So I work with a local NFP every year for its one big festival. It's a one-day outdoors event that's got various contests for kids, plus food/retail vendors, and sponsors, and whatnot, and it's pretty much a local (and national) institution, now. Without going too much into RL nitty, I'm just going to summarize an idea I had a few months ago & finally talked the NFP into trying.( A little background... )
Anyway, so I got to thinking about the fact that if this festival were in, say, France, I might be able to get some of what's said on the intercom. But I'd also be like, "what? what did they say?" a lot, too, because it's hard to parse a language when you're not perfectly fluent and there's so much else going on and people are talking. Not to mention we have a major School for the Deaf in town, and they're being left out completely.
So I got this idea to incorporate twitter into the existing wp site, maybe as sidebars, that would repeat in written-format the main field announcements. Oh, and a second twitter stream for parking/shuttle announcements. Oh, and maybe we should do a third for crowd control (where vendor lines are shorter, lost children alerts, etc). And then
I started thinking, if we're doing it in English, we should do it in Spanish. And Korean, and Cantonese, and Japanese, and Armenian, and Hindi, and Arabic... oh, my.
I realized that since I've got a database of the vendors, I could make it a mobile site that incorporates vendor information. Like the vendor menus, on the site, and include whether a vendor's vegetarian or gluten-free or has pork, etc. For the folks (especially parents) trying to figure out what's okay for dietary restrictions for themselves & their kids. ( A few of the problems... )
Anyway, this weekend, I was thinking about what we're trying to do here, which got me onto thinking about the Ada initiative, and the fact that I live only like a mile (or less, as the crow flies) from the state HQ for the Girl Scouts. What if I invited girl scouts to be part of the design/dev for the mobile site (with review & testing, natch, not making anyone leap off a short pier) -- as one of the STEM badges that girl scouts can get now? And talk the mobile app firm into treating the girl scouts as interns, and mentoring them? (I have a strong sense based on convos so far that the little agency would be way amenable to this.)
I like the idea of using the project as a way to a) get girls into a major attention-getting project that's also b) got a huge emphasis on how the web (especially social media) can be used to make things more inclusive and c) has a nice added complexity for the ambitious programmers willing to learn WP's localization parts. ( One/only roadblock: how to pay for it? )
So I'm tossing it out (with apologies for the generalizing in terms of RL details) for any of the wise brains on my flist/dwirlce, in case anyone has ideas or suggestions. Is there a specific grant, or a foundation, or even a for-profit company that's known for encouraging projects like this one, that we could turn to? Does anyone know if this might qualify for someone else's project/goal of sponsoring girl-led, girl-created, web/tech, or sponsoring accessible, inclusive, web/tech in general? Uh, anything?
I know all ya'll have tons of brains, whether or not you're tech/STEM yourself. I've been seeing the bottom line a little too long, I think, and feeling kind of downbeat over the seeping privilege of yet another potential partner acting like the multilingual element is really just too ambitious and nice idea but "how many people would really use it, anyway" blah blah blah. I'd like to find a way to treat this as a girl scout (or any STEM-focused "get the girls interested young" kind of group) project along the ideas of the Ada initiative, but still. Bills gotta be paid, which means finding sponsor. Any ideas? Anyone?