Knowbility, a nonprofit leader in accessible web design practices, announced today that NYU professor Reginé Gilbert will serve as Chair of the 2022 Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) program. Knowbility’s mission is to create an inclusive digital world for people with disabilities and AIR is their signature community program.
Reginé Gilbert is an Assistant Professor at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. Her research interests include digital accessibility, inclusive design, and immersive experiences. She is the author of Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing with Accessibility in Mind.
“It's an honor to be the AIR Chair for 2022! Accessibility is a human right, inclusive design is good design, and Knowbility allows people to gain hands-on experience with accessibility where they will work with nonprofits to improve their experiences,” Reginé said. “
I look forward to seeing what people create!”
AIR is an award-winning annual competition that recruits teams of web professionals to design and deliver web sites for small nonprofit organizations that serve community needs. Web teams are trained in accessible design techniques that make websites more usable for people with disabilities. During the 8 week build period, teams and their nonprofit “clients” are coached by experienced digital accessibility mentors. The resulting websites are submitted to judges who score the sites based primarily on how well they meet global accessibility standards. Accessible websites allow for everyone, including people with disabilities, to access online content and become more socially and economically integrated into our digital world.
“I look forward to AIR season every year,” said Knowbility Executive Director Sharron Rush. “It is exhilarating to see talented creatives come together to learn more about inclusive design for the web while supporting nonprofit missions that serve the arts, human services, environmental and other needs of communities all over the world. And there is no better champion for this effort than Reginé Gilbert – she wrote the book on inclusive design. We are grateful and very excited to work with her as the 2022 Chair.”
The AIR program is currently registering teams and nonprofit organizations to participate in the 2022 competition. For a relatively small nonprofit with clearly focused goals, AIR provides a completely new or redesigned web site for only the cost of program registration. For successful completion of the 8 week build, clients are expected to meet regularly with the team and provide clear expectations of their needs.
The team structure of AIR is well suited to groups of colleagues within companies and digital agencies of all sizes. It is an excellent team building exercise as well as professional development in the cutting-edge skill of digital accessibility. AIR team participants have gone on to careers in digital accessibility at Apple, Google, Meta, and numerous other companies.
Interested nonprofits and teams of web professionals can apply to join the competition on Knowbility’s website. The registration deadline is Friday, August 19.
Knowbility is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to create a more inclusive digital world for people with disabilities. Knowbility achieves this through education, awareness, and advocacy. All programs and services are intentionally designed to teach and empower those who are committed to providing equal opportunity and access through technology. Since 1999, Knowbility has worked with thousands of businesses, schools and government agencies, and fellow nonprofit organizations in order to improve the lives of millions of people with disabilities worldwide.