The Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) is a unique, hands-on, intense web accessibility awareness program. Started by Knowbility in 1998 as a local one-ish-day event in Austin, Texas, the program has evolved into an international program over several weeks that brings web accessibility to nonprofits and artists, groups who want to be welcoming for all people but don’t usually have the resources for accessible web design.

During an AIR build, teams of web developers sign up as volunteers, learn the latest techniques regarding accessibility through AIR’s customized, intensive trainings, are matched to an expert accessibility mentor, and then those volunteers put their skills to work online building accessible web sites for nonprofits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), charities, community groups, schools, artists (musicians, dance groups, painters, photographers, sculptors, poets, etc.) and other mission-based initiatives. The competition is entirely online, involving more than 150 volunteers – making it a unique, highly-impactful and pioneering virtual volunteering event.

In addition to raising awareness among web designers and developers regarding accessibility, AIR also works to turn the AIR clients – nonprofits, NGOs, charities, community groups, schools and artists – into supporters of accessibility and digital inclusion, reaching audiences far beyond IT professionals. AIR participants play an essential, unique role in evangelizing about digital inclusion, long after the rally ends.

Benefits for design team participation in AIR include:

    • opportunity to learn about accessibility
    • participating in a fun, friendly competition
    • high-profile recognition of accessibility skills
    • opportunity to network with world-class accessibility experts
    • apply accessible web design to nonprofits, community groups, artists and others who might not be able to have an accessible website otherwise
    • chance to win an award that includes free registration for SXSW Interactive

Benefits for AIR clients – nonprofits, NGOs, charities, community groups, schools and artists – participation:

    • opportunity to learn about accessibility
    • a new website that demonstrates a powerful commitment to inclusion, something that is attractive to donors and other supporters
    • opportunity to reach new audiences – including potential new donors, volunteers and clients – with your new, accessible website
    • opportunity to learn about how to work successfully with virtual teams and engage online volunteers (virtual volunteering)
    • participation in an international, high-profile, world-class event

Sponsors and other supporting volunteers, including team mentors, are crucial to program success.

Explore our AIR web site and read more about our unique, pioneering competition. If you still have questions, email air@knowbility.org