Ervin Reyes, the Philippines’ Top Deaf IT Expert

This is the second of a series of features that focuses on famous or notable Filipino Deaf. It’s my way of recognizing their feats and showcase their successes all over the world.

Ervin Ruiz Reyes has been the Deaf Coordinator of Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf (now MCCID College of Technology) for over seventeen years. He observed that most companies focus on the disablity rather than the capabilities of the Deaf. They only focus on their “disability” and not think of their potential for the progress of their companies. I won’t be enumerating the achievements of this very successful yet humble deaf person. Let this collection of videos speak for himself.

This video was taken during the 6th International Abilympics Skills Competition held in New Delhi, India in November 2003. Ervin competed against top web designers from more than 32 countries for which he won the bronze medal.

 

This was Ervin’s 2003 interview on a national TV program Abs-Cbn’s Digital Tour.

 

Here is his 2007 interview by Abs-Cbn News advocating equal access to information for disabled persons.

 

This is the latest video of Ervin being featured on a national TV in 2008.

Here is a link on his lecture about IT education for the deaf during Philippine School for the Deaf’s centennial celebration where he is also a recipient of the Most Outstanding Deaf Alumnus Award. To know more about him, go to this article feature from Withnews.org – Internet for the Disabled and Poor.

“Because of the computer age, it is very sure that the world is getting smaller and smaller everyday. Communication barriers are slowly being removed. But now, the biggest problem to the Deaf’s acceptance into the hearing world is the hearing person himself.” – Ervin Reyes

If these proofs won’t be enough, then I don’t know what else to tell. Let his accomplishments serve as a lliving example for all deaf people out there. God bless, Sir Ervin! May your tribe increase. 🙂

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Mini Web Design Conference on October 30

A team of seasoned Filipino Web Designers (including me heheh) banded together and plans to have a great Web Design Conference slated April of next year.

To while away the time, we will be holding our Mini Web Design Conference, bar camp style on October 30, 2008 (Thursday), 6pm at Tech Bar/G2VC Innovation Center, 5th Floor, The Orient Square, F. Ortigas Road (formerly Emerald Ave.), Ortigas Center, Pasig City (view map).

Dubbed “< form> function() .class “, only 50 slots are reserved. Tentative Speakers and their topics: Rico Sta. Cruz – Grid Layouts, Marco Palinar – Interface design, Aja Lapus – Design & Web Standards and yours truly will be discussing about Philippine Laws Supporting Web Accessibility.

Aside from blogging for the deaf, my other passion is web designing. These two passions are actually interrelated since I’m advocating for barrier-free access to information on the web where the deaf are one of those sectors who are disadvantaged. Designing websites that are accessible to everyone has been my battle cry for many years now.

So, here’s to the success of the event! What are you waiting for? Sign up here! Oh by the way, did I mention that it’s free? 🙂

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Happy 15th Anniversary to Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf!

MCCID 15th Anniversary Logo
Today, our school for the deaf will be celebrating its 15th founding anniversary. We have a special activity at Town and Country Hotel this afternoon to mark this important event. Although the occasion focused mainly on showcasing our deaf students’ talents in drama and comedic arts, the centerpiece of the activity will be our gratefulness in reaching this great milestone.

Fifteen years ago in 1993, two young Christian computer professionals, one hearing and one deaf, dreamed of an educational institution that can concentrate on the needs of the deaf through the use of computers. This field of work is fitted to them because it needs minimal supervision and communication skills.

Fifteen years later, MCCID is now a well established organization in the field of computer education for the deaf that is recognized both here and abroad. Although we may not claim that we are the first post secondary school for the deaf in the Philippines, still we are one of the pioneers in computer and technical education. We also take pride in providing access to job opportunities for our qualified deaf graduates. Although this information can be disputed due to lack of prior records, MCCID claims to produce the first deaf graduates who landed a job in the highest Philippine official, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, at Malacanang Palace. We also have the most number of deaf graduates working as encoders at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

MCCID is a non-sectarian, post-secondary, Christian foundation school for the deaf in the Philippines. It has trained and graduated more than 250 Filipino deaf since 1993. Noteworthy alumni received Presidential awards as well as international accolades and participations.

We have also capitalized on the huge popularity and success of the Internet by being the first school to add courses on web page designing, Flash animation and digital photography. We are the first institution for the deaf that went online in 1997. Our graduate won an international award in Web Page Designing in 2003. Our website is the first recipient of “Disabled Friendly Award” for being accessible to Persons with Disabilities. We are also the first advocate of Web accessibility among deaf organizations in 2004. We are the first institute that published a book on Web Accessibility. Our students were able to design websites for Filipino foundations free of charge.

Among significant MCCID contributions to the field of Philippine deaf education are:

  1. Became the first technical school for the deaf that is recognized by the Philippine government;
  2. Offering the first sign language course approved by the government;
  3. Including Deaf culture as part of the curriculum;
  4. Strongly promoting the use and propagation of Filipino Sign Language as part of the fourth wave including documentation of FSL in technical terms;
  5. Advocating and teaching closed captions on videos played on the Internet;
  6. Strengthening IT programs by participating in national and international skills competitions and
  7. Submitting Deaf students to government’s competency certification examinations in IT.

MCCID expects better things and bigger blessings to come as it reaches more milestones. We believe that the Deaf can do many things if given the right opportunity. To Christ be the glory! 🙂

To know more about MCCID, visit its official website and Wikipedia article.

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Yay! Almost 2000 Visits!

Yay! My site again reached another 1000 visits! Well, actually almost 2000 as of this minute. I said to myself I will post here every time I reach 1000 visits. I’m happy that people read my blogs. Thank you very much my dear readers. Thank you too for those who made wonderful comments.  🙂

In my previous blog, I promised myself that I will post at least one vlog a month. This time I did three in just a week. Technically, it was a three-part dramatization video so I count it as one. If you like to view the rest of the videos made by students of our school, visit our MCCID YouTube Channel.

Aside from being concerned with the Deaf people, I am also a web designer and is advocating removal of access to information or web accessibility. I am the current president of Philippine Web Accessibility Group, an organized group of web designers from government and non-government agencies with mission of

teaching and promoting web accessibility in the Philippines as a method of making information accessible to all including persons with disabilities (PWD).

Just last Thursday and Friday (June 19 and 20), our group held a paid workshop on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Training and Web Accessibility at the National Computer Center where 15 web designers participated. I lectured on web accessibility while Rey Mendoza, a colleague of mine and an established web designer taught about CSS. I have been teaching about CSS since last year. You can read about it from his blog. 🙂

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