Category Archives: Accessibility

Shout Out To All OpenAIR Mentors!

The first Accessible Internet Rally in 1998 was a simple competition; volunteers came together and created accessible websites for non-profits, in a single day.

Today, OpenAIR is not just about creating accessible websites. It is about imparting advanced accessibility skills and knowledge to web designers. It is about propagating Knowbility’s mission to organizations that are making a difference in the world. It is about finding the right people, creating a challenging atmosphere for them to learn and enhance their abilities and ultimately, making the web an accessible place. And in taking OpenAIR from being a one-day competition to a year round learning experience, many people have worked tirelessly behind the scenes over the years.

This year, OpenAIR had some of the best minds in accessibility mentor the teams – giving them guidance and training in web accessibility. Everyone at Knowbility is grateful to all mentors, who worked in the shadows during the whole competition and for the encouragement that they gave to their teams during the competition which motivated them to incorporate design and testing techniques that might have seemed unfamiliar. Some of those activities directly contributed to team awareness on the vast spectrum of user needs, and revealed to them how much of a difference their efforts made in creating more accessible digital content.

The mentors for this year were:

Jared W. Smith (@jared_w_smith) for Web-Able
Leonie Watson (@leoniewatson) for AcsaGen
Henny Swan (@iheni) for Wild West
Joseph Karr O’Connor (@accessiblejoe) for AxIs
Dale Cruse (@dalecruse) for WFM Team One
Lisa Herrod (@lisaherrod) for Down Under
Shawn Lauriat (@slauriat) for We Are 99%
Wendy Chisholm (@wendyabc) for WFM Airlines
George Luc (@georgeluc) for Accessibility Warriors
Rob Carr (@rgcarrjr) for The Beginners
Dylan Barrell (@dylanbarrell) for Barrier Breakers
Paul J. Adam (@pauljadam) for Sahyog
George Luc (@georgeluc) for First Timers

Thank you mentors, for taking out the time to help us help improve web accessibility! OpenAIR wouldn’t be what it is today without your efforts!

Thank you, OpenAIR Judges!

In its 17th year now, Open Accessibility Internet Rally (OpenAIR) has seen tremendous participation from teams all over the world. Every year, the teams are better and the competition, tougher. The teams are also mentored by the best in the field of accessibility, making it even more difficult to pick the best.

OpenAIR is recognized as a great channel to impart accessibility skills to talented web-designers. It is also a wonderful medium for non-profits to connect with developers who can create beautiful websites for them. But what makes OpenAIR unique is the competitive spirit that pushes each team to put in their best effort to deliver the most accessible websites. And in keeping that competition alive, we are extremely grateful to our panel of judges who invested so much of their time for OpenAIR.

It is inspiring to have close to 20 judges come together and collaborate the way they did. Without them, we couldn’t have done any of this. The panel of judges for this year’s OpenAIR included:

• Mike Moore
• Brenda Adrian
• Jennison Mark Asunción
• Aaron Bangor
• Annette Berksan
• Cornelius Chopin
• Luis Garcia
• Michael Gower
• Susan Hewitt
• Matt King
• Dan Kinnunen
• William Lawrence
• Lewis Phillips
• Aimee Roundtree
• Glenda Sims
• Richard Steinberg
• Cliff Tyllick
• Pooja Nahata
• Susann Keohane

Thank you so much for taking out the time to help us help improve web accessibility!

Rewards for the Kickstarter campaign

Pledge $1

Tweet and Email We will publicly and privately thank you.

Pledge $5 or more

HIGH FIVE All of the benefits of the $1 pledge. But since you are like 5 times more enthusiastic about our project, we will also throw in a vine video of the team members high-fiving while yelling your name. You also get all of the project backer-only updates as we roll towards launch and beyond.

Pledge $10 or more

Project Donor List HIGH FIVE plus we will list in the donor list of the AccessU 2015 booklet.

Pledge $10 or more

Button, Sticker, and HIGH FIVE: We will help you decorate your clothes, your laptop (or tablet), plus jump around and thank you on vine!

Pledge $25 or more

Limited reward (10)

Door Buster!! Button, Sticker, and HIGH FIVE: We will help you decorate your clothes, your laptop (or tablet), plus jump around and thank you on vine!

Pledge $25 or more

Poster “11×”17 stylish poster nice enough for your office or home showing the chain of accessibility.

Pledge $50 or more

Limited reward (10)

Door Buster!: T-shirt, poster, button, sticker, HIGH FIVE: Poster: “11×”17 stylish poster nice enough for your office or home showing the chain of accessibility.

Pledge $50 or more

T-shirt!! Pledge $50 and get one of the custom made for this project Tee!

Pledge $50 or more

Limited reward (10)

Door Buster!: Beta test the course: Get in on the ground floor for and help us shape and build the content. Includes one seat in our pilot tests for each of the first two modules we produce. (Available after alpha testing.)

Pledge $50 or more

“Wake Up” Mask – All of the above perks below $50 and a “Wake Up to Accessibility” sleep mask (also good for screen reader demos)

 

Pledge $100 or more

Limited reward (50)

Beta test the course with us! Get in on the ground floor for and help us shape and build the content. Includes one seat in our pilot tests for each of the first two modules we produce. (Available after alpha testing.)

Pledge $100 or more

Producer Credit All of the above perks below $100 and you receive a producer credit on the acknowledgement slide of the 2 pilot courses.

Pledge $125 or more

Limited reward (5)

Door Buster!: 3 seats to beta test the course Get in on the ground floor for and help us shape and build the content. Includes three seat in our pilot tests for each of the first two modules we produce. (Available after alpha testing.)

Pledge $125 or more

Limited reward (4)

Door Buster: $125 Accessible WordPress site: Fully supported set up of new site front end including coding of up to 10 web pages, fully styled (agreed in advance.)

Pledge $150 or more

Dinner Time All of the above below $100 and Sharron Rush or Brian Sullivan or Desiree Sturdivant will join you for dinner when they are in your town!

Pledge $250 or more

Limited reward (10)

Accessible WordPress Site: Fully supported set up of new site front end including coding of up to 10 web pages, fully styled (agreed in advance.)

Pledge $500 or more

Online Consultation: All of the above perks below $250 and you will receive online consultation by Knowbility for two hours. (Subject to scheduling.)

Pledge $500 or more

Limited reward (5)

AccessU 2015 Registration: Premiere conference on Digital Accessibility held every year in Austin, TX in May. (Does not include post conference workshop.)

 

 

Pledge $1,000 or more

Limited reward (5)

C’mon down to Austin! Most of the above perks*. Plus, One registration at the full three -day AccessU 2015 (including all-day post conference of your choice) *Does not include above two-day conference registration, consultation or WordPress site.

Pledge $2,500 or more

Limited reward (5)

Onsite Workshop: All of the above perks*. Plus: an onsite accessibility workshop. You pack the room, we’ll pack our bags. You cover travel and incidentals. We will be there for you! (Subject to scheduling.) *Limited to one conference registration.

Pledge $5,000 or more

Limited reward (3)

Advisory Council: All of the above perks below $1,000. Plus: you get a seat on our course development advisory board, which will make your mark on accessibility history. It is your time to make a difference.

Pledge $10,000 or more

Limited reward (1)

One year course access: All of the above perks, PLUS, as a founding major funder, your company will have access to the online courses during beta pilot and for one year for up to 25 people once produced.

 

Jump in! We’re recruiting dev teams, nonprofits, advisors and sponsors for OpenAIR

Contact Jessica Looney Knowbility’s Community Programs manager at (512) 305-0311 or email her jlooney@knowbility.org to register as a developer, non-profit or sponsor for OpenAIR 2014! The Accessibility Internet Rally is a international, community hackathon with a unique twist – accessibility! Open-AIR increases awareness of the tools and techniques that make the Internet accessible to everyone – including people with disabilities.
  • OpenAIR benefits nonprofits and schools in your community by providing them with free, professionally designed, accessible websites.
  • OpenAIR is designed for Web professionals, people who currently create on-line applications and who are proficient in HTML and other techniques for creating web pages.
  • Through OpenAIR, developers will learn accessible design techniques, have the chance to show off their skills, win prizes, and help local nonprofits do the work that benefits our communities.
  • Site will be judged and prizes awarded for excellence in accessible design.
Register as a developer, non-profit or sponsor and see what an impact your time, skills and sponsorship can have. OpenAIR registration page on Knowbility main site  

Summer Fun Time with Accessible Testing By Harley Fetterman

This summer, I had the opportunity to intern with Knowbility. I’ve learned so much about web-accessibility, from what standards developers are supposed to implement, to when and how to choose which web-browser and screen-reader is most useful in a particular situation.

At the very beginning of this internship, I learned about blogging. I’d never really thought about how there was more than just text that makes a blog happen. But I quickly learned that by using HTML code, a blog is shaped into interactive text, links, buttons, and headings. That was pretty cool.

When they put me to work testing websites, I discovered how differently websites can show up on different web-browsers, devices, and screen-readers. For example, between the iPhone and a Windows computer, screen size made a big difference. In fact, in one test, a task couldn’t be completed on the iPhone because the screen was too small. Putting a resize piece of code into the website most likely would have fixed the problem. But, it was still interesting seeing how screen size affected performance.

It was also very interesting to discover the differences in accessibility between web-browsers. Some things that weren’t accessible in one browser could be easily accessed in another. At first, I did everything on Internet Explore because that’s what I was used to. But as I started comparing browsers, I found that Firefox handled ARIA a lot better, as did Safari on the iPhone. And drop-down boxes in IE are impossible to use. But Safari and Firefox dealt with them easily. On drag-and-drops, or moving an item into a category, the iPhone’s screen could not fit all the categories on it at once, making it impossible to finish. On IE, the Drag-and-Drop worked, but once in the category, it was difficult to tell what it was in. With Firefox though, the process worked and I was able to go back and check that my answers were in the correct spot. There were several different tasks that lead me to believe that Firefox was overall more user friendly than the other two web browsers at least for these tasks.

I spent a lot of time with different screen readers, too, checking out how NVDA versus JAWS, versus VoiceOver interact with web browsers and content. One of the things I discovered is that NVDA is able to operate combo boxes with Firefox, whereas JAWS on Firefox doesn’t recognize there being anything there at all. And on IE, JAWS sees the combo boxes but can’t operate them. VoiceOver generally operates websites pretty well, except for screen sizing issues on the iPhone as I mentioned before.

At the beginning of the summer, WCAG was just another four letter acronym. Now I can say I’ve learned what it means on a broad level and I have a way to evaluate and present information in an organized fashion about web accessibility. With this newfound knowledge, I can better explain why certain web sites are accessible and why others are not. In short, hopefully this knowledge will help to make a difference at school for me and other students as well.

I would like to thank Knowbility for their generosity in selecting me for this internship. There’s a lot about accessibility I could have sought out and tried to figure out, but with Jeanine’s and Sharron’s technical knowledge, I was able to learn and work, use my new knowledge. Plus, lunchtime is always enjoyable with a wide range of conversations had between the team. Now, who knows what I can learn on my own.