OpenAIR provides mission-based organizations – non-profits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), charities, schools and others, in any country – with both a new, professionally-designed, accessible website that accommodates all visitors, and with expanded awareness about accessibility issues. Your organization gets more than a new website; your organization becomes a more-welcoming organization online – and maybe offline as well.
People with disabilities want to donate, volunteer and otherwise support causes they care about. Like all people, they love the arts, animals, and the environment, they enjoy beautiful parks and fun outdoor activities, they support education, they want serious social problems addressed, and they want to be involved in these causes – as employees, as donors, as volunteers and as clients. But if your organization’s web site isn’t accessible to them, you leave them out – and that means you leave out potential donors, volunteers, clients, ideas, talent and more.
All of that changes when your organization participates in OpenAIR!
Benefits of participating:
- Your organization or program gets a new, professionally-designed, accessible website that accommodates more visitors. Even if your OpenAIR web design doesn’t win an award through this event, you still get a website that has the potential to attract more visitors and better accommodate your donors, volunteers, clients and others. All material developed by your team for your organization becomes your organization’s property, to do with as you like.
- Your organization gains expanded awareness about accessibility online, awareness that is easily translated offline, to the way you work with people face-to-face. This is a transformational experience for all of your staff members that participate, one that will affect all of the online and offline ways you interact with donors, volunteers, clients and others.
- You get to be part of a unique, award-winning, internationally-recognized event, and your organization not only will be featured in Knowbility’s event promotional materials, you can also use the experience to publicize your organization’s work to local and national press and with current and potential donors (and Knowbility, the organization behind the event, provides help for you to do this!).
- Build your staff’s skills for working with designers and IT experts. Many nonprofits, NGOs, charities, schools and others are intimidated by working with tech consultants. Staff that participates in this event will have their skills expanded for working with designers, IT professionals and others with the expertise your organization regularly needs.
- Build your staff’s skills for working with remote staff. We live in a world where employees, consultants and volunteers can be working from across town or across the globe. Participating staff in this event will improve their remote management skills, something that can help you better interact with volunteers, consultants, donors and clients.
“I keep in touch with a couple of team members weekly via phone meetings, and we have an email chain going. We’ve had zero communication issues to say the least. They are working very hard on the website and I’m impressed so far. I’ve gotten a design proposal, wire frame, and most recently a loose mock up with multiple logo choices. My team is awesome!”
— Jessy Wayles, Shoreline Restoration Coordinator working for Marine Discovery Center
- Have FUN. Knowbility staff work to create ways of working that will, we hope, make you look forward to our trainings and support activities during OpenAir.
Your organization will be welcomed to stay in contact with your web design team, if they agree, after OpenAIR ends. You may invite them to sign up for your regular newsletter, to be a part of your online community, to like your Facebook page, to follow you on Twitter, etc. Please note that it will also be up to your team to choose to stay in contact after the OpenAIR event.
Remember: accessibility is the HEART of this event. If there is a design element you want that isn’t accessible, the team will work with you to create an alternative that meets your needs. Also, remember that teams are competing with each other to win the accessibility challenge.