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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 pikasoftware.com 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.
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 Probon.net, 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