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Each year, Knowbility hosts OpenAIR (Accessibility Internet Rally). OpenAIR is an online event that provides mission-based organizations both with a new, professionally designed, accessible website that accommodates all visitors, and with expanded awareness about accessibility issues. The event is open to nonprofits, NGOs, charities, schools, and others.
If your organization participates in OpenAIR, it gets more than a new website; your organization becomes a more welcoming organization online — and maybe offline as well.
Register for webinar to learn more
People with disabilities want to donate, volunteer, and otherwise support causes they care about. Like all people, they may love the arts, animals, and the environment; enjoy beautiful parks and fun outdoor activities; and support education and helping those in need. They want serious social problems addressed, and want to be involved in these causes — as employees, as donors, as volunteers, and as clients.
But if your organization's website isn't accessible to them, you leave them out — and that means you leave out potential donors, volunteers, clients, participants, ideas, talent, and more.
If you want everyone to be welcomed to your organization online, OpenAIR is the solution!
Web accessibility means
These are some of the most common ways to make a website more accessible. More advanced techniques can make it fully accessible.
Your organization or program gets a new, professionally designed, accessible website that accommodates more visitors: donors, volunteers, clients, and others. All material developed by your volunteer team for your organization becomes your organization's property, to do with as you like.
Your organization gains expanded awareness about accessibility online, awareness that is easily translated offline, to the way you work with people face to face. This is a transformational experience for all of your staff members who participate, one that will affect all of the online and offline ways you interact with donors, volunteers, clients, and others.
You get to be part of a unique, award-winning, internationally recognized event. Your organization will be featured in Knowbility's event promotional materials; you can also use the experience to publicize your organization's work to local and national press and with current and potential donors. (And Knowbility, the organization behind the event, provides help for you to do this!)
It's a lot of fun! One of the reasons our volunteer design teams return year after year is because they love working with organizations like yours.
We want organizations that participate in OpenAIR to not only get a fantastic, accessible website, we want them to become evangelists for accessibility, and this training is part of that. We want our training and support for participating organizations to help you become an advocate in your organization and in your community regarding accessibility, online and offline.
On Thursday, August 24, at 11 a.m. Pacific time, representatives from Knowbility will present a TechSoup webinar on welcoming everyone online by creating accessible online resources for people with disabilities.
During the webinar, Knowbility will explore further how accessibility will expand your pool of potential clients, donors, volunteers, staff, and other supporters. We'll talk about the message your organization sends when it commits to an accessible website and accessible multimedia materials. We'll also discuss no-cost practical tips for how you can immediately improve your website's accessibility.
These tips will help your organization ensure that its website, podcasts, and videos are accessible to anyone who visits them, including people with disabilities and people using assistive technologies. We'll also provide even more information about OpenAIR (Accessibility Internet Rally) and how you can get involved.
Jayne Cravens is the communications and community engagement specialist at Knowbility.
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
I'll be there!!!!
Website accessibility is an important topic. Many nonprofit and corporate websites happen to score very poorly in this area. Sounds like a great webinar. Hope many nonprofits will join!
And here's a blog about why I am so, so excited to be a part of Knowbility again: coyotecommunications.com/.../knowbility
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.