Knowbility has opened registration for its signature program: OpenAIR.
This year's OpenAIR features web-development teams from IBM, Cognizant, Accenture and more. The competition kicks-off on November 6th, 2014 and concludes with a Google-sponsored Awards Ceremony and Gala on February 11th, 2015 streaming live across the globe. Web professionals are encouraged to register before November 3rd - limited spaces are available. Companies can form their own teams or individuals can sign up and be matched with an existing team. $4,000 worth of accessibility training is included in the one-time registration fee. The 17th Annual OpenAIR competition is sponsored by The City of Austin, Deque, Google, and the Bureau of Internet Accessibility.
The Open Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR), dating from 1998, is a community hackathon with a unique twist - accessibility! Participants are trained with critical accessibility skills by internationally recognized experts and contribute to their community by creating accessible websites for nonprofits. The professionally designed sites are donated to nonprofit groups and hosted for free for one year. Open-AIR increases awareness of the tools and techniques that make the Internet accessible to everyone - including people with disabilities. OpenAIR benefits nonprofit organizations and schools by providing them with free, professionally designed, accessible websites.
OpenAIR is designed for Web professionals, people who currently create on-line applications and who are proficient in HTML and other techniques for creating Web pages. Through Open-AIR, developers will learn accessible design techniques, have the chance to show off their skills, win prizes, and help local nonprofits do the work that benefits our communities.
Austin's Knowbility, Inc., www.knowbility.org, is a 15-year-old, international leader in accessible IT for people with disabilities - blind, visually impaired, deaf, mobility impaired and other disabilities. Co-Founder Sharron Rush, serves as Co-Chair of the World Wide Web Consortium's WAI Education and Outreach Working Group. Knowbility's team of experts is internationally recognized for its role in creating the worldwide standard for web accessibility. Since the first Air competition in 1998, Knowbility has provided accessible web training to hundreds of corporations, government agencies and community-based organizations throughout the nation. Knowbility's accessibility testing and consulting team has guided and the creation of more than 1,000 accessible web sites making information accessible to the 55 million Americans with disabilities. ATSTAR, Knowbility's professional educational initiative for assistive technology in the classroom, currently serves thousands of special education students, their teachers and parents in four states. Our Access-Works program employs people with disabilities as document remediation specialists, user experience testers and Quality Assurance specialists.
Knowbility has received numerous awards for excellence in services to people with disabilities, including recognition by the Clinton White House and the US Department of Labor for excellence in employment practices for people with disabilities. Sharron Rush has been invited twice to the West Wing to confer with Kareem Dale, President Obama's Special Advisor on Disability Issues. In 2000 she was named Community Tech Champion by the Congressional Black Caucus. Under her leadership Knowbility received a Peter F. Drucker Foundation award for Innovation in the service of people with disabilities. Ms. Rush is a Computer-World Laureate and an adviser to the SXSW Interactive Media Conference. In 2001, she was named one of the Top 25 Women of the Web. In addition, Ms. Rush was instrumental in developing the ATSTAR online teachers' resource project in collaboration with the Austin Independent School District Special Education Department. In 2002, she received the Dewey Winburne Award for Community Service through Interactive Media. Ms. Rush has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She is co-author, with Dr. John Slatin, of Maximum Accessibility a definitive web accessibility resource.