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Does your state have an easy way to calculate if someone is eligible for SNAP benefits and if so at what level? Here are two tools for doing just that, and if either one of them appeal to you they are available for you to adapt to your needs.

Recently over in Massachusetts have developed a phone friendly online SNAP calculator designed more for service providers than the general public.

Initially developed by Joshua M. Goodwin of Southeastern Ohio Legal Services this was modified for Massachusetts by a volunteer law student. 

The web interface solid but the mobile version is even better, it's very easy to go down the list and tap in your information. Modifying this for your own use is complicated enough that you will want to find someone with a technical background to do this work.​

Over at Pine Tree Legal Assistance they have developed a similar system using HotDocs. Unfortunately it does not have a mobile mode but because it uses HotDocs there is a lot of documentation on how to go about adapt your version of it.


I'm always happy when a popular piece of software goes open source, and thus I am happy to be able to tell you that Pika CMS is freely available under an open source licence as The Open Case Management Project(OCM). Over on the OCM GitHub page you can find all the files and instruction you need to set up your own online browser based CMS.

And of course for those for whom it isn't practical to run your own server you can always go to and let the folks over there do the heavy lifting. Now that the software is open source hopefully there will be some community involvement that raises the quality for everyone.


LSC has released this year's stats on what technology everyone is using. It has been split up into three sections, legal aid specific technology like A2J Author and HotDocs, more general software like browsers and word processors, and how the computers are networked, this includes things like how files are shared on the network and remote access.


This data is a handy resource for everyone ranging from those looking to develop applications or systems for nonprofits to people that just are just unhappy with a piece of technology they are using and want to see what the community has gravitated towards. One


One of the statistics that really jumped out at me was the fact that 90% of the grantees do not use AdWords. Google offers nonprofits $10,000 worth of advertising per month for free and it blows my mind that more people aren't taking advantage of it.


 The other thing I found surprising is the fact that people have moved away from XP and to 7 so quickly, I expect Windows 10 will start getting users but even in that case it's convenient to know that almost everyone in the community will be using one of the two operating systems. Not having to worry about supporting any other version of Windows not to mention Mac or Linux makes it a lot easier to design and text applications.


Recently our friends at have added close captioning to all of their videos and have been kind enough to share some of their findings with us. They cover the why, the how, and some best practices. For those of you using other services like Vimeo the process is similar, the only difference is instead of using the application built into YouTube you use one like Amara. It takes a couple extra steps but is a straightforward.

it is also worth mentioning that sometimes it might make sense to pay someone to do the subtitling for you. You might need them in a language you don't have a speaker for or it might just be a lot cheaper than taking hours of working time away from an attorney. Captioning a video is probably going to take you somewhere around 6-10 minutes for each minute of video and the prices generally range from 3-10 dollars per minute of video. If you do go this route then do a lot of research, there is a lot of variation in quality with some of the cheaper services being provided speech to text programs, overseas labor, or just plain having hidden fees. If you are looking at outsourcing a large quantity be sure to start by having them do one or two small videos so you can get an idea of the quality and turnaround you can expect.

NTAP has just set our webinar calendar for 2016.  Please save these dates.  We will have full descriptions, web links and more information coming out in the following weeks. We have a great line up with webinars by, Idealware, Rylander Consulting, Florida Justice Technology Center, and Transcend.  If you want to share your TIG or recent tech project let us know we can add you schedule.


31st Considering the Potential ROI of an Innovative Technology Project - Idealware


12th: Using Google Analytics to Understand Your Web Traffic – Idealware

26th  Privacy, encryption, and anonymity in the Civil Legal Aid Context - Florida Justice Technology Center


11th to 15th EJC I hope to see people there!

19th Ethics, Discretion, and Accountability in Designing the Data Interventions in the Civil Justice Context – Florida Justice Technology Center

25th Field Testing Legal Documents - Transcend

23rd Outlook 2016 – Rylander  


14th: Introduction Business Process Mapping – Idealware

22nd 50 Tech Tips - PBN


Unified Communication - OKLaw


17th Recent Outcomes Evaluations of Legal Aid Tech Projects - PBN


14th  Maintenance, Continuity and Succession Planning -

20th:  Assessing Your Security and Creating a Practical Action Plan - Idealware


12th Great Features that are in all Microsoft Applications – Rylander

19th User Testing - PBN


9th Excel tables - Rylander


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