Aaron Introducing the Panel
OpenConcept organized and hosted an event in our offices to promote Benefit Corps (BCorp) earlier in the year. It was great to see just how many people came out to this event on a very cold February evening. We did this because we want to see more businesses in Canada become interested in becoming certified. We reached out to MP's & MPP's because there are legislative changes that can be made which will provide more incentives for businesses to become BCorps. We also reached out to municipal counselors as municipalities in the USA are starting to take measures to incentivize...
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 CSUN15 but have only seen them at accessibility focused events. In organizing A11yYOW last year, we made sure to include CART...
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 like computers, they are. OpenConcept is a web development shop and doesn't offer security...
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 are particularly good at doing this in...
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 need to introduce the students to Git or installing a local environment before getting them involved in...
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 of passionate people who believe strongly in collaboration. It is always exciting...
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 city hall and venue for purchasing for goods and services. Increasingly, to be an...
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 election strategy for 2015, retaining supporters online, effective eCampaigning models and converting online activists to donors. There were two streams...
Flynn Theatre B Inspired
I had a great time in Burlington earlier this month with the B Corporation community . It was inspiring to be around people working for change and meeting people who are working to make business a force for good in this world. Over 350 people came from around the world to attend this event and it was exciting to see how global this movement has become. The event was held in Vermont and it was clear to see the pride of all of the local B Corps who have been fighting to make a difference in this community. I went...
Roadtrip Back from DC DrupalCon
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. Foundation 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 in the essentials of HTML, PHP , MySQL and server administration. Russell also schooled me...