About the AIR Mentor Program
Knowbility has fostered web accessibility awareness and skills through the Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) for more than 20 years. A key to success in the AIR program is the AIR Mentor, an accessibility expert and, often, an AIR participant veteran. Each AIR mentor offers advice and guidance regarding accessibility in a one-on-one capacity with an AIR team. Knowbility assigns a mentor to each team. Mentors serve in a volunteer (unpaid) capacity.
Mentors are one of the keys to help AIR team members to ramp up their skills quickly. Mentors act as coaches and teachers. They provide guidance to teams in determining the best course of action to create accessible websites quickly. As the teams are working on their projects, mentors will pay attention to the designs and code base, to spot issues early on. Mentors help the teams get it as right as possible the first time around.
If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor, please see the qualifications below.
- Have expert-level knowledge of WCAG.
- Have expert-level knowledge of accessibility techniques.
- Have expert-level knowledge of WAI-ARIA practices.
- Understand front-end development.
- Have experience with mobile accessibility/design.
- Have expert knowledge of doing accessibility assessments including the use of automated accessibility tools and screen readers.
- Be a veteran of virtual team projects, understanding how to communicate in a clear, complete, timely manner with remote team members, who may each be in a different time zone and who bring different skills and experience to the team.
- Have excellent project management skills.
- Have a commitment to the community and volunteer spirit of the Accessibility Internet Rally.
- Have participated in an Accessibility Internet Ralley previously as a team member, a mentor or a judge.
- Contact your AIR Team Leader within 48 hours after the kickoff event, when teams are matched with clients, to ensure they have a plan to create a schedule for working with a client and to agree with them to a schedule for meetings and work sessions with you.
- At the first meeting with the team, review the AIR Judging Form to orient the team to the AIR contest and ensure they understand how their sites will be judged.
- Meet with your AIR team a minimum of once per week.
- Perform regular assessments of the AIR client site as it is developed.
- Be encouraging and kind.
- Be timely in your communications and guidance with the team.
- Offer guidance to the team if more or different contact with the client is needed during the AIR build.
- Respond to messages from Knowbility in a timely manner.
- Attend (onsite or remotely) the AIR kickoff event, when teams are matched with clients.
- Attend Final Countdown Event in person or online.
- Attend the AIR Award Ceremony in person or online.
- Use your own social media to promote the Accessibility Internet Rally and Knowbility.
2019 AIR Timeline:
- June – August – Recruiting mentors
- September 9 – All registrations close
- September 9 to 30 – Designer/Developer Team trainings, NPO asset gathering and training. Mentors have a live webinar with expectations.
- October 4 – Kick Off Event – mentors to be present
- October 7 – November 15 – Website build time – mentors checking in with their teams weekly. Lead Mentors checking in on their mentors bi weekly.
- November 15 – Final Countdown Event and site submissions. Mentors present
- November 18 – December 18 – Judging
- January 16 – Award Ceremony – mentors present to support their team
Knowbility has had great success instilling an 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.
To apply to be a Mentor please complete an interest form and we’ll contact you with more information!