Other shortlisted practices 2014

Trainings on IT accessibility for web designers

Building the capacities of web designers regarding accessible design in a fun, funky, competitive, collaborative event that changes hearts and minds for a lifetime.

“Much of my early focus in web accessibility was thanks to Knowbility… Great people. Great knowledge.”

James Craig, Apple Accessibility Engineer; W3C Editor for WAI-ARIA and IndieUIName
Name of Innovative Practice:Knowbility
Country of Origin:USA
Beneficiaries targeted:people with disabilities that impede their use of the web
Approach/model/solution:Accessibility Internet Rallies (AIR), with a competitive, fun atmosphere to encourage development of accessible design for websites


  • the project started in 1998
  • one of three programs selected for recognition by the Drucker Foundation in October 2000
  • mentioned by President Bill Clinton in a White House press release
  • mentioned on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show


A lot of different disabilities impede the use of the web or generally a computer. For example low vision, blindness, cognitive disabilities, motor skills impairments that can affect their ability to use a mouse etc.

More and more we hear and read that the internet should become accessible for everyone, but who should make it accessible?


Knowbility engages in a variety of outstanding efforts to advocate for accessible design of online tools among designers, raising their capabilities and commitment to accessibility and thereby creating greater accessibility online for thousands, maybe millions, of people. Of particular note among their many activities is their Accessibility Internet Rallies (AIR), which brings a competitive, fun atmosphere to accessible design for websites. There participants not only learn about accessible web design, but are spurred to embrace it every day in their work.


AIR events are organised on a very limited budget, using donated training facilities, involving volunteers from large corporations in Austin to conduct accessible design trainings, and donations from a variety of project partners, foundations and individuals. The events are easily scalable and could be adapted for any city. The more events that are held, the more web designers that are trained, the more web designers that become committed to accessibility, and the more online tools become accessible. Moreover AIR events change hearts and minds for a lifetime, and lead to accessible web designs in companies, nonprofits, government agencies, allowing for greater access for people using assistive technologies or need an accessible design in order to access the information they want and need.

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Promotional Picture of Knowbility (Copyright Knowbility)


Mrs. Sharron Rush
3925 W. Braker Lane, 3rd Floor
Austin, TX 78759

nominated by: Jayne Cravens