Companies across Austin are gearing up for the 11th annual Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) competition. AIR-Austin brings more than 120 Web professionals together to create or improve web sites for Austin-area non-profits that serve health, human services, environmental and arts missions in Central Texas. Since 1998, more than 250 non-profits have received professionally designed websites through their participation in the annual web raising competition.
“AIR-Austin has made a huge difference over the past 10 years, providing countless people with disabilities better access to information and better use of the Internet as a tool for improving their lives,” said Andres Carvallo, Austin Energy Chief Information Officer and Chair of AIR-Austin 2008. “We encourage companies to get involved in this initiative. It is a great way to assist the community and to learn techniques for web site accessibility that can be applied universally.”
AIR-Austin is produced by Knowbility, a national non-profit organization working to improve the availability of accessible information technology so that those with disabilities have greater options to learn, work and fully participate as producers and consumers. Austin is home to about 75,700 individuals with disabilities between the ages of five and 64. This includes some 11,000 AISD special education students.
The number of online opportunities to work, to learn, to shop and to communicate have dramatically increased in recent years. Knowbility’s AIR-Austin program helps raise awareness of the need to include everyone in these critical opportunities. Technology volunteers learn how and why to design with accessibility in mind and nonprofit organizations gain professionally designed accessible websites and free hosting. Last year, web sites for 13 such non-profits were built or improved though the Austin event.
Over the past 10 years, local and national Austin companies such as Dell, IBM, TradeMark Media, Hoovers, Convio, Elemental Blend, and many others have returned each year to volunteer their time and skills to create rich, vibrant, accessible web sites for nonprofit groups. Nearly 250 non-profit organizations have participated and benefited from AIR-Austin including Capitol Reach Out and Read, the Central Texas Library System, the Nonprofit Center, Keep Austin Beautiful, the Ann Richards School, Texas TERA and the Austin Technology Council, just to name a few.
AIR-Austin 2008 will be held October 18, 2008. Registration for Web Development Teams and Non-profits is now open online.
Join AIR-Austin 2008. Your company will learn valuable new skills, improve access to information for all, and help to make this the most successful year ever.