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Open Data 2018: It’s all about accessibility

An Open Data Delaware ideation session this Sunday will identify the accessibility pain points for this year's partners, DelDot and DNREC.

Participants of the 2017 Open Data Challenge. (Courtesy photo)

The Open Data Challenge is under way — with over $30,000 in grant prizes up for grabs — and the focus for 2018 is accessibility.

This year’s partners, DelDot and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), are joining the challenge to help make Delaware the most accessible state in the country.

This year’s challenge will culminate in a monthlong Data Jam in April — a major change from the weekend-long hackathons of previous years. The reason for the change was simple, according to Open Data Delaware’s Ryan Harrington: “The stress of a two-day event just wasn’t healthy.” (It’s a change we’ve also seen Code for Philly make in recent months.)

A longer main event also means participants can more fully develop their project ideas, making them more likely to become finished programs that benefit the community.

Workshops launched earlier this month (see the workshop schedule here). The first big event for 2018 is coming this Sunday, Feb. 25 from 1–5 p.m., in the form of an ideation session at the Horn Program for Entrepreneurship in Newark.

Ideation sessions are made up of a series of exercises designed to find creative solutions to problems. They bring together different perspectives and help participants think about problems in different ways, encouraging them to step beyond obvious solutions to challenges.

The exercises will be facilitated by the Horn Program’s Zack Jones.

This free session is open to anyone who is interested, regardless of experience or participation in previous Open Data events.


People in the community with disabilities are encouraged to attend; DelDOT will provide accommodations for special aid if needed.

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