Preconference Training Workshops

On Tuesday, Sept 11, 2018, NAGW will offer a number of training workshops before the regular conference begins.

Because these training workshops are four hours long, they typically provide more hands-on experience than is available within the 75 minute sessions during the regular conference. We are offering three workshops in the morning and the afternoon. Breakfast is included for those attending a morning session and lunch is provided for those attending an afternoon session.

Preconference training workshops have a separate registration form and fee from the full conference. You can choose to only attend the preconference, however we hope you will also sign up for the full conference. A special rate is available for NAGW members, with an even deeper discount for members who sign up for both a morning and afternoon workshop. Learn more about conference costs and registration.

Tuesday night also features a welcome reception open to all conference attendees.

7 to 8 a.m. (Breakfast included with AM sessions)


Breakfast on Tuesday is for AM (morning) preconference session attendees, preconference speakers and certification students.

Location: Sky Lounge

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Certification class)

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
Location: Benendum

8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Morning sessions)

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 
Location: 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
Location: Ft. Pitt (Bridges)

Making Adobe Creative Cloud Less Cloudy

A subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud grants access to a LOT of applications… over 25 on the desktop alone! Want to design a set of social media assets… Photoshop… Illustrator… which app do you start with? Print design and e-books… InDesign… right? Need to create an engaging video… After Effects or Premiere Pro? Want to develop web-based content… Dreamweaver or Muse… and what the heck ever happened to Flash anyway?!? Adobe XD and Dimension… what are they even used for? In this session, Adobe Education Leader and Community Professional Joseph Labrecque will make the Creative Cloud a lot more approachable by clarifying these concerns and instilling some great getting started tricks and tips in the process! 

If attendees want to follow along themselves, they will need an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription or seven day trial. Download from Adobe

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Discover what Adobe Creative Cloud apps do what.
  2. Learn how these apps can work together.
  3. Acquire simple techniques across the most common apps.
Location: Smithfield (Bridges)

noon to 1 p.m. (Lunch included with PM sessions)


Lunch on Tuesday is for PM (afternoon) preconference session attendees, preconference speakers and certification students.

Location: Sky Lounge

1 to 5 p.m. (Afternoon sessions)

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  
Location: Birmingham (Bridges)

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
Location: Ft. Pitt (Bridges)

Transforming Static Content into Digital Self-Service

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). 
Location: Smithfield (Bridges)

7 to 9 p.m. (Welcome Reception)

Welcome Reception

CivicLive Logo

Join the board and the Welcome Reception sponsor CivicLive as we welcome you to the 2018 NAGW conference. You should have received a welcome reception ticket in your registration materials to attend the event. When you arrive at the welcome reception, we will trade your reception ticket for a free drink ticket. Additional drinks can be purchased at the bar. Heavy appetizers will be served. Be sure to wear your conference name badge. 

Location: King's Garden 4/5

9 to 11 p.m. (N3 Late Night)

N3 Late Night

N3 Late NightN3 logo

N3 stands for NAGW Night-time Networking. Our conference sponsors set up special events for attendees to hang out and meet with these sponsors and fellow attendees. Events happen from 9 - 11 pm.

Siteimprove and Granicus invite you to enjoy the late night with your NAGW peers.
Tuesday, September 11, 9 - 11 pm
274 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Location: Pittsburgh

Conference Registration

Late registration rates in effect now through the start of the conference.

Register Now >>

Title, Award, Reception & Showcase Sponsors


Hotel Location

Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown
600 Commonwealth Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 391-4600

Hotel Website >>

Conference Summary

2017 Executive Summary
View the Executive Summary with of all the benefits of attending.

About NAGW

We are NAGW - The only conference designed for government web professionals by government web professionals.

Stay Connected on:

Contact NAGW

For general information about nagw/conference, including registration, please contact us at:
National Association of Government Web Professionals

  • 847.647.7226
  • 8120 Lehigh Avenue, Suite 100
    Morton Grove, IL 60053