Okay, so you’re considering making the commitment to a fully-accessible website for your organization by participating in AIR. Hooray! Now what? In the following guide, we’ll take you through who might benefit from this competition, how to register, what to expect once the competition begins and all of the other frequently asked questions we’ve gotten from participants over the years.
- Who can participate?
- I already have a website! Do I need to replace it entirely? ?"
- My organization does not yet have a website. How should we prepare?
- My current site was built through Squarespace. Will that work?
- Who is going to be building and designing my site?
- Is there a fee for entry?
- I’m very busy! What should I expect my time commitment to be?
- How will I maintain my site once it’s up?
- Alright, I’m ready to register! How do I do it?
- What happens after I register?
AIR is open to nonprofit organizations, student groups, community and religious groups, and individual visual and performing artists.
That’s up to you! Your team can either build a site from scratch or do an accessible redesign of your existing site. Your team is there to develop the site that best suits you and your organization’s needs.
Your team has technical expertise but YOU are the expert in your work and mission. You are responsible for preparing all content (including page names, written content, images, and videos) for your team to apply design principles and coding techniques. You should be prepared to provide:
- Page names
- Written content
- Images (with text descriptions)
- Any additonal content you would like to include
Be mindful that the more content you have prepared by the Kickoff event the better prepared your team will be to get started right away.
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, so strongly advice against using those tools for the AIR competition.
If you have a question about the tool that you use or plan to use for your site, please ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will be paired with a team of four to six professional developers looking to learn or improve their accessible programming skills. Our teams are made up of developers from all over the world and are organized so that each team has a member that specializes in Quality Assurance, in Project Management, in UX Design, in Front-end Development, in Back-end Development, and in Web Design. Each team will be paired with a mentor, an expert in the field, who will guide them through their accessibility checkpoints and monitor their work to ensure it is being done correctly.
Yes, each organization pays a $150 entry fee. You may apply for a scholarship if your annual budget is less than $500,000 and/or you can demonstrate economic hardship.
Very manageable (and fun)! The competition runs from September through November. You can see a full timeline on our AIR 2023 Calendar of Events page. The presence of at least one member of your organization is required at our Kickoff event in September and the Awards Ceremony in January. Your organization representative will also meet with the web development team to review the process and provide feedback. Expect to meet weekily or bi-weekly at minimum. The best outcomes are the result of active, regular engagement of the client with the production team.
Your organizational representative will also receive training on how to maintain your website through our Learning Center. Though these will be presented live, they will be recorded and made available for your later use.
When you participate in the AIR program, you will have access to learning the techniques and skills that you will need to keep your website accessible as you make changes and updates in the future.
We offer a collection of online resources that you can use on maintaining an accessible website Through our Learning Center, you will also have access to Accessibility 101 and other technical accessibility tutorials.
NPO applications to participate are accepted in order of recieiving the completed application. When Knowbility notifies you that you are have been accepted, the next step is to attend the NPO training session in person via Zoom or watch the recording. Follow the guidelines to be sure that you have as much prep as possible before the AIR Kickoff.
Knowbility will provide a recorded, Zoom based training for the NPO clients.
You'll meet your team at the hybrid Kickoff event. Once you are connected, you'll work together to decide how to stay in touch during the Rally - we have Basecamp space alloted as an option for all working teams - and how frequently you would like to meet while they build your website.