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 Knowbility’s customized, intensive live trainings, 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. who have public presentations of their art) and other mission-based initiatives. The main, annual competition is entirely online, involving more than 150 volunteers – making it a unique, highly-impactful and pioneering virtual volunteering event. There is also AIR-U, a version of this event for university students.
Knowbility has been advocating for websites that welcome everyone since 1998, and our nonprofit launched with the first Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR). Knowbility continues to hold this rally every year both as a way to give web designers and developers a practical outlet for using their accessible website design skills and as a way to turn nonprofits, NGOs, charities, community groups, schools and artists into supporters of accessibility and digital inclusion, reaching audiences far beyond IT professionals. We want AIR participants to play an essential, unique role in evangelizing about digital inclusion, long after the rally ends. Read some of the feedback from participants about the impact of their AIR 2019 participation here.
AIR, the first hands-on accessibility technology training program of its kind has become a formative experience in producing the next generation of accessibility leaders.”Richard Schwerdtfeger
Former CTO of Accessibility, IBM
Who can participate on an AIR team?
EVERYONE who wants to learn or expand their knowledge about accessible website design. Knowbility offers different AIR experiences:
The main rally is for professional designers and developers, working at any company, large or small, for those who freelance, for hobbyist website designers and developers, and coding students from colleges, universities and coding schools. State agencies also are welcomed to field a team to design or redesign a website for a department, program or campaign at their agency. Apply to Participate »
State agencies are welcomed to field a team to design or redesign a website for a department, program or campaign at their agency as a part of this AIR experience. This is a track within the main AIR experience, and is for city, state, and government employees looking to learn more about meeting the accessibility requirements in their roles maintaining websites for government agencies (city, county, state or federal). Apply to Participate »
Are you a nonprofit, non-governmental organization (NGO), charity, community group, school or artist (musician, dance group, painter, photographer, sculptor, poet, etc. that publicly-presents their art) looking for a website redesign – or your first ever website – that makes a commitment to digital inclusion? Apply to be an AIR client!