As the digital world expands, so does its opportunities. While we generally feel the comfort of going digital such as working remotely or doing video conference calls, this modern phenomena has a larger effect on people with disabilities.
Imagine the opportunities of working remotely as a person in a wheelchair or being able to communicate digitally even if you’re deaf. The digital world’s impact created a huge pool for people of disabilities to work in without worrying, further making our world more inclusive than it already is.
Speaking of which, we have a very special interview today. This is with someone we work very closely with, our very own web designer, Marvin Velasco. We’ll get to know just who he is, how he got here and get inspired by his journey.
So Marvin, can you tell us a little more about yourself and what you do?
I was born and raised in Muntinlupa City and I have been working as a Digital Imaging and a UI/UX Designer for 3 years now. I am currently employed at EOI Digital, creating web projects such as designing landing pages, e-commerce pages and the like.
How did you lose your hearing and what was it like growing up?
My mom had measles when she was seven months pregnant with me. The doctors said it affected my development so growing up, I wasn’t able to speak and hear. I went to kindergarten school with my cousin and I was the only deaf person. I had difficulties studying so we had to look for a school for the deaf. We found the Philippine School for the Deaf and when I went there, most students talk with sign language. I transferred to that school which opened doors for me and my family. I learned sign language myself and I taught my family how to do sign language so we can communicate properly. We started with finger spelling, the ones where you spell out letters with sign language, so it will be easy. And from there it went smoothly.
I studied and graduated from De La-Salle College of Saint Benilde with a Degree in Bachelor of Applied Deaf Studies specialized in Computer Graphic Arts and Technology. I went on to get into the Dean’s List from 2011 to 2014, even getting an honorable mention.
During my stay there, I worked for creative exhibitions for events such as Deaf Festival and Representative of SDEAS (School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies) for the organization.
Do you think your disability helped you towards being creative in what you do today?
I’ve always loved drawing. It’s been my way of self-expression since it’s a language that most people would understand me. From there, I think it evolved to what I’m doing now. With digital imaging, I developed in-store designs, final artworks, image retouching and printing. I’ve created branding, posters, advertising designs for big companies. I’ve worked for companies like Jollibee, Chowking, and Greenwich and small clients both internationally and locally.
I’m mostly proud of my poster design for Jollibee. It was simple, clean, and clear and it received wonderful attention from people and I’m happy that my designs get noticed.
I go into web design too. I’m able to research design elements, website and mobile app processing. I can get into the heads of website visitors and create a page that they want and need with my own concept.
I guess we could say that my disability has helped me. It didn’t stop me from what I’m doing that’s for sure. Currently, I’m working closely with front-end developers and CEOs of EOI Digital. And they treat me normally. If you want to check out my designs, visit my Behance page.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I love playing mobile apps like Clash of Clans and Candy Crush. In its early days, it has served as a slight inspiration with mobile app development. I watch movies with subtitles of course. I love food, taking photos and videos, especially when I’m with my deaf friends. We tend to understand each other better and that helps me live my life aside from my everyday work.
If you’re interested, you can check my travel photos on Instagram. My username is @vinlasco.
What message do you have for others with a disability?
I’d like to tell everyone, and not just persons with disabilities, that if you’re overthinking and worry about being deaf. It cannot help you. The world is large enough for us to create success in live, work, and make your family proud.
Your disability is just a part of you. It is not the end of your world. Ohh.. side note; Marvin designed almost the whole EOI Digital website ;-).