Knowbility (posted August 10, 2005)

Knowbility is an accessibility phenomenon. Under the direction of executive director and founder, Sharron Rush, Knowbility designed and developed the Accessibility Internet Rally, AIR, which promotes accessibility amongst web developers and designers and encourages non-profit organizations to use the web.

In preparation for an AIR event, tech teams are recruited and thoroughly trained in web accessibility. They are then paired with non-profit organizations. Both tech teams and non-profits are local to the area where the Rally is being held.

On Rally Day, each team develops an accessible web site for their non-profit. The sites are judged for accessibility, usability and aesthetics; the winners are feted at a gala banquet.

AIR can be a one-day rally or like AIR Interactive during the South By Southwest Festivals, the rally can last several days.

Through AIR programs of various types all over the country, hundreds of designers and developers have been trained in accessibility and have applied that training to many diverse and important web sites - all in a fun-filled and competitive environment. That remarkable combination makes Knowbility's training the best there is.

Knowbility is expanding it's efforts relating to access to information technology by persons with disabilities by offering a new Expert Assessment to companies that want to know where they stand on the accessibility curve and what they can do to get it right.

I have worked with Sharron and Knowbility for several years, especially on AIR programs. It is with a great deal of pleasure and some humility that I accept the appointment by Knowbility as a Senior Research Fellow. I will oversee the Expert Assessment program and regularly contribute articles for the Knowbility web site.

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