Of the 40 original registered teams, and after six weeks of hard work, we, along with the 32 nonprofits that completed the competition, await the decisions from our judges. This is the 22nd year of AIR.

AIR is a competition where design and development teams create websites for non-profits which are then judged based on their accessibility. Accessible websites allow for everyone, including people with disabilities, to access online content and become more socially and economically integrated into our digital world.

In this community tech-for-good initiative, teams of web developers and designers were matched with nonprofit organizations, community groups, and artists that wished to have an accessible website.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the teams of developers and designers worked to improve the accessibility and usability of their clients’ websites. They worked as distributed teams across national borders and multiple time zones, skills which became essential amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

As an educational initiative, AIR helps broaden the skills of web professionals, who may not be familiar with the techniques that make a website or application accessible.

To celebrate our long-running competition and the incredible team of judges, we are highlighting Rob Carr, CPACC, ICT Accessibility Program Manager for Oklahoma ABLE Tech at Oklahoma State University’s involvement with Knowbility and the AIR judging competition.

Rob’s background as an accessibility program manager became a logical fit for the AIR competition. His area of expertise in training and guiding state agencies, higher education institutions, and private sector partners to transform isolated accessibility efforts into sustainable programs has provided valuable insight dating back to 2016 when he first became involved with Knowbility and the AIR competition. Since his initial involvement, he has served as lead judge for the AIR competition teams since 2020.

“The goal is to provide strategies and skills that broadly apply to creating and acquiring accessible technology in various organizations, non-profits, and businesses”:

Just as the web developers and designers who join aim to create and improve the nonprofit website with accessibility in mind, the AIR contest challenges nonprofits to consider what is needed for a successful online presence. Often this involves ongoing training and technical assistance around technology accessibility.

AIR 2020 will conclude with an awards ceremony on January 7, 2021, we’ll be sending out the Eventbrite link soon! To learn more about AIR, visit air-rallies.org. There you can also learn how to contribute to our AIR fundraiser, which became necessary amid a drop in financial sponsorships this year. We’re honored to have involvement and support from friends like Rob Carr.