippines. They also look to help train designers in developing their skills further and also to establish ethical and best practice guidelines.

He remarked,

“We’d like to make Filipino Web designers more reliable for an international market and make them more innovative.”

To all the awardees, thank you very much for promoting web accessibility in your websites! And to the PWDO group, you know who you are, kudos to all of us for a job well done! Let’s calendar July as the date when web design conference will always be held. 🙂

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First Philippine Web Design Conference, July 10

Philippine Web Designers Organization
To all Filipino web designers and enthusiasts out there, we have some good news in store for you! The Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO), a government registered group, will hold its first ever Web Design Conference in the Philippines and in Asia. It will be held on July 10, Friday, at the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City.

form function and class logo
Dubbed, “Form, Function & Class”, this whole day conference is the culmination of series of monthly mini-events that the group held in various venues.

Now, what can you learn from attending this event? Well, for one, you can be kept abreast with the current trends and techniques on how to design aesthetic yet functional websites. You will hear about various tips and tricks from Filipino professional expert web designers and web-trepreneurs like:

  • Rico Sta. Cruz (Creative Director, U.S. Auto Parts Philippines) – Web Design 101
  • Nap Lara (Software Developer, Friendster) – Interaction Design
  • Regnard Raquedan (Web & Usability Consultant) – Web Standards, Accessibility and Usability
  • Marco Palinar (Web Design Consultant) – Workflow
  • Gail dela Cruz-Villanueva (Creative Director, Sheero Media) – Industry Tips
  • Luis Buenaventura II (Co-founder & Social Software Architect, Syndeo Labs Director of Engineering, Exist Global) – State of the Web

PWAG LogoOur Philippine Web Accessibility Group will also participate in this event. We will be giving out “Disabled Friendly Website Awards” to three web designers together with the company they represent. This award is a token of recognition for designers who took their time in making their websites accessible to everyone including the Persons with Disabilities (PWD). The awards are part of the advocacy program of the government through the National Council on Disability Affairs, National Computer Center and PWAG. To know more about the awards criteria as well as its brief history and list of past awardees, check out this link.

Registration is now open. Ticket prices are:

  • Regular rate: PhP 1,000
  • Student rate: PhP 500

Seats will be strictly limited to 400 participants and payment can be collected at the venue. You may reserve a seat at http://ffc2009.eventbrite.com/. PWDO will ask you to confirm your registration one week before the event. If you are not able to confirm, your reservation will be forfeited and given to someone else.

To know more about the event, visit the Official PWDO site or the Form, Function and Class site. See you there! 🙂

Philippine Web Designers Organization, Inc.

Philippine Web Designers Organization
In the Philippines, there are thriving graphic arts groups. There are animators’ council. There are bloggers’ group which even rewards their bests. There are SEOs, WPs, SEMCONs, IMMAPs, PWAGs, what-have-yous. All of them revolve around the Internet and involve web designing. Then, why not form a group of web designers? The community is already there. All it takes is to band them together.

PWEDO SEC Registration
Many said it wouldn’t be done. But guess what, we did it! The Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO) is now officially recognized by the Philippine government through the Securities and Exchange Commission. After my series of visits to the SEC office for the processing of the documents, I was able to get the certificate on April 13. It’s my own humble way of helping the group because I believe in their ideals and what they want to accomplish. We encouraged our own Philippine Web Accessibility Group to partner with PWDO.

PWDO is

a group of professionals and hobbyists who create human interfaces for the Web, champion the use of standards, accessibility and usability, and aim to uplift the state of web design in the country.

Special thanks to the Plurkers who floated this idea on the air. Congratulations to the PWDO officials Regnard Raquedan (President), Ia Lucero (Treasurer) and Mae Paulino (Secretary) for working their asses off to make this group a reality.

Form Function and Class Logo
What’s next? The Web Design Conference on July 10, 2009 at the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City. See you there!

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