Information Technology Education for the Deaf in the Philippines

Information Technology Education for the Deaf in the Philippines

What is ICT?

ICT stands for Information and Communications Technology. Wikipedia defined it as a broad subject concerned with technology and other aspects of managing and processing information through computers. In simple words, it means “technology used to get the information needed.”

Can ICT generate jobs for the Deaf?

ICT has opened up many opportunities for the deaf. The reasons are:

  • ICT improves productivity – It increases activity for the deaf.
  • ICT is an industry – Many jobs were opened through ICT.
  • ICT empowers the deaf – Just like cellphone texting, it gives the deaf a chance to express themselves.

Why is computer education and employment fitted for the deaf?

Computers are very much adaptable to the deaf because of the following advantages:

  1. Minimum Supervision – Most of the time, the interaction is between the computer and the deaf person. Occasional instructions coming from the immediate supervisor and managers are given but not too often. Some communication barriers are removed.
  2. Enhances Deaf Creativity – Due to their visual concentration, a vast majority of deaf persons are highly skilled in drawing and designing. Given the opportunity, they can excel in fields like Web Page Design, Visual Arts and Graphics Animation.
  3. Computers Are Deaf Friendly – There is no need to make additional adjustments on computer units and peripherals. No special softwares to install. Computers are visually enhanced equipment and don’t rely on sounds and sonic effects. A keyboard, mouse and a well-lighted place are all it needs for the Deaf person to work.

What career opportunities can computers give to the deaf?

The deaf can be employed in the following fields of work:

  • Graphics Animation
  • Data Entry Operations
  • Computer Operations/Encoding
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer or cellphone repairs/servicing (technician)
  • Software testing and development
  • Web page design and development
  • IT entrepreneur

What are common computer related positions held by deaf persons?

A deaf person may be accepted in the following positions:

  • Data Encoders/Controllers
  • Proofreaders
  • Office Clerk/Personnel
  • Management Information System Staff
  • Graphic Artists/Digital Photographers
  • Digital Print Artist/Designer
  • Bookkeepers/General Records Clerks
  • Web Page Designer/Developer
  • Computer Technician
  • Computer Trainors/Instructors

What are the schools in the Philippines that offer computer courses for the deaf?

Among the post-secondary schools in Metro Manila, these are the schools that offer ICT programs for the deaf:

  1. CAP College School for the Deaf (Established in 1989) – Makati City (2-Yr. Associate in Arts in Information Technology; 4-yr. Bachelor of Science in Business Admin.)
  2. Miriam College Deaf Program (Established in 1990) – Quezon City (2-Yr. Associate in Computer Technology for the Hearing-Impaired)
  3. DLS-College of St. Benilde Deaf Program (Established in 1991) – Manila (5-Yr. Bachelor in Applied Deaf Studies major in Multimedia)
  4. Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf (Established in 1993) – Quezon City (3-Yr. Diploma in Arts and Computer Design Technology; 3-Yr. Diploma in Business Technology)

What Philippine companies that currently employ deaf people in computer related jobs?

Here are some of the companies that employ deaf students mostly from MCCID:

  • Philippine Corporate Giants (Smart Telecoms, Globe Telecoms, PLDT, Lamoiyan Corp., SM Department Store)
  • Multinational Companies (Toshiba Phils., Thermo King Industries, SP Technologies)
  • Government Offices (Office of the President, Office of the First Gentleman, Quezon City Hall, Malabon City Hall, Manila City Hall, Department of Foreign Affairs)
  • Data Encoding Companies – (Nova Management, Cybersoft Phils.)
  • NGOs/Foundations (Caritas Manila, Nova Foundation)
  • Schools (CAP, DLS-CSB, MCCID, BID)
  • Deaf Entrepreneurs (DRCB Photography, Fotosezion)

What are problems encountered by deaf workers?

Among the biggest obstacles the deaf person encounters while employed in companies are:

  • Language barrier – Companies don’t hire sign language interpreters. Most of the time, deaf people do lots of guess work.
  • Lack of awareness on the part of companies – Most companies fear that hiring a deaf would pose a great risk due to their disability.
  • Lack of corporate values and ethics on part of deaf worker – The deaf must understand the different environment surrounded by hearing people in a big company or industry.

Hope for the Filipino Deaf

With advances in IT, more jobs will be offered in business process outsourcing. Also, with increased Internet usage, more opportunities will open on web page designing, developing and information encoding. And with increased popularity in digital graphics, more work for graphic artists, photographers, animators, etc.

Through IT, we can achieve a level playing field between a hearing and a deaf person.