The Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) is an annual accessible web design contest. It was created to teach accessible digital design skills in the context of a fun, friendly web raising competition that benefits small nonprofits and independent artists. The rules ensure that we all have a common understanding and shared goals as we learn about inclusive design while building accessible websites for our communities.
Welcome to AIR! The rules of the road are summarized below to help you make the most of the AIR experience. We expect teams to take full advantage of the trainers, mentors, and resources provided in order to create highly accessible and usable web sites for artists and nonprofit groups that serve the community.
Basic rules for the competition are summarized below. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
- 1.1 The Accessibility Internet Rally (the “Rally”) involves teams of web professionals (“Entrants”) and community organizations such as artists, charities and nonprofits (“Clients”) creating a website (“an Entry”) for each Client that is accessible to people with disabilities.
- 1.2 The Rally is organized by Knowbility (“Organizer”) and financially supported by grants, community sponsors, and contributions from local agencies, businesses, schools, and individuals. In addition, participating Entrants and Clients pay nominal registration fees.
- 1.3 Rally activities are posted; all registered teams (“Entrants”) and community organizations (“Clients”) must be represented at the Rally activities, including the Kick Off and Awards, as noted on the registration forms.
- 1.4 Any notices to Entrants, including changes to these Rules, announcements of winners, notices of disqualification, or otherwise, may be posted on the Rally Website and/or sent by email to Entrants.
- 2.1 The Accessibility Internet Rally is open to Clients and Entrants (“Participants”) in three categories:
- 2.1.1 Community Organization: to qualify in this category, entities must be either a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization or an entity that exists for community benefit such as a church group, an arts organization, performance organization, as well as individual artists and performers, to be decided at the discretion of the Organizer. Community organizations can participate as a Client assigned to a team (“Entrant”). Community organizations with their own team of web professionals may register as both Client and Entrant.
- 2.1.2 Team of web professionals: to participate in this category, a group of up to six professionals sign on as a team. Each team shall be considered a single Entrant. No person may enter more than once, either individually or as part of any team. If an Entrant uses the name of a corporation, partnership or other legal entity, the Entrant certifies it has the permission of the entity to do so.
- 2.1.3 Individual web professional: Individuals may sign on to participate and will be matched to other individuals at the discretion of the Organizer to create a team (“Entrant”).
- 2.2 All Clients and Entrants (“Participants”) must be officially registered to participate in the competition. Participants register by completing the appropriate entry form. Upon the Organizer’s acceptance of this form, Participants will be sent an email confirmation. The Organizer may rely on its records and, if it chooses, Participant’s possession of an email confirmation, as full and complete evidence that Participant is successfully registered.
- 2.3 Organizer reserves the right to limit Participants to any number it chooses, using any mechanism it selects, subject to these rules and applicable state and federal laws, including non-discrimination laws.
- 2.4 By participating in the Rally, Participants fully and unconditionally agree to and accept these Rules.
- 2.5 The organizer can, at any time and without notification of reason, exclude or disqualify any Participant whom it believes has not complied with these Rules. The organizer can, at any time, exclude or disqualify any Client or Entrant (“Participant”) whose participation it reasonably believes would violate state or federal law.
The Design: Conditions
- 3.1 Entries must be the Client’s and/or Entrant’s own original work or appropriately acknowledged open source materials.
- 3.2 Entrants are required to submit their Entries in accordance with a mechanism determined by the Organizer. This mechanism shall include instructions for preparing files for upload, file specifications including file type and file size and location for uploading.
- 3.3 Entrants will be given access to a collection of online resources (training) to help them build accessible web sites. Entrants will be expected to read and familiarize themselves with these resources prior to the Rally.
- 3.4 Clients and Entrants must be represented at the following Rally events: AIR Kick Off and AIR Awards.
- 3.5 Entrant’s are expected to complete at least 6 pages. If teams wish to complete additional pages, it may not affect base score but may be considered for extra points in the category of Exemplary Effort. This is solely at the judge's discretion.
- 3.6 The following elements must be included in each Entry Submission:
- Home Page - Navigation should include search functionality
- Contact Page - Include web form
- Body Copy
- Headings (H1, H2, H3, etc)
- Standard body content
- Bulleted list
- 3.7 The following elements are not required to be included, but teams are highly encouraged to incorporate them in the Entry Submission:
- Images - With alt tags and/or captions
- Videos - With captions and transcript
- Data Tables
Jury and Judging Entries
- 4.1 Entries will be judged by two experts in accessible design, coding and development (“Judges”) from a Judging Committee, to be determined and invited by the Organizer.
- 4.2 The Judges will judge each Entry based on the following criteria: (1) accessibility; (2) creativity; (3) usability; (4) aesthetics and (5) extensibility of concept to a larger website. In addition, Judges will accept the judgment of the Client to score the category of appropriateness for the intended audience. The Client will determine to what extent the Entry meets the needs of its community constituency by submitting a report that will be provided to the Judges.
- 4.3 In order to encourage more interactive, sophisticated, community-driven sites and fuller user experience, the use of third-party modules or pre-existing components is allowed under these conditions:
- 4.3.1 Third-party modules or pre-existing components may include discussion forums, shopping carts, video (including captions and audio descriptions), audio files and transcripts, and PDF documents.
- 4.3.2 Entrants may enhance the accessibility of third-party components or pre-existing modules prior to the AIR Kick-Off.
- 4.3.3 The third-party component or pre-existing module may not be the interface/template for the entire website.
- 4.3.4 The third-party component or pre-existing module will be judged as part of the site. No bonus points will be awarded for the use of such components. However, this does not preclude the Judges from awarding bonus points for effective and innovative modifications for accessibility, when teams report such efforts in their submission form.
- 4.3.5 The decisions of the Judges are final and binding.
Commitment of Entrants Team
As an Entrant to the Accessibility Internet Rally, I make the following commitment on behalf of my team:
- To abide by the Rally Rules and Code of Conduct.
- To review the judging form and the goal of creating an accessible website for the Rally.
- To adjust our schedules to provide sufficient time during the competition (from the kickoff to the submission of the websites for judging) to accomplish the goal. (We recommend about 5 hours/week per person on average.)
- Understand that AIR participation is a real commitment and that Knowbility and the AIR client are counting on my team to participate for the entire Rally in order to design an attractive, accessible, usable website by the submission date.
- To promptly answer messages from other team members, the client and Knowbility.
- My team will make every effort to submit the AIR client's website on the due date and understand that our team will receive a penalty for a late submission.
- We will transfer the website and maintenance knowledge of the AIR website we build to the AIR client.
- To provide at least one primary phone number for the team, and one email address for each person on my team (minimum of 4, no more than 6 per team).
- To designate a design team lead responsible for coordinating with Rally staff and mentors. Team lead will also serve as liaison, providing team members with program updates and opportunities for learning and networking.
- To complete the AIR Team Questionnaire used to match the Entrant Team to an appropriate nonprofit Client.
- To meet with my AIR client as often as needed to meet our goal and at least once every other week during the rally, in person, by phone, or by video conference.
- To check in with my mentor at least once a week with questions or updates.
- At least one member of our team will attend the Kickoff event, either virtually or in-person.
- At least one member of our team will attend the AIR awards, either virtually or in-person.