Category Archives: AIR

It’s Clobberin’ Time: The OpenAIR Heroes Game Newsletter

Oh, the places we’ve been

The OpenAIR 2014 Heroes game on the road

Greetings, AIR participants and Knowbility supporters! We’ve had a busy time already this year, traveling and creating and learning, and we have a lot to share with you. For those of you who signed up to receive the monthly newsletter, thank you! Your support and participation are what will make this game truly epic. If we’ve left your name on the mailing list but you’re not interested in the occasional updates we send, email us and we’ll remove your name pronto. We respect secret identities here more than most people do…

Want more?

What you’ve just read is the lead-in to the current OpenAIR Heroes newsletter. To read more and subscribe to the somewhat monthly update from Elle Waters and Denis Boudreau here’s the online version of the newsletter. We know you’re an accessibility hero, join us!

Vote in People’s Choice for OpenAIR accessible web design contest

Each year, volunteer web pros contribute their time and talents to build accessible web sites for nonprofit organizations of all kinds and from all over the world.  We judge them and will give an award for accessibility at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Media Festival.  But in the meantime you can tell us which one YOU think is the best.  Please take a look and vote for your favorite

  Vote online now  at Survey Monkey


Last chance to sign on to OpenAIR – need three teams!

Learn digital accessibility skills AND help nonprofit group

We’re in the home stretch of recruiting for this year’s Open Accessibility Internet Rally (OpenAIR) and seeking just three more teams to make the wishes of all of our nonprofits come true. Sign your team up now!

I know you are busy – it seems everyone is CRAZY busy these days – but please, take a minute, take a breath and consider this:  Seventeen nonprofit organizations have done their homework, taken their accessibility lessons, done the orientation for being a good client, and polished up their digital assets.  Each of them is hoping to meet a team of web pros to help them realize their dream of building an accessible web site. On Wednesday night we will announce the match-ups – which web team and which nonprofit will partner in the Rally sprint.  But we only have 14 teams.

So please, if you want to take part in a fun friendly competition that, by the way will provide you with a few benefits as well.  Competing teams design accessible web sites for NPOs but get this in return:

  • Access to an online series of accessibility skills training modules by Sharron Rush, Derek Featherstone and other world renowned experts.
  • Access to the automated Worldspace accessibility testing tool
  • Access to IBM Connections online community for planning and development coordination
  • Detailed feedback and assessment of your work by Jim Thatcher, Mike Moore, Denis Boudreaux and other expert judges
  • The chance to play the Accessibility Hero game while meeting development milestones.

But don’t wait, we kick off the competition and announce the team/NPO matches on Wednesday Oct 23rd at 6 pm.  Round up your team, help an NPO and learn about web accessibility in a practical, hands-on program that is win-win-win for communities.  Thanks!





Free webinar: How does an NPO prepare for OpenAIR?

Event:  Nonprofit (NPO) Kickoff – Join the webinar as a Guest

Date / Time: Wednesday, 9/18/2013, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (CST)

Training Type:  Webinar

Audio:  Voice Over IP – You will need headphones with a microphone to talk.

Questions:  Email openair2014 at yahoo dot com

Knowbility’s Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) program evolved last year. What started in 1998 as a local or regional one day hackathon is now a several week volunteer program through which teams of web developers create fully functional sites for nonprofit organizations. Renamed OpenAIR since the competition is now open to NPOs, NGOs and arts and performance organizations from all over the world, it is an amazing opportunity for charitable and public service projects to get the professional support that they may not otherwise be able to afford.

I always hesitate to use the word “free” when urging NPOs to sign up for the program, however.  There is a minimal cost (a $100 registration fee so we know you mean it)  and more importantly, there is a commitment of time and attention.  Developer teams are willing to commit their time and talent to your project and your nonprofit will need to make a similar time commitment.  So if you are not sure about making the commitment, this webinar is 100% free and will help you decide of OpenAIR is right for your dot org.

Join us online to learn more about what the commitment will be and how to help your team win the OpenAIR competition and make web sites that are beautiful, that serve a nonprofit mission and that are fully accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.

Here’s the detail. Join us to get the full scoop.

Event:  Nonprofit (NPO) Kickoff – Join the webinar as a Guest

Date / Time: Wednesday, 9/18/2013, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (CST)

Training Type:  Webinar

Audio:  Voice Over IP – You will need headphones with a microphone to talk.

Questions:  Email openair2014 at yahoo dot com


Testimoniall from Rabbi Raine


If you are a non-profit and you are thinking of joining the Rally and having a team of professional web-designers build your organization an accessible web site let me help you think this through.

Yes, there is a fee to enter, but I’ve done the research and the cost of hiring an outside web designer to build your site would be much more expensive.  And yes, after the first year you will have to pick up the cost of web hosting; but that would be true no matter who designs your site.  In most cases your first year’s web hosting would also be your responsibility.  And, it would almost be cost prohibitive for most non-profits to afford a web designer to design an accessible site.

Why have an accessible site for your non-profit?  First, it is the right thing, the inclusive thing to do.  Our handicapable population is just that-a segment of the greater total population.  Would you consciously disregard an entire segment of the possible client base?  And in the greater scheme of non-profit outreach, this segment of the general population is often underserved.

Having an accessible website gives you greater exposure to get your message out there.

You can:

                put your mission out there.

                put your calendar of events out there.

                advertise your events and increase attendance and visibility.

                get your information to the populations who need it most.

                keep a blog.

                have a donate button right on your website.

                provide interactive possibilities with the general population.

                reach out to potential volunteers.

                have a tangible place for possible funders and donators to                             look and learn

                have opportunities for building your knowledge and skills of                           website upkeep.

Working with the dedicated folks at AIR Austin and the professional teams of web designers who volunteer their services, will definitely change your view of accessibility.  It might even change the life of your non-profit.  While the teams and the organization give your non-profit the beginning of new directions with training and the actual website, the utilization and future outreach capacities of the website are always in your hands.

You can sign up here


Rabbi-Rev. Dr. Raine Teller

Chief Rabbi/CEO Hashem’s House International