Okay, is it time? Is it --
I'm thinking that it's time in just like 30 seconds.
Okay. So we're -- [Laughter] can you tell that I'm excited?
Just a little bit excited, Sharron, just a little bit.
One thing, rushing across town to get Molly into the building, you know, that kind of getting your adrenaline going before the awards started. But also it's kind of -- it's kind of neat, I like this feeling of not knowing who the winners are. It leaves you trembling with anticipation.
But, anyway, it is my great, great honor and pleasure to welcome all of you to the AIR 2021 Awards. And I always feel a little hesitant about talking about the winners, because I'll tell you that there are 20 non-profit organizations out there that absolutely know that they were the winners of this -- of this effort. Because you have -- you have made the web more accessible and you have certainly made their efforts and their mission work more accessible, so congratulations to every single one of you, and thank you to every single one of you.
I'm Sharron Rush, I'm the Executive Director of Knowbility. And one of the collaborators that invented this Accessibility Internet Rally. At the time that it was AIR Austin, the accessibility rally for Austin in 1998 when we were looking around our town that was transforming into a tech hub and saying why aren't people with disabilities included in all of these opportunities.
And so from that idea of let's make a contest, they'll pay attention to something competitive, let's get the tech sector involved and helping to create the solution, we've had this accessibility internet rally every year since then. Sometimes more than once in a year. And, really, it all comes down to the fact of people like every single one of you who is here tonight that is committed and cares about access to the web for people with disabilities, cares about digital equity. And so I couldn't be more grateful or feel more fortunate to be in your company and the recipient of all of this great effort and terrific -- terrific work!
So I'm here to say thanks. I want to thank our sponsors, of course, we couldn't do it without them. This year Visa was a major sponsor and REV.com that helps with captioning but was also a sponsor. And Monkee-Boy and you will meet Aaron Bramwell here in a bit. And Adobe, that odd little black symbol there is actually from the Big History Project which is an effort of the Gates Venture, Bill Gates venture effort that they do a big history project for K12 schools and they were one of our sponsors this year. Zendesk, eBay, and for -- I guess that it's close to 10 years now the Cultural Arts Division of the city of Austin economic development has recognized that digital arts are an important part of cultural arts and that equity in the digital arts is important enough that they've been an underwriting sponsor of AIR.
So, thank you so much to all of our sponsors. I think that this is the point where I'm supposed to turn it over to your co-host, Mariella, and Jay. But I -- I really -- before -- before I leave you all, I really do have to say that we do many, many things now at Knowbility, more than I would have ever anticipated when we first began. But for me, the Accessibility Internet Rally, AIR is really the heart, it brings the community together. It understands and promotes accessibility, not as a legal mandate, not as something that's going to get you in trouble if you don't do it, but as something that really speaks and sparks the creativity and the -- and the impetus for inclusion in all of us. And this vibrant community, I swear, it has given me more than -- more than I will ever be able to recognize or give back.
So I'm going to turn it over to Jay and Mariella before I start to cry. And, thank you all. Thanks again. And, gosh, I can't wait to see who won! Take it away, Jay.
All right, thank you, thank you, Sharron. We are absolutely delighted to have you all here today. We have a big agenda. We're going to hear from several different people, not just, you know, us that you get to interact with on all of these different events but we wanted to highlight some other people and take a moment with them.
So here's our agenda for the night. We're going to just look at and talk with those people before we, of course, do our favorite, favorite door prize to kick us off. And then we'll have our messages from our different people that show you kind of behind the scenes of Knowbility. Of AIR 2021, and the internet accessibility rally. And then we have some special music from one of our NPOs, Quietside Chamber Music Festival, and it's music for us to listen to as a thank you to participating. And then also we will have our awards, but we did something a little different this year and we're really excited about it. Instead of just doing the traditional trophies, we have something special cooked up with another one of our participating NPOs, Access Gallery.
So I'm excited. Are you ready, Mariella?
I am. I think that I need to get featured -- there we go. Yes, I am, absolutely ready. So let's go ahead and get this party even more partied, all right? So we were really impressed with this year's submissions. And all of you should be proud of the work that we have completed this year. We have had a lot of fun things in store for us tonight. And as Jay mentioned, I'm very, very excited about that.
A little bit about Knowbility and what we are doing, specifically, so let's talk about what Knowbility is. Knowbility is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is based in the beautiful town of Austin, Texas. So we operate in a global sphere. And AIR is not the only event that we host. So if you learn, and if you learn and if you engage and if you met new people and you want to really engage in the accessibility space and the site and you want to keep growing, we want to encourage you to attend one of our upcoming events, AccessU conference and it's our annual conference and it happens in May.
And it gathers the top experts in the accessibility space and imprints all of them together for a three-day teaching, training conference. And this year we're going to be having a hybrid event. So if you have the choice to attend in person, in Austin, or if you want to join virtually from anywhere in the world, this is going to be the event for you to attend. You can find more information on our website by visiting bit.ly/accessu2022. And we're going to be putting the link in the chat. That is it for us at Knowbility. So, go ahead and register and it's at bit.ly/accessu2022. Back to you, Jay.
All right, so according to our agenda, one of our favorite things to do, of course, is the door prize with Erica braverman and so come on out and let's get this one going.
All right. So I'm happy to be -- to close out our AccessU season with the door prize. It's an accessible Rubiks cube, if you have not encountered that before, it's a Rubiks cube that doesn't just have color on the different doors but is a raised shape to denote which side is which. And I'm going to be continuing the typical door prize tradition with the "Wheel of Names."
So if you're not familiar with that, that is something that, you know, it's like a big spinner with all of the names that is red, yellow, blue and green. So if you don't want to view a moving -- or spinning image -- it's going to be coming up on the screen, so just be aware if that's not something that you want to take a look at. And I just lost my tab. I had the "Wheel of Names" and I minimized the "Wheel of Names". It's coming back. And I'm going to share my screen and we'll see who is going to win our door prize.
And this time around, I think that once you hit "Spin" we all have to do the drum roll noise. So tell us when we go. Ready.
3, 2, 1... [brrrrrr...]
Okay, do it.
And we have Samyuktha, congratulations, you will get our accessible Rubiks cube and I'll follow-up with you afterwards to make sure that we send it to the right place and I'll send it back to y'all.
All right. It is so fun to see everybody's names pop up on the participants list. I just have -- I know that I'm going off script and I apologize because I get so excited when you're all here. So I have to shout out to some wonderful people who have joined us. We do appreciate you all being here. We know that the time zones and everything, it can get a little crazy. I think that we have some guests with us from India and we have some people from Australia possibly today. Across the U.S. I know that we've got Europe and everywhere else too. So, thank you, thank you once again for joining us. And I think that we're going to take it over to Molly.
Yep, so we're going to be hearing from a few of the people who did all of the behind-the-scenes work this year. And we really appreciate them and it will be cool to hear their perspective. So, first up, we're going to hear from Rob Carr who is our judge's chair. So he did a lot of the work in wrangling our judges and getting them onboard and recruiting them and making sure that we -- you know, we had a good staff looking at all of your wonderful websites. So, Rob, if you're there, come on to the stage and we'll highlight you and hear a few words from Rob.
I really appreciate the chance to come to join this evening live, and not in person, but still in real-time. Really happy to be here and thank you to Knowbility for running AIR for how many years, has AIR gone on now? Pop quiz for Knowbility folks.
It's got to be 21.
Over 21 years because we started in 1998.
Oh, yeah, that's right.
So, yeah, thank you for the opportunity and I want to give a shout out to our judges. You can't have a competition without a winner and since this is an accessible web design competition, the judges are keen to that, right.
And not to diminish anyone else because really this is one of the most amazing collectives of people putting on one of the most amazing international events that you can be part of. It's a thrill, I know for myself coordinating the judges. And as far as I know it's a thrill for the judges themselves. And everyone who judged this year was also a judge last year and they graciously came back and, like, are mentors and amongst everyone else, they volunteered to come and to contribute -- pardon -- to contribute to the event.
So judging is kind of straightforward and kind of not. We have a lot of websites. We have a pool of judges that represent an amazing amount of talent, like our mentors and everyone else. And our judges come in at the end of the contest and they take a look at the sites and they go through a pretty rigorous judging process that has been changing a little bit as the web has changed over the last 21 years, as you might imagine.
But we've got the pool of judges that get paired up to look at each site. Each one goes through individually and they come together and they meet up. And my job is relatively simple. Because while they're doing the hard work to try to figure out if this website actually meets the criteria that are in the judging form and all of the checkpoints and everything, I'm waiting for them to send me that stuff near the end and then I just look and see how the scores added up and I email that to Knowbility and I get to play the hero.
But our judges are actually the ones that make all of this stuff happen. The judging process begins around the U.S. holidays and going into the wintertime. And it is a relatively compressed time frame for everybody to get judging turned around on -- this year I think that there were 18 sites, if I'm not mistaken, that were submitted and that our mentors got to help the teams to put together. And you will hear more about that in just a minute. And then our amazing pool of judges came in and actually evaluated each of these sites.
Hopefully it's an opportunity, as is mentoring, you know, part of this thing as all, for people to broaden that community, to broaden their accessibility community a little bit. Sharron talked about that. This has been a great way during the lockdown and everything, being remote, I think for people to stay in touch and to actually engage with each other when we were not doing in-person events and I'm so stoked that AccessU will have an in-person part and hopefully it will stay that way and hopefully I can make it that year.
But to get on with the thank you, I'll be relatively brief and go through the list of judges because there's not a non-trivial amount of folks and recognize them by first name and thank each and every one of them for the time that they dedicate. We ask judges to allow about four hours of time in that kind of compressed time frame to actually evaluate the sites and, remember, almost everybody does too.
So, again, not to diminish anyone else's role, everyone puts a lot of hours into this thing. it's pretty easy -- you mentioned recruiting judges, it's a pretty easy sell when you explain what actually is and you talk about the fact that non-profits are getting high quality accessible websites and the design teams are getting a lot of experience and mentoring and collaboration. And the judges get to work together collaboratively again to actually to do the judging. It's an easy thing, generally speaking, to get judges to volunteer.
But I still want to give a quick thanks and I don't want to take too much more time. So a shout out to -- I'm going through my Excel sheet here and looking at the camera, to Aaron and Crystal and Dennis, and it's below the fold. And Glenda and Gokhan and Jalena, and John and Jonee and Julie and Julieanne, and Kati, Lee, Lewis, Luis, Lyssa, Michael, Sathish, Sheri, Srinivasu, and Steph and Susan.
I think that is everybody if you are on and I didn't say your name, give yourself credit, whatever that might be. And give yourself credit, and put your name in the Chat so I can recognize you. I think that is everybody, but, really, truly, thank you so much to each and every one of our judges for their work. I may not be able to be on the whole time. And I want to thank the mentors and Knowbility and the teams and the NPOs, and it's such a great event and I hope that you might have my back. And congratulations to whoever our winner might be.
Thank you so much, Rob. So next up, and I'll stop this really quick. And we're going to have a quick video from a few more folks. So, next we're going to hear from Aaron Bramwell who on top of being one of the advisor this is year was also a sponsor with Monkee-Boy. So we really appreciate that. And we get to hear a little bit of that perspective and here we go.
Howdy, and happy new year, AIR Nation. My name is Aaron Bramwell and I'm the C.E.O. and founder of Monkee-Boy web design incorporated here in Austin, Texas. Monkee-Boy is a leader in creating, securing and growing enterprise WordPress word sites and is proud to have been both an AIR sponsor and fielding AIR teams for the past several years. It's been a real honor for me personally to be a member of the AIR advisory board and work with all of the fine people who make AIR happen. And who have worked with all of you over the past several months to help to educate, mentor and judge all of the great work that y'all have been doing.
At Monkee-Boy, we are on a mission to build the web that the world needs. We do this by focusing on three primary things. One, having beautiful and compelling websites. Two, ensuring that they're intuitive and incredibly easy to manage. And, three, and most importantly, ensuring that the experiences that we build are accessible. I can attest that embracing and supporting accessibility as part of our mission has benefited our company in so many ways. Not only does it obviously feel great as a business to do what we know is right, but it also, honestly, has become a competitive advantage for our company.
Accessibility is becoming a requirement in almost every project that we work on, and when it's not a requirement, it doesn't take more than a conversation and a little education to build the empathy that is needed to meet the requirement and it's great for all of us. All of the work that you're doing to learn more about accessibility and apply or to sharpen your skills is helping to build the web the world needs. So I'd like to sincerely thank you for your participation in this year's AIR rally and I hope that each of you continues on your journey to build a more inclusive digital world, because it is important.
Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a big fat shout out to all of the fine people at Knowbility. They're just a cornerstone to both my team's education and our success. And they're just amazing human beings and truly are leading the pack in creating a more inclusive world. So thank you all, Knowbility. And thank you all for your participation. And keep up the great work as we continue to make a difference together. Cheers.
Okay, so next we're going to hear from Sarah Horton who was our mentor co-chair. The mentors, of course, are so important to AIR. They are a really important piece to your accessibility journey. I hope that you got a lot out of your relationship with your mentor. We're so lucky to have them volunteering their time and helping guide you through this website creation. So, Sarah is going to talk a little bit about that. And give us some insight on the mentor position. And so we'll hear from Sarah.
Greetings from soggy Scotland. I'm Sarah. And it is my honor to join you virtually to thank this year's AIR mentors. For me, it's been mentors that have helped me become who I want to be.
It is the people who take the time to share what they know, to answer my questions, provide feedback on my work. They guide me forward and they correct me when I'm off track. Mentoring is such a generous act. Really driven by a desire to get somewhere better together. It's really pretty great.
As AIR mentors, you coached your teams, supported your fellow mentors, and helped us all stay on track. Your mentees learned from you, all about accessibility, from the nuts and bolts of coding, to the art and craft of design, to the nuances of working with clients. Because of you they are better prepared for the road ahead.
So on behalf of Tim, Paul, Jessica and the Knowbility team, thank you so much for giving your time and expertise to this year's AIR event. And here's to building an accessible digital world together.
That's great. I really -- I really love the mentor aspect of this program. So I think she phrased that so beautifully. Okay, and then finally our final video we're going to hear from Caleb Watson who was an advisor as well as one of our recruiting chairs, along with Aaron. So let me just get that. All right, and here we go.
Hello, I'm Caleb Watson, team recruiting chair here in my home office in Austin, Texas. It's great to be with you to recognize the AIR advisory board and talk why this program is so meaningful. Our advisory board works very hard to make sure that this event is engaging and impactful for everyone, and this year it's made up of Jay McKay, Knowbility staff rep and support, Paul Adam, mentor's chair, Rob Carr, judging chair, and Sarah horton, mentor's co-chair, and Tim harshbarger, mentor co-chair, and Luis Perez and Aaron Bramwell and Jillian Fortin and myself, Caleb Watson.
I'd like to thank everyone on the advisory board for their contribution that help to make this possible. it's an honor to volunteer for this event and collaborate with everyone. Join me in giving a round of applause. [clapping]
This is my second year volunteering as an AIR advisor, helping with team recruiting and fundraising. I came to know about the AIR event hearing from friends and colleagues that participated about how much it kickstarted their journey and commitment to digital accessibility. And, more importantly, how it has stuck with them as something that they now think of and do as part of their normal work when building websites and digital products.
This resonates with me because I've also adopted this mindset. So, I want to congratulate the teams and non-profits for participating in this year's competition. everyone cannot win, but the most important thing that I hope that you all take away from your experience is how about including accessibility in your websites, digital products and word proceeses the ability for inclusion that it affords for people with disabilities.
I'm not sure that if you know this but AIR is the original Hack A Thon, ask Sharron about it. It actually creates Knowbility and because it's fun and engaging and impactful, it continues to grow year-over-year. This is a really good thing because software is eating the world. Phones, pads, TVs, apps, websites, meta verse and even money. And this event means more of you all to go out into the world and make an impact. Thank you.
And so our final speaker in this little set will be Casey Boyle who has been with AIR for a few years and he is a U.T. Professor and has a class that -- part of their class is doing the AIR competition, which is pretty great. But I'll let Casey take it from here. So, Casey, are you -- yep it looks like you're up there. Okay, so take it away, Casey.
Hi, I'm Casey Boyle, a Professor here at the University of Texas in Austin. And I'm also the Director of a Digital Writing and Research Lab which is connected with Knowbility back in the early days with John Slatin was the first director of this lab that I am currently directing.
So one of the things that we're really interested in and invested in is accessibility and making digital spaces more accessible for everyone. So the course I teach and for a couple years now, we've run it in conjunction with AIR is, of course, called Access Designed. And it's a really great course and the students work together in groups to -- to -- as student members of this project, and they routinely and regularly talk about how important of a class it is for them in their learning career, but also learning how to communicate with everybody.
And in addition to the AIR, they also learn in the class things about making PDF accessible and making presentations accessible, and routinely what they get from the class is that they get to meet with, you know, right afterwards -- it's always like a career fair or something, and they -- this year, anyways, they reported back after they turned in their projects here and there was also a career fair that week.
And companies were just hungry for their experience. They were asking about them. They were wondering how they could, you know, bring them in and several of them -- I would say five or six basically got internships or a summer job because of the experience they've had with AIR and the class. And just the way that they know about how to communicate now.
So I couldn't be more generous and grateful to Knowbility, and to AIR, to all of the mentors, to the NPOs, for working with people. Those who take their brands and their websites and their public-facing documents and they help to shape them for them. So I just want to say thanks to everybody and looking forward to working with AIR and Knowbility again next year.
All right, that's awesome. I just think that it is so cool that we have four U.T. teams this year, so, yeah, as Meryl said, "Hook 'em."
And speaking of the NPOs, we get to enjoy a few -- it's cool to see what our NPOs actually do. And so first we're going to enjoy a piece from Sarah Shreder and she'll be performing, she's of the Quietside Chamber Musical Festival. And she'll be performing this cello piece and I'll grab the name and let y'all know what it is right after.
While you pull that up, let me give a description of what Quietside Chamber is, Quietside Chamber Musical Festival celebrates local musicians in the northeast every summer with free concerts at the Somesville Meeting House from July to September. So these were free concerts that they provide. Previously for years, relying solely on Facebook and Eventbrite Quietside saw AIR as an opportunity to expand their reach to a new audience and to create easy pathways for patrons to donate by having a brand-new website created for them. And so they were absolutely delighted. In addition to her role as a board member, Sarah Shreder is a feature cellist, and so she's given a performance of a traditional folk song. I'm going to pronounce the name terribly so I'm glad that Molly is going to put it in the chat but I will say that it's "Carrickfergus" and it is arranged for a solo cello by – Ilse de Ziah
Oh, okay, that was just lovely. Yay, round of applause. Okay, well, thank you again to all of the mentors and the judges, and the advisors, our sponsors and our NPOs. And it was so great to hear from each of you and now I'm going to pass it to Jay for our main event.
I'm so excited! [Laughter] all right, so without further delay, well, just a little bit of a delay because we have to make an introduction here, but we just about to announce our awards. But before we do that, we want to introduce another one of our NPOs that participated this year and, of course, I'm referring to Access Gallery, and hopefully we have Amy Siegel here from Access Gallery that can tell us a little bit about the work they do and the awards that we'll be giving to our teams this year.
Did we lose Amy? I think that we might have lost Amy. Well, hopefully we'll see her pop on and we can have her talk a little bit.
But for those not familiar, Access Gallery is an artist group, gallery in Denver, Colorado, that does quite some amazing work and exhibitions, working with people with disabilities. You know, just going on to their first website they had originally was just absolutely amazing to take a peek at. So I'm thrilled to see what they've had done to their website with their team this year.
But what we want to let you know is that for your awards, those that have won this year, instead of just giving a trophy which is lovely, but what if we were to give you a piece of art made by the wonderful artists over at Access Gallery? So the teams will receive a framed 8-by-10 version of the piece that will have -- on a printed metal frame that will have the name as well as the names of your team members. And then the team members will also receive some individual pieces as well. So you'll receive, like, smaller versions essentially of the piece that will be awarded to your team.
So is everybody ready? Because I'm ready. All right, so without further adieu, it is time to reveal our winners. So take it away, Mariella.
Thank you, Jay. So without further adieu, I am thrilled to introduce our third-place winners. Are we ready? I think that we need a drum roll for this one.
First, let's show them the piece of art that they'll get first and then we'll reveal the names. So let's show them the artwork first. A little quick description here.
Well, the art does have the names on it.
So pop up the artwork and then we'll get the name.
All right. Perfect. The image reads, AIR 2021, presented by Knowbility. Third place: Fixer Uppers and the Atlanta Jews of Color Council. Should I go ahead and describe the image?
Yes, go for it.
So we are seeing this beautiful purple mountains in the background that have a bit of snow at the top in the background. And there is a blue sky. There are two individuals in the front of the image. And there looks to be a rocket ship at the center of the image, since the theme that we've been having for AIR this year is "Air, space, the future." And so that is the image award and so I'm going to go ahead and announce the third-place winners.
And the winners are Fixer Uppers and the Atlanta Jews of Color Council and welcome their representative for the Fixer Uppers to the stage. So, Noor, please come up on the stage and receive this beautiful picture on behalf of your team. Are you ready, come on up!
Thank you, everyone so much! We are, honestly, so honored and, I mean, we're in shock but definitely we put in that work. And I'm just so happy to receive this on behalf of our team. First and foremost, thank you AIR and the whole entire AIR team and everyone that organized it at Knowbility. And thank you to Professor Casey Boyle. I mean, you know, we did a lot of work with our mentors and we worked so much with our client, but we couldn't have done any of it without the direction of our Professor. So many of us just thought that we were somewhat inexperienced here and this is our first time entering in this. And, yeah, thank you, everybody. We're really happy about this.
All right, and I just went ahead and put the link that they provided as their submission link. So if you guys want to take a piece at it and see it. I know that some people are asking. So this was actually -- you guys created this from what started as a Wix page and you recreated as a WordPress.
That is exactly right. And there was the original site and we transfered it over from scratch on to Wordpress.
Thank you, and a great job and it was great to see one of our U.T. teams win this year. So, thank you very much. Congratulations. All right, let's go on to the next one. I'm excited.
So for our second place, the winner is AccessHippos and Brain Education Strategies & Tecnology. And as we get Cam Coulter up to the stage, let me describe this wonderful piece of artwork. I believe that this was the one that was made out of stickers, correct, Molly? So this is a robot that is in space, he's got several planets behind him and this is like a mixed media. So there's lots of stickers that are creating this robot design. So, Cam, you want to come on up.
Sure, hello. I'm Cam. On behalf of my teammates and Sierra and Paul and Jenny I want to say thanks to our mentors, Sally and Sumnar, so much for helping us with this project. Thank you also to Michelle at BEST and the staff at BEST for helping and for being so collaborative and thank you to Knowbility for organizing it. On behalf of my team I can say that this was a really cool experience. In particular, I'll just shout out to the usability testing was a great experience. So thank you.
Thank you. And then, again, I'm going to post up the site and I think that this is not the live one, right, this is just upon the ones that you guys have submitted but it will be live soon, correct? The link that I have here in the chat?
Correct. That's not the live site.
But it will transfer over soon. Well, all right, thank you so much Cam. And all right, are we ready?
I am. As ready as I'll ever be. And in first place, and let's go ahead and share the first place picture! So let's share that first. Go ahead and describe it. All righty. I saw this one and I loved it, and I need it in my office ASAP. But as we have a blue background and around that image there are suns and stars and planets. On the lower left-hand corner there's a picture of the earth and they actually painted the North Pole in white and everything else is in green and it's got this baby blue aura. And there's a dragon. And the dragon is wearing an astronaut suit. This is a cool picture. I need this in my office tomorrow.
But, anyway, we need to go ahead and give the first place winners and the winner is RBA11y and the Anika Foundation. Do we have a representative for RBA11y, here tonight who would like to accept this award? If so, can you raise your hand up and just speak up and we will bring you up to the stage.
We have Herin here.
We have -- Bhuvnesh.
That’s right. Thank you, thank you so much, guys. Can you hear me all right?
All right. So first, good morning to everyone from the Australian point of view. Let me start by thanking the organizers of this amazing global competition. As well as to all of the participating teams from around the world. And I think this competition goes a long way as many speakers have just mentioned, in raising awareness, knowledge and the skill set related to accessibility.
And I also want to thank our NPO, the Anika Foundation and their representative for being so positive about everything that we were proposing. And doing to their website and being so supportive all along this project. And thank you to the wonderful judges for selecting us as the winners.
I really feel excited and satisfied about what we have achieved through this competition. All of this was made possible because of the wonderful team I had with me, who, by the way, also are part of my team at work. Each one of them worked with 100% dedication and sincerity for this project. And they did that along with their day jobs, you know.
So thank you so much, Michelle, as the web designer. And those who were the developers. And Marad as our UX specialist and the accessibility tester. And Haron as the mentor. It was such a great teamwork. Thank you very, very much. And in the chat window, we did build this website from absolute scratch. Thank you, everyone.
Thank you, thank you. And congratulations.
All right. So I think we just need to do a big round much applause. Yeah? [Applause]
We want to go ahead and really congratulate all of the winners, everyone that participated in this year's AIR. You are a winner because you are part of the group of people that are making the web accessible. You are a part of the solution. You dedicated your time and your energy and just being present and committing to the team and to this shared vision that we have of an accessible future.
So thank you so much, and congratulations to everyone who participated this year. This is a job well done. And you did fantastic work. We are so proud of you.
We also want to give one final thank you to all of our sponsors this year for making the AIR competition possible. This work, this space, this energy could not be possible without each one of you. So Visa and Monkee-Boy, Rev, Adobe, Big History Project, Zendesk, eBay and the Cultural Arts from the City of Austin, thank you for your support. Thank you for being present and thank you for contributing to this vision and making this possible.
So thank you for being a sponsor and if you participated in this year's event and you want to get your company to sponsor a future event, don't hesitate to let us know, because we are already planning for AIR 2022. I'm going to pass it along to Jay so she can close out.
And I want to bring up maybe before Jay closes out that I would love to be able to take a picture with the group to share on social media. So we'll do that right after the announcements from Jay. And then we will close out. Sounds like a plan?
I would say let's go ahead and while I chat a little bit, and then we'll make sure that we close out our screen and so that way we can pop everybody up there, but a quick reminder that we want to stay connected with you and we want to keep this community going.
You can always follow us with our newsletter at www.bit.ly/knowbilitynews. You can follow us on social media @knowbility. And you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org, and say thank you and go ahead and close out the slides there, while we get set up for our picture. And to say thank you to everybody.
This was an experience like no other. And I said it before, before the final countdown, I have been in assistive technology mostly from the education side of things but this was an eye-opening experience to see truly how impactful making the web more accessible for people can be and really bringing that to the consciousness of people that may not necessarily think about how important that is. And how that opens up so many more possibilities to make connections and have new people come and find their materials and interact with them and engage with them.
So thank you, everyone, and like our winning group said, you know, this is work that you're doing on top of your day jobs, right. You've got jobs on top of this that you're committing your extra time because you love doing this and you are passionate and it's something that you believe in. So we want to keep moving that forward.
So we can't thank you enough for participating and thank you to our advisors and our mentors that gave the supports that we needed. Thank you to the teams, especially those I know for some of our individual teams it got rocky there because of different time zones and Gig work is kind of gig work, right, and you have to go with the flow. And thank you to our NPOs for trusting your teams and putting your projects and hopes and dreams in their hands and hopefully you got some beautiful products out of them.
And we can't wait to just go online and explore and learn all about each other and thank you, thank you, again so much. And so are we ready for a picture?
Jay, go ahead and close us out for today.
So we had a couple of questions in the chat. We will have a recording of this. We will be contacting our teams with, you know, certificates of participation and I know that some people wanted to see their score sheets and stuff like that. So we, of course, we're never going to let you go and you'll never leave our lives and we'll be in contact with you soon, I promise. So you will definitely hear from us again. Let's wrap it up because my dog keeps snoring and I'm afraid that you will hear him in my microphone soon and it's his bedtime and I'm sure that it's bedtime for some of you too. And so thank you again. Have a wonderful, wonderful day and we'll see you again next year!