Hello to everyone on the WebEd Community Group,
I am Sharron Rush and I work for a US nonprofit group based in Austin Texas called Knowbility. We began in 1998 as a community collaboration that created an accessible web design contest called the Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR). As the AIR program grew, a group of us created the nonprofit structure as a home. In the years since, Knowbility has produced AIR in eight cities and annually at the SXSW Interactive Media Festival. AIR provides accessibility training to teams of web developers. The teams then create accessible web sites for nonprofit organizations. Sites are judged, prizes awarded, and our hope is that developers take their new, accessible design skills into their practice going forward. Knowbility has also grown to meet other community needs around disability and technology.
I have long been of the opinion that accessible technology will only be a reality when accessible design techniques are integrated into general web education. At last year’s TPAC meeting, Chris came and shared the work you all are doing with the WAI Education and Outreach Working Group – where I volunteer. I knew that I would not be of much use to this group until after SXSW which just wrapped up. So now I would very much like to help in whatever way might be useful. In particular, I am interested in helping to include accessibility techniques where it makes sense to do so – creating forms for example.
As a newcomer, I am ready to support this work in whatever ways make the most sense to you all. Thanks for all you do.
Sharron Rush / knowbility.org