Maine VRC website development

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This website was developed free as part of my graduate internship in Rehabilitation Counseling. For more information on the conceptual development of this site, see the Maine VRC History.  

As for the practical development of this site, this site was developed using a test feature of Google Labs called Page Creator. For those unfamiliar with the Labs section of the site; "Google labs showcases a few of our favorite ideas that aren't quite ready for prime time."  It is here that ideas are tested and reviewed by users while they're under development. 

Though I don't get my own domain name (www....) this allows me to put together and play with ideas, testing them out without the need to make money or sell a product to support the site. 

One of the great things about the Google Page Creator is it's simplicity.  I functions similarly to Powerpoint where you choose a look (color scheme, background) and a template (one header, two columns etc), and off you go.  There are limited options for fonts (7) and sizes (4), but there's not the need for much more.  

There is the ability to upload images (which I have not done at the time of this writing), as well as documents which you can then link to from the site.  In the Documents/ Tools section of this site, I have linked a number of documents I have uploaded.  From there, the user can click on the link and get the powerpoint, excel or word document in its original form rather than viewing through the site. 

The blog I developed outside of the Page Creator, as Google has a site devoted to this as well, called Blogger.  Similar in structure, you can create and edit your blog as you like. There is the ability to write directly into the Blogger account, but keep in draft form before publication. 

Visually, users will notice that the setup and visuals of Maine VRC are quite simple.  This is intentional.  The idea is to universally design the site as much as I am capable.  

"Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design."  -Ron Mace

There are standards of website design and accessability.  As I do not write html code, I am unable to program in all the design features to make this site as universally designed as it could be. However, visually, I am able to consider the visuals of this sight and have chosen to use limited graphics and dark colors on a white background which allows for the greatest ease of viewing by most individuals. I have also chosen the Verdana font throughout the site as it appears to be the most clear of text fonts available.  For more information on Universal design (UD) and web standards for accessability see the Universal Design page of Maine VRC.

To get started on Google Page creator, you need only a free G Mail account (a web based e-mail account with Google).  To find Page Creator, you can go through the main Google page, and on the top of the homepage, there are options.  Go to the "More" dropdown menu and choose Labs. 

I would love to see Maine VRC users create their own professional site or page.  I would happily link these to Maine VRC on a Counselor page.  Counselors could use the other resources of Maine VRC, and have a quick link to the variety of specialized links we all use.  It may be useful to put a link to Maine VRC on that page as well so once you get onto your site, you can get back to Maine VRC Home.

I would ask that the sites people create and ask me to link to from Maine VRC are kept as professional sites only, and appropriate for all audiences.  The idea is to use this as a tool for our work, and help us have a way to connect to our resources from anywhere, not use it as a social networking site. Thank you. 

That being said, get out there and create a page and send me the link and lets get the Counselor page rolling.