The Accessibility Internet Rally is a web design competition that increases awareness of the tools and techniques that make the Internet accessible to everyone - including people with disabilities. AIR benefits nonprofit organizations and schools in your community by providing them with free, professionally designed, accessible websites.
Teams of professional web developers learn skills to create accessible web content and then use those new skills to create accessible websites for local community groups. The result: dozens of professionally designed, accessible websites are donated to nonprofit groups and hosted for free for one year.
AIR is designed for Web professionals, people who currently create on-line applications and who are proficient in HTML and other techniques for creating Web pages. Through AIR developers will learn accessible design techniques, have the chance to show off their skills, win prizes, and help local nonprofits do the work that benefits our communities.
How do I get involved? What can I expect from participation?
- Fill out team registration form on Knowbility.org.
- Registration opens July 23, 2012 and closes October 1, 2012.
- Teams may have no more than 6 members.
- A fee of $100 - $150 is due at time of registration.
- Teams may register with a chosen non-profit, or can request Knowbility select a non-profit organization for them to work with.
- Knowbility will contact your team captains to establish interest.
- Knowbility will distribute surveys to development teams and non-profits to facilitate matches based on NPO needs and developer skill levels. Surveys are due October 1st. NPOs selected to participate will be notified by October 10, 2012.
- The competition begins with a Kick-Off event on October 17, 2012. At this time, development teams who have requested Knowbility match them with an NPO will be introduced to their organization. The surveys previously taken by NPOs will be provided to development teams to set expectations and facilitate discussion of site requirements. After the Kick-Off, you can start coding!
- Training materials will be available as eLearning for all teams through an accessible learning management system. That information will be distributed on October 17, 2012, Kick-Off Day.
- Regional coordinators may arrange for in-person training.
- Team members may connect virtually to scheduled training events in Austin, Texas. The schedule for training events will be announced in early August.
- Sites will be judged in two rounds. Sites are due November 17, 2012 for the first round of judging. They will judged by Knowbility’s judging panel over an eight week period.
- Regional awards will be announced in January 15, 2013. Prize winning and top performing teams will advance to a second round of judging. Teams will receive copies of the judging forms for their sites and will have the opportunity to make improvements over a ten-day period. Sites will then be resubmitted for a final round of judging.
- Top winners from the final round of judging will be announced at The 2013 Dewey Ceremony and Open AIR Awards at SXSW Interactive in March of 2013.
What do I get out of this?
If you are a professional developer, sign up a team of three to six members via the online developer registration. Besides improving your community, and the opportunity to win tickets to SXSW Interactive 2014, AIR provides plenty of benefits to participating developers.
As a participant and competitor you will:
- Be matched with a non-profit organization, budding artist, or worthy community organization.
- Create an exciting, interactive web experience that is accessible to everyone.
- Network with area artists, web professionals, and other really cool people.
- Get to complete your development project in a more relaxed time frame - the development cycle is 30 days this time, giving your team the opportunity to create something really special.
- Continue to develop your skills with more training.
- Have free access to training worth over $4,000
As a team participant, you will be a key part of making this program enjoyable, educational, and successful. Please read the commitments below before registering in the AIR program, as they are the things you will be expected to accept responsibility for as a participant.
What is expected of you:
- Sign up ALL team members on-line, provide at least one phone number and email address for each person.
- Designate a team Captain- this person will be responsible for making sure all team members are kept up to date with any program updates or information from the Program Manager.
- Fill out the Team Questionnaire - in detail if possible - this will help us match you with the best "client".
- Attend the kickoff - At least half of your team must attend.
- Have at least two face-to-face meetings with your "client" after the Kick-Off - This helps you and the client understand each other better and allows for personalities to shine thru on the sites you create.
- Meet with your team, or at least contact each other, and stay in contact at least weekly.
- Do your share of the team-assigned items, and meet your team deadlines.
- Attend at least one training session of your choice (Basic, Advanced or Multimedia)
- Make arrangements with your NPO for updating the website after the contest. (Even if it's to hand them a list of for-hire web developers)
Once trained, you will have access to our trainers at all times should you have a question or need assistance. No worries, we will be by your side the entire way, offering encouragement, support and the occasional laugh – to relieve stress of course.
After you register be sure to visit our "Developer Resources" page. There you will find “Tips and Tricks” on how to prepare your team, select a team captain and other information which will help you to make the best accessible site you can.
Don’t have a team, but want to participate? Register as an individual and we will connect you with a team!