Opening Access Tech The OpenDirective blog

Update on Steve's activities

It's been a very long time since I last posted, so a quick update is in order.
  • The EU funded FP7 project Prosperity4All successfully completed, providing several components of the GPII. I delivered documents and code providing a ‘Stepping stones’ framework for applications designed for people cognitive disabilities and low digital literacy. A set of components were added to the GPII Developer Space.

  • My main focus has been bootstrapping the AlwaysInMind product and open source platform for easy access to media and communications for people with cognitive disabilities. Having developed the prototype we’re now looking for partners to help with user validation and business.

  • AlwaysInMind was a finalist in the Ability Net tech4good awards. We did not win but it was fantastic to meet so many dedicated and inspiration people, including presenter Kate Russell.

  • Resumed as an invited expert on the W3C Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force led by Lisa Seeman.

  • I worked with the lovely NeonTribe in Exeter, developing a cognitive accessibility related prototype using ReactJS. I was also introduced to the Mind of My Own MOMO tech4good project team.

  • Became an early adopter of the Azure Functions serverless platform having met the team at the Serverless conference London. We created a website / blog and Twitter ID AzureServerless. Eventually decided to ramp this down and passed the accounts over to the Azure team for their use.

  • Explored a range of interesting technologies for developing accessible web apps and PWAs, mainly with with nodejs back ends. The following are highly recommended:

    • React, redux and Next frontend libraries. Create-react-app is invaluable.

    • hyperapp a very pleasant micro framework including VDOM and state management in a tiny file.

    • Latest ES6+ JavaScript features, especially object rest / spread which are very useful in functional / stream styles.

    • The much anticipated CSS Grid and Firefox Grid explorer in F12 tools

    • TypeScript, ESLint and Prettier for static code validation

    • Cypress.io end-to-end testing that is a joy to use.

    • Microsoft Azure Functions and Logic Apps serverless features.

    • Zeit now incredibly easy to use serverless tooling. So innovative. Just awesome.

    • Zeit micro and serve for light back end on node.

    • Microsoft Azure DevOps Services (was VSTS) CI/CD for anything and more, including free git repos.

    • VisualStudio code the editor and debugger that just keeps getting better (and more accessible). Perfect for JavaScript development and static blog editing. Note, the new webhint extension runs aXe #a11y tests.

Welcome to Steve's New OpenDirective blog

We've switched from WordPress (and a single medium post) to this shiny new blog. It uses Jeckyl hosted as static files on GitHub, for nice easy free hosting.

Steve’s old Opening Accessibility” WordPress blog has been archived here. It was converted to static HTML using the “simply static” plugin.

Our Azure Serverless site about Azure Functions WordPress site is also archived here.