Greetings everyone. My name is Jody Tucker, and I am the new Webmaster/User Experience Designer for Capital Metro. My job here is to rebuild the aging and overtaxed Capital Metro website. But Erica has asked me to offer up a blog post on an interesting side event that some of us are participating in.
This Saturday (Oct. 16) a team of volunteer Capital Metro employees will participate in the Austin AIR Rally. AIR is an acronym for Accessibility Internet Rally. It is sponsored and hosted by the good people over at Knowbility. Basically, it is a web design competition focused on web accessibility for people with disabilities. Each team of web designers and developers pairs with a local non-profit organization to build them a brand new, fully accessible site.
Our team – Team Raging Bus – will be designing and building a site for Accessible Housing Austin. They’re an organization that buys, builds, and modifies accessible housing for people with disabilities. It’s small, but growing and has a great local impact. You can actually see the accessible houses you donate toward. I really like this organization, and they really need a good web presence.
The competition is stiff. We are competing against multiple teams that have been competing for many years. Some of the teams have more members than I can shake a stick at with some top rate web design and accessibility talent. We’ll be the noobs with a four-man team running around like interns at the NYSE pit.
But you know what? None of that matters in the long run. Oh yeah, we might go in on Saturday and get waffle-stomped (to be honest, I’m kinda expecting it). But the lessons learned from this will be applied to the top-to-bottom overhaul of Capmetro.org over the next few months. Our current site accessibility isn’t all that hot, and part of competing as a team is free training. Training! For free! Plus, we’ll be volunteering our spare time to do something helpful for a local charity. If I’m lucky, I might scoop up a few people for our accessibility testing group. So even if we bomb out at the competition, we win.
So wish us luck. I’ll have Erica post our site and the results next week.