Over the past three months, we’ve had the pleasure of working with three very talented students as a part of Google Summer of Code 2013. This is our second consecutive summer partnering with this amazing global program, which offers student developers stipends to write code for open source software projects. What’s so great about the program is that not only do the students get to work on real world, open source software development with a mentor, but the projects that participate benefit greatly from the new talent, ideas and collaboration. This summer, our students have been working on three pretty cool projects, contributing code that extends the functionality of tools and capabilities we provide as part of our Bookshare initiative.
Three short years ago, the idea for SocialCoding4Good began forming at OSCON, O’Reilly’s annual open source conference. When we presented SocialCoding4Good at last year’s OSCON, we were struck by the number of people who shared their own experiences contributing to global Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) projects. It’s time for us to take the next step, and support this growing contributor community. To that end, we’re thrilled to officially introduce our new Developer Community Manager, Emma Irwin. In Portland? Meet Emma Irwin in person at OSCON this week.
My personal goal is to channel the aspirations of the technology community to do more social good. More and more of my time is spent around both raising money and raising awareness of how much more could be done with technology to increase social impact. In this update, I’m delighted to be able to share Benetech’s latest efforts to do both. First, I’ll cover our biggest fundraising effort of the year: individual philanthropy is crucial to us; it’s the portion that makes 10X impact possible! Then I’ll share the latest stories on the impact of our tech volunteerism and human rights tech efforts as well our new tech leadership.
At Benetech, we believe that as accessible digital content and applications increasingly become more available, they must also be easily discoverable. That’s exactly what we set out to do through the Accessibility Metadata Project, one of our Benetech Labs projects. Earlier this year, we submitted to Schema.org—an initiative supported by the major search engines—our group proposal for accessibility metadata that would make it widely possible to find online content with accessible features. Today we have big news to share: the Schema.org team has just announced it agreed to adopt the accessibility properties we proposed!