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Miranda Banks

526 days ago
Reflections and Share-backs (4:4:15)
Facilitator: Catherine D'Ignazio
Jordan P Shareback and Reflections 
Everyone writes their ideas and feedback on post-it notes 
Miranda B Track faciliatators: Cindy Vincent, Cathy Wissink, Steve Walter, sarah kanouse
Jordan P Media Literacy Track 
becky@elab.emerson.edu First Panel: Media Literacy Lightning Talks
Jordan P Themes emerged around privacy and youth engagement; Thinking about media as a resource to engage youth to get their voices out; Using media to partner with community partners and foster a stronger sense of community. 
Second panel 
Emerging Citizens: How media production is a key device in teaching media literacy and education. Learned about memes, hashtags, and hyperlinks within the civic context in a fun and engaging way. 
Third panel
Data Portal Workshop: participants learned about data mapping and visualization techniques using the Boston Data Portal, GIS technologies, etc. to visualize your community. 
First panel: inclusive design: city, state, private sector. what inclusion means (language, physical ability, class). 
Second panel: workshop on accessibliity and using tools and the chalenges of technology. (ex: dyslexia, cognitive disorders and concentration/distraction problems with websites, color blindness). 
Third panel: service learning centers. how to be thoughtful engaged citizens and leverage recources. 
Three take aways:
  • 1. cultural ethos: "With vs For." Design with a community not for a community. That way the needs are primary. Have people there to represent the needs
  • 2. Channel your inner 
  • anthropologist
  • 3. Codesign 
Steve Walter
Jordan P Systems and advocacy track
works for (Office of New Urban Mechanics)
blurred binary between adovctae for change and works in the system 
adversary vs. within the system: flipping the idea of enemies"
Generation Citizen: bring civics to the classroom
A real focus on the systemic issues, middle school students working to create lasting change. doing applied civic work in a classroom setting. NOT a extracurricular activity, but in the classroom. 
Sensors: actual impact of sensors and contextualization. In newsrooms, etc.
Thinking holistically about who is being served. 
Jordan P Design for the margins 
projects focused on how to speak from a position and not just on behalf of? 
Who is and who is not at the table. The importance of recognizing that when you build a more inclusive group. There will always be exclusions
  1. where our data is coming from?
  1. Who is not present? 
Civic art is the creation of learning situations, not expertise to be enacted or expected. How do we empower the artist and the community
Speakers: Ceasar McDowell, Catherine D'Ignazio, Ethan Zuckerman, Erhardt Graeff, and Sarah Williams
Civic Media: Technology, Design, and Practice (the book) book launch without books? oh no... 
Its okay. You will be able to buy them! 
plz bring back Eric Gordon's book copies. 
Pleasure of a anthology is asking people you admire to contribute. They not only said yes, but they are also in the room!  The book is broadly conceived - inclusive but impossible to say that you are inclusive. Rather, trying to gather thinkers and practitioners to represent a range of activities and practices and open a conversation. 
Jordan P 19 long form essays: 8,000 word academic essay
25 case studies: 1,000 word short, in and out, example. 
Its important to find the examples when you need them, and these shorter case studies provide that service(.
Miranda B Civic Media: Technology, Design, and Practice
Jordan P The concept of common good is deeply subjective
the mechanics of acting in the world with the tools and actions available
imagine themselves of being connected, not therough achieving, but striving for common good. 
Miranda B
  • " the technologies, designs, and practices that produce and reproduce the sense of being in the world with others toward common good. While the concept of “common good” is deeply subjective, we use the term to invoke the good of the commons, or actions taken that benefit a public outside of the actor’s intimate sphere.  To this end, the civic in civic media is not merely about outcomes, but about process and potential. It is about the mechanics of acting in the world with the tools and conditions available. Civic media, then, are any mediated practice that enables a community to imagine themselves as being connected, not through achieving, but through striving for common good" (Gordon and Mihailidis 2016).
Jordan P Ethan Zuckerman speaks about all of the amazing, diverse projects, ideas seen today, but more insterested in the percentage of people that are not sold on the concepts, are highly alienated. Can these people be effective while they are pissed off? 
Miranda B Dumso (on/off) electricity going on and off. ghanaians are good at protest and social media. their symbol is flashlights and lamps. #dumsormuststop March of 5,000 people to protest power situation. What are 
When he asked friend in Ghana about his activiism, he says, I'm not political. You hear that a lot lately. said by people who are "not political.' How anti-politics and anti-insitution we have been as a whole. Losing trust in the system. (rise of Sanders who has been a politician for decades is somehow seen as anti-Washington)
Jordan P "Do you trust instituions to trust the right?" consensus is no...most people do not. Voting anf protest depends on trusting those institutions. He suggests that losing faith in institutions breaks the whole system down. 
What do we do when we lose faith in these institutions? There are other ways to make change through innnovation. For example, cheapen the cost of soloar panels, create better code to help keeop your information private. (law, markets, norms, code). Not all work is instrumental. Sometimes all we're trying to do is raise our voices so that other people can join us. 
Sean D How do we make change around these tools? 
Miranda B Download and install Signal! https://whispersystems.org  The best thing you cacn do for your privacy. (Edward Snowden uses it)
Jordan P Ceasar McDowell 
Public is demographically more complex than it has ever been. How do we start to design new civic institutions to build a more inclusive society? 
Five things ideas/ways/ sugesstions to create better civic inclusion 
  1. Successful efforts are both digital AND analog. The real challenge is to understand how analog and digital efforts can communicate with each other. 
Miranda B
  1. How do we do our work across "our tribes". We can work with people that are near us, but how do we work across the differences?
Jordan P
  1. Thinking from a full frame perspective: Instead of thinking of people as representing one issue, we need to understand that people live complex lives. 
  1. paying attention to the hyperlocal. Companies are good at large scale, but less effective at the local level. Talking to local community organizations reveals that they are successful because of face to face interactions. How can these larger companies do better at the hyperlocal level? 
Miranda B
  1. (he never did 5...) oh well...sadness ensues 
527 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Aaron Myran , Miranda Banks , Bin Li 527 days ago
Aaron M
  • also thinking about which devises are accessing the webpage.  Low income people are predominatly using mobile. The price per MB of loading a complicated webpage. You need the website to be cheap and accessible
Inclusion and Engagement Track
  • What role can technology play in inclusive design, if any?
  • Notes:
Miranda B Cathy Wissink: When we build things how do we make sure that tent is big enough that we can include a lot of people and what are the benefits
Aaron M What are some of the benifits in making sure everyone is included?
Ben Wilson, Museum of Science. Web, mobile, AV.  Museum of science has a long history of thinking about a universal design.  experiences that benefit their entire audience.  Can we add audio and tactile experiences for visitors.  Inclusivity is a core part of their DNA.  Do extensive visitor testing, iterative, and through a prototyping process.  include people with an enormous variety of abilities throughout it.  Include blind, hearing impaired.  Multi mobile and multi sensory experiences.
Lauren Lockwood.
Chief digital officer, city of boston.
Audience is everybody.  Enormous implications for the city of boston and think about inclusivity very broadly.  
  • think about access for people with various disabilities, but also think about the reading level of the website.  the national average is 6th grade, but the boston website is at 11th grade or a graduate level reading level.
  • also thinking about which devises are accessing the webpage.  Low income people are predominatly using mobile. The price per MB of loading a complicated webpage. You need the website to be cheap and accessible
Laura, Business Manager at Microsoft
Inclusive hiring arm at Microsoft.  Autism hiring program.  hugely succesful program.  
Laura is on the customer support arm to support consumers who are using Microsoft products at home who have disabilities.  
Also supporting Microsoft's enterprise arm who need to meet standards for accessibility.  e.g. need to hire people who have visual impairments.
Finding that some of the prodcuts need some work and are being very transparent about it.  Are very engaged in getting feedback from consumers.  Building new products like a screenbox navigator for visually impaired.  Working to ensure that Windows 10 is easily used.  
Inclusive design, is really about building from the edge
Mary Martin, rising Junior at Olin College
  • Working in the accesibility and design space 
  • Need to get people to tell you their stories to understand their prespective and so that your process is inclusive.
Harlan Weber
  • how do we maximize the availabilty of a given product to everyone who uses it.
  • Founder of code for Boston
  • Need to make sure that the right people are at the table when we are doing a build.
  • 'You are designing for everybody'.  Everything needs to work on multiple devises, formats, even data plans.
Cathy: What are some of the challenges in this space?  What are the greatest challenges in designing for Everyone
Harlan: trying to build an organization that works with government and community groups.  Many of the volunteers come from the technology community in Boston.  The group wants to tackle the hard problems, but because of who is at the table, they don't neccisarily experience those problems.  "For a straight white dude, it's challenging".
Partnered with resilient coders at the Roxbury innovation center.  
technosolutionism is no good
Laura: Microsoft needs to have a change in mindset.  10, 15 years ago we weren't where we need to be in the accesibility mindset.  changing it for the development teams, but also the sales and support teams.  Need to understand the audience who you are speaking to.
Shift that Microsoft's CEO is really driving accessiblity. products need to be both accessible and inclusive.  Not everyone is using microsoft's software the same way.
Lauren: It's very difficult to reach audiences that don't use Boston's website.  Have been spending time on the Boston 311 center.  Working with groups like 'tech goes home' which are communities with limited access to technology.  "how do we reach the grandmother in dorchester who needs access to a service".
Ben: trying to facilitate expereinces that can take 15 seconds.  a lot of the traditional supports, someone needs to learn how to use a particular intrface.  It's a challenge to come up with a solution that is immediately accessible.
it's expensive to design for motimodel resources.
Cathy: All of these organizations, with the exception of Microsoft, are operating in a resource constrained way.  Inclusivity takes additional time.  How do we convince people to do it.  How do you convince constituens?
Laura: Micrsofot's resource constraint is time.  in the past, microsoft had a three year development cycle.  Sometimes accesbility features were left out.  The upfront cost of hours makes it 100x easier to make sure it satisfies everybody.
Over the last several years,  There has been a cultural mindset to include everybody.  We are challenging developers to use Microsoft's screenreader and turn their monitor off to see how they can write an email.
Inclusion is in Microsoft's mission statement.  The people at the margins is getting larger and larger.
Lauren: Other organizations are not constrained by the same ROI metrics.  Designing hasn't occured to people at city hall in the past.  now, the RFP process is making sure that inclusivity is part of the process.  making design for inclusivity is systematic.
Harlen: was an innovation fellow at the commonwealth before his current role.  Accessibility is better when it's built in.  Made a great looking contemporary website with flat buttons, but elderly individuals didn't know what to do with it.  went back and changed the design, and later had almost a 100% completion rate.  'really hard, it's a huge pain, and absolutely the most worthwhile thing you can do'.
Mary: disability aids can be extremely costly.  worked with a woman to create custom solutions for a quadruple amputee.  was more effective than creating a fancy gadget.  https://ablersite.org
Harlen: another good motivator is also shame.  It's a hugely emotionally bad experience to let your users down.
Lauren: it's helpful to find the people building something are physically in the room with the user. Make sure that they are in the room--by co-testing you see the mistakes. 
Ben: Have an inhouse research and evalution team.  have a lot of data to evaluate if we are making hte product better for everyone.
Cathy: If you had advice for people entering this space, what advice would you give them
Ben: observe directly
Lauren: leave the building
Laura: listen
Mary: Respect
Harlen: live it.
QUESTION  Margarita Barios Ponce (Northeastern) 
: For the City of Boston: How do we create the word of mouth environment that makes a city work? How do we recreate the word of mouth environment.
 City hall to go.  Mobile city hall.  goes to where users are.  Need to meet users where they are.  Can do a better job of humanizing the digital experience.  It feels like people are interacting with a robot.  the more that we can be conversation and warm, the more people feel a human connection with someone who is being reasonable and sensible.
Harlen: Need to have assurance that government services will be there.  Need to make the interaction human. 
QUESTION Professor Alper (northeastern): interested in cultural accessiblity.  thinking about strengths of designing with people who have a disability.  
Mary: works with professor Sarah Hendren (website: https://ablersite.org, check it out!)  engineeringathome.org project for accessible solutions in someone's own home.  Worked to create an accessible cycling for people who have a disability.  
class called user oriented collaborative design.  working with coaching and athletes to provide coaching solutions that are actually useful instead of engineering within a bubble.  
Laura: autism hiring program has been hugely succesful.  Cheif accessibility officer is deaf.  bring the sense of bringing people into whatever team that might be.  Hired someone who is a jaws user.  get the best product when you get people in those positions.  Ensures that we bring people into the building or leave the building in a different way to get a wider perspective at the edges.(Autism hiring program started in US, now UK, native ASL speakers on helpline)
QUESTION: Marcy: has been working on making systems more accountable to the public interest.  Cities have multiple sources of power.  when considering collaborative design, how do we work with institutions  that are part of civic society in Boston.  E.g. churches,  Islamic community, libraries.  what about intermediary institutions that are part of your user universe. 
Lauren:  people have a deep skepticism about government.  Always looking for ideas for other places to collaborate.  We're a small team and are always looking for ways to collaborate.
Harlen: almost exclusively works through collaborating with people.  Building applications in partnership with community groups is something that we do almost exclusively.  working with groups in sommerville, other parts of the city.  
QUESTION: Lisa, web designer at a big state university in MA.  what are the favorite models of existing sites that meet inclusivity models.  
Lauren: has been a big focus on better digital tools ince healthcare.gov fiasco.  therea are a lo9t of places that are doing better.   in the UK, Phili and the VA are doing this really well.  are starting with just a user flow and no design.  are then doing it iterively.  launched an alpha and made changes every two weeks.  city of boston is just copying that model.  are adding a new aspect of it each month.  iterative development is what's really important. http://pa11y.org
Laura: Microsoft is working on this.  
Microsoft has thousands of websites.  Working to make them all accessible.

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