The Church’s Translation Department and the Helping in the Vineyard team have partnered to provide community volunteers with an opportunity to assist in translating Church publications. Helping in the Vineyard seeks to promote community participation in Church projects, and the Translation Department seeks to promote volunteer translation efforts. “The partnership is a perfect fit for what both groups are trying to accomplish,” says Joe Jatip, a Human Resource manager leading the effort.
Leaders have been coordinating with volunteers throughout the world to facilitate a massive translation effort encompassing many different languages. For example, the Teachings of the Living Prophets manual, used by institute students, is currently being translated into 31 different languages.
In the early days of the web, most websites were informational only. For example, in 2000, if you went to LDS.org, you could read the standard works, view Church magazines, and find lesson material.
Today the experience of the web is more interactive. You’re not limited to just reading websites. In fact, many websites contain applications built directly into the browser. And the information these sites deliver is personalized to your identity and role.
For example, on LDS.org you can now sign in and view your ward directory and calendar. You can access resources specific to your calling. You can view Church buildings and sites near your location. There’s even a Study Notebook where you can highlight passages and create journal entries.
Mormon.org was recently selected by Interactive Media Awards (IMA) as one of the Top Ten Websites of the Year. IMA candidates are judged by a panel of leading web-related professionals working with the Interactive Media Council. These judges include professionals from businesses like Microsoft, Time Warner Inc., and Verizon. Notable past and present IMA winners include Adidas, Mercedes-Benz, New York Life, and Electronic Arts (EA).
On Mormon.org, members can create profiles to share their faith, experiences, and testimony with others.
The importance of this award is further validation of the changes made to mormon.org over the last two years. Senior Manager Ron Wilson said the site has always been effective in telling the world about the basic doctrines of the restored gospel, but prior to the site changes, it did not effectively introduce the outside world to the members of the Church or how Mormons live their lives.
The goal of the Salt Lake Inner City Project is to assist the poor and needy by teaching principles of temporal self-reliance. Service missionaries are called to serve under the direction of Inner City bishops and branch presidents.
For example, Janet Van Alfen, a service missionary for the Inner City mission in Salt Lake, says she and her husband recently helped one person earn his GED certificate—a beginning to opening new doors of opportunity. They helped another woman become certified as a home help care provider and later gain employment.
Typically, service missionaries are assigned to an Inner City ward or branch and given a few families or individuals to assist. Service is rendered in the form of teaching self-reliance through discussion and hands-on action. A few other areas throughout the United States have similar programs. The Inner City Project currently has over 600 service missionaries, with 300 to 400 more needed.
As we navigate the physical world, most of us have some awareness about accessibility features in place to help the disabled: ramps, elevators and lifts, adapted washrooms, and parking spaces close to buildings.
However, far fewer people are aware of the equivalent features for websites. When website accessibility features are neglected, it can prevent people with visual disabilities and the deaf or hard-of-hearing from having a useful browsing experience. Imagine visiting a website and finding the following:
All the images look like a grey square to you, because you are red-green colorblind.
The content includes podcasts and videos that you can't hear, because of an auditory disability.
The font is too small for you to read.
The Accessibility Testing – Mormon.org project aims to make Mormon.org more accessible, and ultimately to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to more people than ever. The accessibility principles and techniques used on Mormon.org can be used for other Church websites as well.
The following is a video interview with Stephan Heilner, project lead with the Gospel Library and LDSTools iOS projects. We talk about how to help out with the iOS projects, among other things. We recorded this video at the August LDSTech Service Day.
The following is a general transcript of the video.