Recent Blog Posts

By Mike Gifford on 20/03/2015

Most people have never heard of Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), but it is a great way to make a live event more accessible. CART isn't as good for the deaf as ASL, but it is generally seen as sufficient accommodations. The Canadian Hearing Society has some very legitimate concerns about how CART is implemented and provides suggestions about how this should be regulated better.

I've now seen CART used at Carleton's Accessibility Summit, Accessibility Camp TO and...

By Xavier Landreville on 13/02/2015

This is the first part in a series of system administration and management posts.

It used to be that if you wanted to run your own SCM system or VCS, you needed years of experience and a grey beard. However much has changed in the past few years.

We at OpenConcept switched from bare Git to GitLab about a year ago. The driving factor behind our change was to simplify the management of repositories and give our clients the option to gain direct access to them. We also picked up a...

By Mike Gifford on 13/02/2015

With the cost of computers dropping we are seeing them in places most people don't recognize. It is totally amazing the computing power that's been built into the $35 Raspberry Pi and they are also in our cars, TVs and many other products that could never afford to be "smart" before. One of the most common devices that people don't see as computers is their router. Most organizations now have several routers to make it more convenient to access the Internet. Although they don't look much...

By Sébastien Bacharach on 28/01/2015
Screenshot from the home page of the new OpenConcept website

OpenConcept has been deeply involved in raising awareness about web accessibility for a long time. As we were developing our new website, we took this opportunity to make it as accessible as possible.

Having proper alternate text for images is the low hanging fruit of web accessibility, however there were a few instances where we had to address some more unusual challenges.

In order to provide the alt and title attributes to the user profile images by default, we actually had...

By Dylan Shields on 12/01/2015

Chances are, any two visitors to your website will have different preferences when it comes to consuming the content you're offering. People browse websites for various purposes, with a wide variety of preferences and biaises. Providing visitors with options on how content is displayed is appreciated when presented via an intuitive user interface.

In the past, clients have asked me to display lists of content in multiple formats (which is fairly straightforward with a basic...

By Mike Gifford on 19/12/2014

At this time of year, a lot of people are thinking about gifts, both those that we give and receive. It is often a joyous time, although often stressful too. People come together and often reflect on what has happened in the last year, celebrate the victories and set new goals for the year ahead. We have a great deal to be thankful for and it is a time of year when we find ourselves expressing gratitute for those who have supported us and are part of our community.

I don't think we...

By Mike Gifford on 01/12/2014

I was happy to have OpenConcept well represented at Ottawa's first Ladies Learning Code Drupal event. There was a great turnout of interested people, keen to get their feet wet learning Drupal. Mathew Winstone from Coldfront Labs led the full day event. It was clear how much work he had put into getting new people who weren't familiar with programming started with Drupal.

It was great to be able to leverage Pantheon's free hosting service to get people started. Fortunately, we didn't...

By Mike Gifford on 01/12/2014
Ryan Weal & Others in the Code Sprint

San Francisco is beautiful in the fall, BADCamp has become a real institution in the Drupal community, and I had an opportunity to present about Drupal 8's accessibility. So I packed my bags and flew down to sunny California and was able to participate in several Drupal Core Code Sprints, the NGO Summit and several talks.

It is useful to go to these community events and to have a chance to hang out with other people who are shaping this community. The Drupal community involves a lot...

By Mike Gifford on 23/10/2014
Organizers of A11yYOW 2014

Digital Accessibility is a really big and complicated issue. There are no simple fixes because the technology keeps changing and the web standards are regularly being adjusted in attempt to keep up. A site that is considered accessible today, may not be accessible viewed this way in 6 months.

Ultimately it is about building technology such that the widest number of people can have the greatest access to the web. The web has become our town square and school as well as our our path to...

By Mike Gifford on 22/10/2014
Duane Raymond preseting in Ottawa.

It was great to work with Duane Raymond and George Irish to create a FairSay campaign/fundraising training in Ottawa on October 15th. I've corresponded with Duane for many years and have always wanted to make the trip to Oxford to go to the eCampaigning Forum. After organizing these events for over a decade, Duane has built quite a considerable base of knowledge and an extensive global network.

In the afternoon session we had very interesting conversations on building a digital...

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