Knowbility Signs on Deque as a Major Partner for Its Worldwide Accessibility Internet Rally

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Deque is donating its WorldSpace tool for use by the judges in evaluating websites, enabling Knowbility to expand its 15th annual Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) to a worldwide event.

Open Air logo

Knowbility, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the availability of accessible information technology, has signed a partnership deal with Deque to aid in the worldwide expansion of the nonprofit’s AIR challenge event.

The AIR challenge takes teams of developers to design accessible websites over a one-month period. The teams receive basic and advanced accessibility training from Knowbility and then use that knowledge to build a professionally-designed, accessible website for a nonprofit.

Deque will donate its WorldSpace tool for use in the event, which will help judges to work more efficiently in evaluating websites. This tool will be vital in expanding the event from a local one, as in past years, to an international event this year.

“My hope is that with Deque’s partnership, and the growth it’s allowed us to achieve, Knowbility’s Open AIR will have a higher profile than ever before and enable us to train over 120 developers in accessibility principles,” said Ella Jane Moore, Knowbility’s Community Programs Manager.

Knowbility anticipates having more than 40 teams participate in the event this year.

In addition to Deque, which currently serves as the event’s only major sponsor, AIR is sponsored by St. Edward’s University, The Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities and Environments for Humans.

Nonprofits can visit the Knowbility website to sign up to benefit from the challenge for a fee of $100.

"Hack-a-thons have become commonplace in today’s web community,” Knowbility Executive Director Sharron Rush said. “This one is different — and it’s a win-win endeavor for developers and non-profit organizations.”

The registration fee for development teams of four is $100 and can register at until Oct. 1. The competition will include four regional divisions: Eastern U.S., Western U.S., Central U.S. and International. Regional awards will be announced on January 15, 2013. Winning teams receive trophies and prizes and advance to a second round of judging. Winners of the final round will be announced at the Open AIR Awards at the SXSW Interactive Festival in March of 2013.

About Knowbility

Knowbility is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the independence of children and adults with disabilities by promoting the use and improving the availability of accessible information technology. Knowbility strives to help its customers make the Internet and other technologies accessible to people who are blind, visually impaired, hearing impaired, have mobility impairments and cognitive or learning disabilities. The organization’s goal is to create a barrier-free world of information technology with universal access for all.

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Julianne Coyne