Friday, March 18, 2016

Parks, Not parks, Accessibility, Hackathon

RantWoman spent last evening signing up for the Seattle Parks and Recreation @AttDeveloper #atthack hackathon, and cleaning out emai.

Perhaps RantWoman has fallen down on the job about various things to do with people with disabilities, hackathons, problems that are real and do not necessarily require a lot of coding to work on, and RantWoman's consistent, lifelong capacity for thinking way out of scope.

Here are some humble belated efforts to remedy RantWoman's lapses, with jottings and some url's left ragged because of the last minute issue.

1. RantWoman has contact info for a number of people with various disabilities who do actually write code AND have important perspective to contribute. In the future rantWoman promises to be more attentive about trying to interest some of them in hackathons, and far enough ahead of time to fit into schedules. RantWoman also knows there are a couple cool accessibility Meetups but they both occur at times when RantWoman has conflicts. Sigh.

2. RantWoman likes but has quibbles with the AccessMapp projects but RantWoman also thinks it's just good for everyone to think about accessibility. RantWoman so far has not been in a position to judge any of the competitors but RantWoman would REALLY like to see hackathon judging criteria include specific effort to have teams think about at least ONE aspect of accessibility, either accessibility for the app or whether the data they work with can include information that would specifically address at least one accessibility concern.

Examples of places RantWoman might look include the NW ADA Center, the W3C web accessibility standards as well as accessibility practices for whatever platform App developers are concentrating in. RantWoman also finds plenty of material on the #a11y hashtag.

Despite the volume of material available through these resources, RantWoman really is in Keep It Simple Mode here and will be more specific shortly.

RantWoman and a bunch of other opinionated People with Disabilities #PWD spent a term being experts for a design class at the UW Information School. Oh boy did the experts have opinions. Oh Boy were our opinions and perspectives all over the map. The experts got to interact at various phases of the design and development of a prototype indoor wayfinding app for the iPhone; they also got to try out the apps at the end of the term. Results varied a lot but one of the most satisfying part of the project at least for RantWoman was just watching students thrown into the project just by luck of the draw think about all the issues that came up.

By address accessibility for a hackathon, some things RantWoman would give varying levels of credit for:

--just looking up and mentioning some or another accessibility standard; points for talking about what it would mean to implement, more points if some piece of the standard is actually implemented.

--Making guesses about implementation of physical accessibility features based on data such as dates of construction or projects and laws / building codes in effect at the same time.

--figuring out how to work with data that might be of interest for people with specific disabilities.
    walking routes from nearby bus stops (hint: there used to be some COOL data in the Metro Trip Planner but it's not there any more,. Sigh. Could it be retrieved and reimplemented?)
   efforts to work with steep grades and hills,
   presence of specific accessibility features such as specialized equipment and / or plan to add such data as the app is implemented. Ask RantWoman about swimming pools and people with mobility limitations for example.
   coding that provides text descriptions of graphics
   implementing an "Ask a Human / dial a number option for moments where the app might not be able to provide the needed info.

Truth in advertising: RantWoman is interested in all of this but cannot actually be at the Hackathon on Saturday until late afternoon. First RantWoman gets to go to a meeting in Greenwood and among other things show a restaurant some $$$ love after its windows got blown out in the #Greenwood Explosion. Then RantWoman will go visit the #ULink2016 festivities for a bit. Then RantWoman can pop back to the hackathon. RantWoman will tweet out this link though and some of the time might be able to respond to inquiries.

3. And finally, as if accessibility were not challenging enough for scope issues, RantWoman would love to see Apps that address all the things in Seattle that are called Parks but that will not show up in Seattle Parks and Recreation data, a few things like P-patches that are wonderfully pastoral and parklike or have interesting environmental features but also are not parks, and things like other websites that might exist about some of the parks.

Peace Park
Extra credit if someone can find material in Japanese because RantWoman is sure there should be

The Beacon Hill Food Forest located at Jefferson Park
The Beacon Hill Food Forest at Jefferson Park
Extra points for thinking about language access in languages other than English.

Seattle Children's Playgarden which also has its own website
Seattle Children's Playgarden

Bradner Gardens with a solar-powered wrestroom

Picardo Farm P-Patch
Seattle's First Composting Toilet

The Olympic Sculpture Park

Washington Park Arboretum

Community Orchard W of I-5 at 65th
RantWoman has visited the orchard and can attest that it has a very well-compacted gravel path that both RantWomanan and RantMom with her cane found easy to walk on.

Waterfall Garden Park

Waterfall Garden Park
Waterfall Garden Park

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