Marburg 2019

This year we collaborated with team Marburg 2019 via video call! Their advisor, Rene Inckemann, mentored us and had a lot of information for us with respect to making our website more accessible. We chose to collaborate with them because they had extensive knowledge on making the website accessible from last years team. Some of the new information we learned from him was to not include red and green in the same graphic for people with color blindness. The color palette he recommended for us to use is below:

Rene also told us that the hover text links will not work for a text reading software. His advice was to bold the word and then have a glossary/ video supplement on a different page. In order to make our website more compatible with the text reading software we decided to keep the hover text but add a feature to it that will allow the software users to skip through it. We also added a glossary to our side menu as Rene suggested for the text reading software users.

Rene also suggested that if we have text within an imagine, make sure it is bolded, or avoid it if possible. This was helpful as we had originally had text within images that would not have been accessible to everyone as shown below:


Regarding scrolling features Rene mentioned that we should avoid fancy scrolling options, as they can make it more difficult for the user to access the webpage. He also recommended that we make page navigation available not only with mouse but also with the arrow keys or tab button. Rene also sent over the code that they used for the Marburg team to help us make it more accessible.

Overall, we gained knowledge about making our wiki more accessible from Rene and the Marburg team. Team Florida sought to make their wiki available to a wider audience, and, with the help of the Marburg team we were able to gain more insight about what entails making a website more accessible to people with disabilities and the population at large. Having the Marburg team pave the way for us gave us the confidence we needed to fully dedicate ourselves to the mission, and gave us inspiration to expand our reach and include people with learning disabilities. We cannot thank them enough for their encouragement and guidance through it all!

Washington iGEM

We also collaborated with Washington iGEM later in the season to test out each other’s goals. Washington created a booklet game aimed at children and wanted some feedback from students in other parts of the world. To meet our commitment to Washington, we brought to Danielle Ouellette. She has over two years of experience working for the center for precollegiate education and training. She focuses on science curriculum for kids and teacher’s programs during the Summer. Danielle said she really liked the creativity behind the lessons in the booklet because they catered to the respective audience very well! She said, "The only thing that I could see needing to be changed is that the pages with all the directions / logistics should be extremely detailed and concise. Teachers really love when things are broken down by baby steps, also make sure that any of the power points or supplemental material is linked on the documents!". For example in the gumdrop activity, the gel activity is referenced and teachers would like to access a link to that material. She mentioned that the standards for the activities should be listed at the top for teachers to ensure that they are teaching the required material before they begin the activities or even order the necessary material to be used. Since we focused on the accessibility of our Wiki in our human practices division, we asked Washington to review our Wiki and give us feedback on its readability and overall appearance. However, due to the fast approaching deadline they did not get a chance to provide feedback on our wiki.