It is perhaps not surprising that when workshops occur between technology developers, professional AT folk and users that some of the same themes appear when discussing open source assistive technology softeware. This seems to have been the case during the two recent AT conferences as the main topics seemed to be around licencing, IP, funding and maintenance leading to the success or not of certain types of business models.
Three members of the team ran workshops at AAATE and RAATE 2010 around the concepts of open innovation and AT software and REALISE. Ross Gardler from OSSWatch also discussed with a group of University of Southampton MSc students, some of the issues around licensing related to the REALISE project and open source.
Key points that came out of all the discussions that need to be taken forward to the Advisory Group meeting and workshop.
- Try and connect tools that already exist including finding out existing projects
- Focus on people rather than tools and keep the language around Assistive Technology easy to understand.
- Keep it simple so tools don’t get in the way – in particular the online market place
- Make use of Tags, vocabulary, icons, to aid navigation and searching.
- Make sure users are engaged – A member of Scope offered beta testers/link up with D4D for trials of website.
- Login – is it neceassary – via Linkedin? Facebook? Google, OpenID – lazy login, no login?
- How do we link developers, business and users?
- Is it important to have a separate AT community? Or to join mainstream communities?
- Terminology for the main tabs…. Incubator works in Italian – incubator (for eggs, baby) incubatrice f Translation English – Italian Collins Dictionary
- Timing of when an idea moves into the incubator remains uncertain but it was agreed a summary must be added when the move occurs
- Link up with Drumbeat: similar but not focused on AT but with support from Mozilla
A day in Bristol at the JISC Open Innovation and Access to Resources Meeting gave us the chance to learn more about other Business and Community Engagement (BCE) strands as well as meeting members from the other projects on thee Access to Resources side and Open Innovation.
There was plenty of time to discuss various aspects of the project that might benefit from outside support and linking up with other teams.
Some key points about engagement included thinking about:
- Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
- Stakeholders such as JISC TechDis offering support for a Stakeholder map…. Key contacts – internal and external – have a look at the JISC TechDis Acumen site
- Local business networks, associations etc.
Think about support from various organisations as well as others in the projects such as MyMobile, Openbiz and O2I.
Remember – the need to collect evidence of impact throughout the project – use blog etc.
Think about where we want to be in a years time! Examples of headline news included some edible ideas such as large pasties from Cornwall and much about funding for sustainability.
“Realise joins Mozilla Drumbeat – Google [Mike had Microsoft!] sponsors open source AT online market.”
Then we were asked to think about our partners!
“Scharr, LSL and OSSWatch to offer pan European advice about mainstreaming assistive technologies through Realising Potential through Partnerships” etc etc!
Discussions around website development and how Web 1/2/3 and databases were being used and the problems of maintenance were discussed. This is the next important milestone on our calendar!
Wednesday 1st December 11am – 3.30pm
Learning Societies Lab – Access Grid Room – Level 3, Building 32, University of Southampton. Map and Directions http://www.lsl.ecs.soton.ac.uk/visit/
Arrival from 10.30 onwards – Coffee/Tea and biscuits
11.00 – 11.30am Introduction to the day and REALISE Project – Dr Mike Wald and Dr Peter Cudd
11.30 – 1.00pm Ross Gardler (OSSWatch) Licences and Business Models – Differentiation Tool
1.00 –2.00pm Lunch and Advisory Group Meeting
2.00 – 3.30pm Steve Lee (OSSWatch) Community Building and Governance Models – Differentiation Tool
We are planning a workshop with our Advisory Group in the next month and have been discussing the issues around licenses, business models, community and governance supported by OSSWatch,
In the meantime the subject has come up as part of a MSc course module on Assistive Technology and Universal Design and Seb Skuse, Russell Newman and Chris Phethean presented on the subject tying in with the Accessibility projects they have developed during the last year. Their slides can be seen in pdf format “Developing Free and Open-Source AT Software.” The session is available on Synote with a transcript.
Steve Lee and Ross Gardler will also be hosting sessions on the subject in the coming month. All the transcripts from the sessions will be available on Synote.