Philippine Web Accessibility Group (PWAG)
This is the action plan for the formation of accessible web designers association of the Philippines presented by Mr. Jojo I. Esposa Jr. and Mr. Rey Mendoza during the board meeting of the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons held last July 27, 2006 at the National Bureau of Investigation Building hosted by the Department of Justice. It was further approved by the NCWDP board.
As an output recommendation from the Webmasters’ Interface on Accessible ICT for PWD held last May 15-18, 2006 at Cebu City, the participants suggested the forming of a “National Webmasters Association” to carry on activities that would sustain ICT accessibility. Based on the “Summary Evaluation” paper gathered by the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP), the association is envisioned to: 1. Upscale the web accessibility compliance of participating organizations; 2. Through an e-group, continue skills upgrading; and 3. Intensify an accessible ICT advocacy to open up economic opportunities for the sector.
A simple ceremony was held last June 29, 2006 at Max’s Restaurant wherein the Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf Foundation, Inc. through Mr. Jojo Esposa Jr. was awarded the “3rd Disabled Friendly Website” and Mr. Rey Mendoza, former webmaster of the De La Salle University website was also awarded for his lecture on Cascading Style Sheets during the Cebu Interface. Mr. Allan Padilla of Social Security System website also attended. All three of them took part in the first workshop on Web Accessibility held last 2004 in Tagaytay City.
Ma’am Nelia De Jesus, ICT Coordinator of NCWDP encouraged the three webmasters present to form a working group. The same was also supported by Mr. Solomon Paz, DSWD Director. He also added that since the National Computer Center is the one assigned to evaluate and monitor accessibility compliance of websites who attended the three regional workshops, this group should help ease out some of the burdens of the government by partnering with the agency on this task.
After the program, the three webmasters had a short discussion on the formation of the said association and on the activities that will follow. The “core group” decided on the date of the general meeting which will be on the third week of August, 2006. Ma’am Kate Fermin, Executive Director of NCWDP offered their office as a venue of the said event.
Proposed Goals of PWAG
Along with the visions stated above, PWAG also aims to:
- Offer training whether on-site or through e-groups to members or those who are interested;
- Collaborate with international organizations in learning new developments on accessibility;
- Encourage the participation of the differently-abled groups in the testing, monitoring and evaluation of accessible websites;
- Prepare training manuals, kits and presentation materials;
- Lobby to the government legislators on the inclusion of Web Accessibility on the next revision of Magna Carta for the Disabled Persons, Accessibility Law and E-commerce Law;
- Develop innovative ways for promoting the push and pull approach in web accessibility both on the government and private sector;
- Use web accessibility as a starting point in attaining the final goal of becoming an International Web Standards Compliant as envisioned by the World Wide Web Consortium.
A. INITIAL STAGE (Formation of an adhoc group)
- Start with the initial meeting with the Core Working Group (technical people or web designers who already had an experience in designing accessible websites) to form a guild wherein all are considered as administrators. (Date of meeting, 2nd week of August at NCWDP Office)
- Set the criteria and category of the group.
- Discuss the technical aspect of web designing.
- Seek the commitment and partner with NCC and NCWDP on the following: a. Re-designing of Evaluation Criteria based on Manila Declaration and Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of W3C b. Training venue for web accessibility workshops c. Logistics
- Revitalize the ICT_PWD04 e-group or if its moderator is unavailable, create a new Yahoo e-group and invite NCC, NCWDP, DSWD and Vision Office to join.
- Prepare the training materials.
- Schedule trainings and workshops.
- Start the training/assistance from the participants from Tagaytay group who are making headway with their web sites.
- Designing a special website for the group.
- Inviting stakeholders, key groups and webmasters in a general meeting for the formation of the association.
- Forming committees and delegation of responsibilities.
- Creation of constitution and by-laws and eventual submission of requirements to the Securities and Exchange Commission.