Emergency Communications: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Irma

Panelist: 

In September 2017, the threat of a direct hit from Hurricane Irma threw Manatee County into a weeklong state of emergency. Learn how our small PIO team managed our website, social media, emergency notifications, and media relations to engage citizens, disseminate information about emergency preparedness and help coordinate the County’s largest evacuation. In this session, we’ll share statistics and insights on our digital engagement during the emergency. We will discuss what worked and what didn’t, including new ideas, lessons learned (an unfortunate viral video), resources we’ve discovered and changes we’ve made in the year following the hurricane.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. The importance of around-the-clock, real-time coverage on social media in an emergency
  2. Resources necessary to implement a successful communications strategy during an emergency.
  3. Planning for an emergency: communications and materials you can prepare ahead of time.

Conference event time: 

  • 10:45 a.m. to noon (Sessions)
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Venue: 

  • Birmingham (Bridges)

Katherine Spivey

PLAIN
Katherine Spivey, PLAIN

Katherine Spivey serves as GSA’s Plain Language Launcher. In 2015, she was a NextGen Public Service Award Finalist (NextGen 30) for Exemplary Leadership. She is co-chair of the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) and trains for Digital Gov University and for PLAIN. At GSA, she manages web content, coordinates social media, and edits the Great Government through Technology blog.

Sessions: 

From Blah to Brilliant: How to Move Along the Plain Language Spectrum

Do you think your web content, social media, or brochures could be better? However, no one at work seems to agree. It's too much work, the old stuff got approved, why change? This session will show some steps for moving from raw to polished content. Plain language uses a variety of well-known techniques: white space, short sentences, common words, etc. But you can’t do everything at once. Sometimes all you can do is move toward plain language–-no one does it instantly. There’s no plain language button on the keyboard-–how do you start? You'll see plenty of before/after examples, and hear many anecdotes from 20+ years of web content struggles. You’ll be able to tell the difference and start to move along the plain language spectrum! 

Three Key Takeaways

Conference event time: 

  • 10:45 a.m. to noon (Sessions)
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Venue: 

  • Sterlings 1/2/3

CGDSP Certification Class

  • Welcome
    • Alan Shark, Executive Director, PTI
    • Leslie Labrecque, MSCIT, President/Director At Large/Executive Committee Chair, NAGW​
    • Katya Wowk, Communications Director, Township of Montclair, New Jersey
  • Introductory Session: Student Knowledge Exercise
  • Course and Program Review, Policies and Procedures
  • State of the Profession
  • The New Digital Services Professional – Ingredients for Success – What Does this Job Description Really Look Like?
  • Common Challenges and Strategies
  • Review of assignments and certification details
  • Adjourn

Conference event time: 

  • 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Certification class)
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Venue: 

  • Benendum

Digital Accessibility for Developers

Accessibility issues on the website tend to fall into two categories: issues for content contributors and issues for developers. Developers work with the HTML coding to create page templates, tools, and applications. Developers are bringing to life the ideas for your digital presence. This course examines the ways developers influence accessibility.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Understand roles and responsibilities related to your digital presence
  2. Common issues related to keyboard and mouse functionality
  3. Examine examples of forms, plugins, and robust coding practices

Conference event time: 

  • 1 to 5 p.m. (Afternoon sessions)
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Venue: 

  • Ft. Pitt (Bridges)

Transforming Static Content into Digital Self-Service

Panelist: 

Technology is important, but software tools and platforms will never be enough to transform your content into actionable online services. The content available on many municipal websites is static information and downloadable PDFs. It meets the needs of government communications and risk management departments, but presents visitors with challenges finding information, hard-to-understand pages written using "government speak," and pages that scroll for multiple paragraphs without offering the ability to complete a transaction.

Come hear from the City of Grand Rapids and participate in a modified version of the week long Digital Services Academy that transformed their Digital Front Door for the City. This workshop will walk participants through the process of revising content and creating a digital service for one page of their site. Format will include lecture, individual and small group work with the team from the City of Grand Rapids. Come prepared with your laptop and one common request that your residents routinely ask about on your site (or a top request from your customer service/311 department). Leave with tools to improve the content on your site, without regard to your choice of website platform.  

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Digital Services for local governments means creating positive Customer Self-Service options that are easy for everyone to use.
  2. Effective self-service options and clear information from the city/county improves the overall satisfaction with local government.
  3. Creating Digital Services requires a little bit of work on the front end, but pays dividends at every level (cost savings in 311, more effective and efficient issue resolution, increased citizen engagement, improved perception of the City/County government). 

Conference event time: 

  • 1 to 5 p.m. (Afternoon sessions)
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Venue: 

  • Smithfield (Bridges)

Agile Security Compliance With Infrastructure as Code in the Cloud

Perhaps nothing is more frustrating to us as web professionals than developing than an awesome application that provides immediate benefits to our audiences and then waiting a year or more to make it available in production as we write documentation and work with the auditors on review and testing to ensure it is secure and obtain certification at enormous, additional and unbudgeted cost. What if we could simplify and accelerate compliance by automatically producing the documentation and verifying security as we develop the application with minimal additional effort or funds? This is possible through the concept of “infrastructure as code” especially when combined with the flexibility of cloud computing. This session will examine the idea of infrastructure as code and its practical application using applications built on Drupal and WordPress and tools together with infrastructure as code tools including Docker, Kubernetes, and Terraform and cloud computing systems including AWS and Azure.

Three Key Takeaways 

  1. Infrastructure as code is a transformational idea, simplifying the process of compliance while also enhancing security
  2. Infrastructure as code can be implemented incrementally, with immediate benefits for security and cost
  3. Infrastructure as code is naturally compatible with cloud computing, although it is not dependent on the cloud  

Conference event time: 

  • 1 to 5 p.m. (Afternoon sessions)
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Venue: 

  • Birmingham (Bridges)

Learning HTML5 and CSS

After this session, you should be able to add structure to your document using new HTML 5 tags; integrate video into your HTML 5 pages with fallback compatibility; create and apply class, tag and advanced style rules; use new input commands to capture information from a user with a more intuitive interface and data validation and use the content editable attribute to define a simple WYSIWYG editor.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding how HTML5 works
  2. Understanding the important of HTML5 in building compliant websites
  3. Understanding how to integrate new technology that is natively supported within the browser

Conference event time: 

  • 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Morning sessions)
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Venue: 

  • Ft. Pitt (Bridges)

Open Source Tools for Evaluating and Inspecting Web Accessibility

The workshop will provide a hands-on experience on how to use open source tools to evaluate and understand the accessibility of entire organizations to individual pages based on the requirements of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and AA requirements. Participants will be encouraged to bring and use their own devices during the workshop to analyze websites of their choice. The workshop will use their results as a discussion point of how the tools provide information on accessibility and discuss the limits of automated testing. The suite of tools can be used to evaluate and inspect entire organizations (e.g. collections of websites), websites (e.g. pages in the same domain) and individual web pages. The open source tools use the open source OpenAjax evaluation library. The workshop will explore the reporting structure, especially how to interpret evaluation results that require manual checking to determine if the accessibility requirement applies and if the accessibility requirement has been met. The workshop will also discuss how the OpenAjax evaluation library is based on the W3C ARIA Authoring Practices techniques to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA requirements. The ARIA Authoring Practices provide design information to meet WCAG 2.0 requirements. Many other automated evaluation tools are based primarily on the WCAG 2.0 failure techniques. The failure techniques provide a limited view of WCAG 2.0 requirements and a limited understanding of how web standards can be used to create highly accessible and usable websites for people with disabilities. The workshop will also be a listening point for participants to provide valuable feedback to improve the design of the tools and to guide development of new features.  

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Understand the accessibility requirements of the revised Section 508 requirements
  2. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of automated testing of web accessibility
  3. Learn about freely available open source tools to audit and inspect web pages 

Conference event time: 

  • 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Morning sessions)
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Venue: 

  • Birmingham (Bridges)

Joseph Labrecque

University of Denver
Joseph Labrecque, University of Denver

Joseph Labrecque is a creative developer, designer, and educator with over 15 years of experience building expressive web, desktop, and mobile solutions. He is presently employed as Senior Interactive Software Engineer with the University of Denver.

Over the past decade, Joseph has authored a number of books, articles, and courses on design and development technologies, tools, and concepts through publishers such as Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning, Peachpit, Pluralsight, and Adobe. His recent work includes the best-selling book “Learn Adobe Animate CC for Interactive Media”.

Sessions: 

Pages