Judging Committee Information

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Introduction to Judging the AIR competition

The most critically important question of any competition is who wins – and the judging process determines that outcome. The judging process consists of a clear set of accessibility rules to follow in order to gain points and win the contest, which are given to the team in advance. 

The original judges were John Slatin, Jim Allan, and Jim Thatcher. They created the judging form that has been used ever since. While the details have been updated and modified as technology and standards changed over time, what remains constant is the ability to use the judging form as the perfect open book test. Competitors know very clearly how they will earn points and have the opportunity to use the form as a kind of checklist. The goal is to improve developer awareness and skills for web accessibility. 

Once they have completed their effort and turned in their entry, that same guidance can be applied as a judging standard – that is where you come in! Judges use the form to go through sites and give them ratings.


  • Basic understanding of how people with disabilities use the web and what they need to succeed
  • Expert level knowledge of accessibility standards – ATAG, UAAG, WCAG, ARIA, and BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines
  • Brief written recommendation from a current or former AIR judge explaining why you would be a great candidate to be chosen to serve as a judge.
  • Have participated in AIR or OpenAIR before as a team member, mentor, or judge.


  • Subscribe to the Judges mailing list Judges List airjudges@knowbility.org
  • Attend Judges teleconferences and learn how to use the AIR Judging Form
  • Judge two or three sites. Each site is assigned to two different judges, you will receive your assignment from the Lead Judge.
  • Use the judging form and follow the judge process – Judge Process
  • Confer with judge who reviewed same site and reconcile findings to determine final score.
  • Submit final score to the Lead Judge for compilation with other scores.
  • If this is your first time as an AIR judge, arrange with the Lead Judge to receive judge’s training and a copy of the Judge’s Manual


  • Attend AIR KickOff event in person or online. 
  • Attend Final Countdown Event in person or online. 
  • Attend the AIR Award Ceremony in person or online.

Knowbility has had great success fostering interest in accessibility through this fun friendly competition. We hope you will join us to continue this mission of training more designers and developers in accessibility. 

Ready to sign up now? Submit an application and get involved today!

Judge Interest Form