Welcome to AIR! Whether you’re considering entering as an individual or a company team, the following guide will take you through what you need to know to have a successful Rally experience. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
- What does an AIR team do?
- Who will our client be?
- A group of colleagues from the company I work for wants to join together - can we register as a team?
- I’m not part of a team yet! How do I participate?
- Do I need to have any particular skills or qualifications?
- What is the time commitment?
- How will the site be judged?
- Who will my team’s mentor be?
- Team Roles
- AIR training
- Is there a fee for entry?
- Alright, I’m ready to register! How do I do it?
What does an AIR team do?
The team's objective is to build the most beautiful, fully-accessible website for your non-profit "client" during an 8-week sprint. You will either be building the site from scratch, or augmenting an existing site with accessibility features, depending on the needs of your client.
Who will our client be?
Your client during AIR will be an artist, a nonprofit, or other service-based non-commercial organization that needs an accessible website. They will be responsible for providing the content for the website and communicating with you at scheduled times to provide feedback. They will also participate in trainings to learn how to maintain the accessibility of their site after AIR is over.
Treat your client as a paying customer and take the time to learn about your client’s mission and projects! They are counting on the website you design to help further their mission and goals.
A group of colleagues from the company I work for wants to join together - can we register as a team?
Yes indeed. We encourage companies to send teams in order to have the bonding experience as well as learning accessibility concepts and practice together. AIR has jump-started dozens of accessibility leaders within companies of all sizes and types.
What if I don't have a company team - can I still participate?
You bet! Individuals may sign on to participate and will be matched to other individuals at the discretion of the Organizer to create a Web Design Team. In 2022 two of the three winning teams were independents, or "indies" as we say.
Do I need to have any particular skills or qualifications?
I prefer to use a specific CMS for website design. Can I use that for the client's website?
We are only able to develop sites that are hand coded or created through tools like WordPress, Kirby, Gatsby, or others that have made a commitment to accessibility and allow developers to access the site's HTML. Some block based tools (like Squarespace or Wix) cannot produce fully accessible websites, and are not used for the competition.
What is the time commitment?
You should expect to spend at least 2 - 5 hours a week working on this project, so it’s important to make sure you have room in your schedule before signing up. We recommend you figure out where that time allocation could live in your schedule for the two months starting at the AIR Kickoff so you are able to communicate that schedule with your team from the beginning. These hours include training; individual work; and meeting with your team, your team’s mentor, and your team’s client.
How will the site be judged?
You can see the criteria by which your site will be judged by reviewing the Judging Form. There is developer training that reviews each of the specified judging criteria.
Who will my team’s mentor be?
Your mentor is an accessibility expert who will be there to offer advice and guidance during the developmental process. Your mentor is also there to support you in client communications and team collaboration. You and your team will complete a project plan outlining your schedule for meeting with your client and mentor at the AIR Kickoff.
One of the things that you will need to decide as a team is who will fulfill what role. You will all be working together, but defining clear roles for each member of your team will help you to stay focused and organized. These roles and associated responsibilities might include:
- Team Captain
- Point person to communicate with Knowbility, Mentor, and Client — other team members are more than welcome to communicate with any of those parties as well, however, it is the Team Captain’s responsibility to do so on a regular basis. Should the Team Captain stop communicating with those parties, the team might be in jeopardy of being disqualified from the competition.
- Distribute information to the team. As the main contact for the team, it is the Team Captain’s duty to distribute information to the other members of the team to make sure that they know what is going on.
- Project Manager
- The Project Manager works with the team and client to determine the timeline and deliverable items and ensures that the project stays on track by frequently checking in with team members.
- Fills out the Project Plan form and submits it to Knowbility.
- Ensures that the team fills out time logs. The Project Manager is responsible for collecting these sheets and submitting them to Knowbility at the end of the competition.
- Developer / Coder (s)
- Developers will work with designers and the client to understand the site requirements and review progress on a regular basis. They will work with QA to make any necessary fixes and improvements as testing is performed.
- Quality Assurance Tester
- The QA tester is responsible for ensuring that the website functions as intended. The QA tester will work with the UX designer to determine a set of tests to be performed once the site is complete to determine whether or not the site does what it is intended to do, and that it is free of bugs or other defects.
- When the development and content preparation are complete, the QA tester will coordinate one or more rounds of testing, collecting feedback to deliver to the web developer for troubleshooting. This process will be repeated as necessary until the site is ready for launch.
- UX Designer
- The UX designer will work with the development team to ensure the website has a cohesive look and feel. They will work with the NPO client to understand the design and branding preferences for the work to be done on the site.
- UX researchers/designers will also work closely with the QA tester to assess the site for usability and conduct usability testing of the site prior to launch.
You and your teammates will have access to AIR training materials, both live and recorded, via the Knowbility Learning Center. These trainings will help you master the accessibility principles and techniques that you will use to create your website.
The developer/designer training is a self-paced online course. Participants will also attend a live webinar, run by Becky Gibson.
Development teams will need at least three weeks to complete the webinar and self-paced training.
You will be given access to the AIR training and the Accessibility 101 courses, along with recorded resources from previous Knowbility trainings and webinars.
Is there a fee for entry?
Yes, each complete "Developer Team" pays a $150 entry fee. Each "Individual Developer" registrant (needing a team) pays a $25 entry fee.