By Mike Gifford on 26/09/2014
Web accessibility is complicated. The technology is constantly changing as is how we are using the medium. The Web has become a critical means of simply participating in our society and many people are simply excluded from participation.
Knowbility has offered a training on Web Accessibility since Section 508 was adopted back in 1998. Working with people with disabilities, this community has been a hub for training web developers about how to build barrier free sites.
By Mike Gifford on 10/09/2014
This is a story of our origins that I hope will resonate with others seeking change in this world. There are many truths, some of them are here.
The name OpenConcept came from a kitchen table conversation between three friends: Nancy Shaver, Russell McOrmond and myself. The initial idea was to use the Web as an interface for Popular Education (PopEd) and to help build Sustainable Communities. This idea never got off the ground at the time, but Russell continued to direct me...
By Mike Gifford on 09/09/2014
Canada's Cities Need a Digital Roadmap, and it needs to engage with citizens.
Most Canadians interact with the local level of government more than any other, and increasingly this is being done electronically
Defining a Digital Roadmap
A roadmap is a common planning tool to help both visualize and achieve a particular goal. It's useful to build consensus around any multi-stakeholder process. Projects often stall if they get caught up in the details, because there is no...
By Mike Gifford on 06/09/2014
I didn't start OpenConcept because I was interested in business, I started this company because I saw the Internet as being a vehicle of much needed change in our world. So when thinking about the future of my business, I had pretty non-traditional way of looking at growth.
My initial inspirations about OpenConcept as a business started around a kitchen table over 15 years ago, and in much of this time has been spent around a kitchen table. What I knew was that progressive...
By Mike Gifford on 04/09/2014
At DrupalCon Austin I was asked by Barry Madore of Triplo to talk about Drupal & Accessibility at TCDrupal 2014. In 2013, a team of people had done some great usability and accessibility work on Drupal 8 at the University of Minnesota. This seemed like an excellent opportunity to follow-up on that.
This year Twin Cities Drupal Camp took place from August 7-10. I spent a bunch of my time there in the Awesome Room, which was where the sprints were taking place on Saturday.
By Mike Gifford on 03/09/2014
I was a relatively early adopter of the Internet, having gotten a Bitnet account at the University of Calgary through the Shad Valley program. Of course I'd been involved in BBS's & Fidonet before this, but that branch of computer networking died when the Internet started to take off.
It was exciting to see the range of conversations on Usenet newsgroups, mailing lists and of course through email. I became very involved in exploring what could be done with this technology and in...
By Chris Wright on 02/09/2014
I had the opportunity to attend CodeFest 2014 in Ottawa. This two-day conference was a great chance for anyone who “works in the web” to get together, share their expertise and learn from their peers.
Codefest is a free, volunteer-run conference centered around the Web Experience Toolkit (WET).
WET is an open source project led by the Government of Canada that is developed openly on GitHub. The focus of WET is to develop an innovative, user-centered web experience that can be...
By Mike Gifford on 10/07/2014
I am presenting at Ottawa's first Accessibility Summit. It's a 20 minute presentation on Fixing Accessibility Problems at the Source which I am using to talk about Drupal's experience trying to meet WCAG 2.0 AA.
The slides from this event are available on slides.com, a neat service that works nicely using the open source library reveal.js. I totally loved that I could both edit the HTML directly in the interface and also import/export and host my files wherever I wanted to.For my...
By Mike Gifford on 05/06/2014
Anyone who has been involved Web Accessibility knows that the basics are quite simple, but that it can get complicated really quickly. Training people to create content that can be perceived by people with varieties of sight, hearing, mobility & cognitive challenges is no small task, and ultimately we all make mistakes.
Most web content now is being created through Content Management Systems, which are helping to simplify the process of producing content. The future seems to be...
By Cindy Warren on 05/06/2014
We're happy to announce that Claire-Isabelle Carlier is now a permanent member of our staff in the new position of Business Development and Marketing Manager. Over the past few months, on top of learning a lot about Drupal, about our company and our clients, and about working in Canada, Claire has already proven to be a valuable member of our team.
She has updated our corporate look, logo and values statement; produced several proposals for new work; started enhancing our online...