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Georgetown, Texas, June 12, 2023 – WordPress Accessibility Day, a virtual 24-hour conference dedicated to education on accessibility best practices for WordPress websites, is excited to announce that the event has received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status through a partnership with Knowbility.
WordPress Accessibility Day was initially started in 2020 by the WordPress core Accessibility Team and ran that year but did not take place in 2021. In 2022, when it was revived by Amber Hinds and Joe Dolson, WordPress Accessibility Day became an independent event organized outside of the WordPress Foundation. In order to keep the spirit of WordPress community events, WP Accessibility Day is volunteer-led and has operated like a non-profit, though it previously lacked official status.
“In 2022, when Joe and I decided to restart the event, we took the ‘path of least resistance’ to get it going again,” said WP Accessibility Day Board President Amber Hinds. “We knew that we wanted more control over the event than we could have if it was run through the WordPress Foundation – for example, we wanted to pay speakers for their time and expertise. So at that point, my company, Equalize Digital, offered to manage the income and expenses for the event through our bank accounts so that we could get it up and running quickly. This was intended as a temporary arrangement until we could prove community interest in WordPress Accessibility Day being an ongoing event.”
WordPress Accessibility Day 2022 was a great success, with 11 organizers, 1604 attendees, and 20 volunteers from 52 countries. 28 sponsors helped to make the event possible. After all event expenses were paid, WordPress Accessibility Day was proud to donate $2,000 to Knowbility, a nonprofit focused on digital accessibility.
Following the success of the 2022 event, lead organizers Amber Hinds, Joe Dolson, and Bet Hannon took steps towards registering WP Accessibility Day as a nonprofit organization. They reached out to Knowbility about creating a formal partnership and were excited to gain 501(c)(3) nonprofit status through a fiscal sponsorship agreement with the organization.
“When I helped found this event in 2020, I already knew that our biggest challenge would be ensuring that the event wasn’t dependent on a single person to survive,” says Joe Dolson, WP Accessibility Day Board Secretary. “Setting up as a non-profit and partnering with a larger organization helps us reach our goal of creating an event with a life of its own. Knowbility’s dedication to accessibility education makes them a great match for our mission.”
Nonprofit status will make donations to the WP Accessibility Day organization tax-deductible in the United States. In addition, the agreement with Knowbility gives WordPress Accessibility Day access to Knowbility’s accessible online event planning resources. In exchange, WP Accessibility Day is committed to donating a minimum of $2,500 annually to Knowbility and will promote Knowbility’s initiatives where possible.
Sharron Rush, Executive Director of Knowbility shares the excitement in the partnership, saying “Knowbility is pleased to partner with WordPress Accessibility Day in support of those members of the community who are working to improve awareness of the importance of equal technology access for disabled people. We applaud their efforts to provide the tools that facilitate digital equity.”
About WP Accessibility Day
WP Accessibility Day is the nonprofit organization behind the annual WordPress Accessibility Day Conference, a free, online, single-track event that runs for 24 hours.
In 2023, the event will be held from 10:00 AM CDT (3:00 PM UTC) on Wednesday, September 27th, until 10:00 AM CDT (3:00 PM UTC) on Thursday, September 28th. The event will be live captioned and have sign language interpreters. After the event, videos will be posted publicly with transcripts and corrected captions.
Speaker and sponsor applications for WordPress Accessibility Day 2023 are currently open. There is a $300 per session stipend for speakers. Learn more and get involved with the event at 2023.wpaccessibility.day
Knowbility, a nonprofit organization based in Austin, Texas, was founded in 1999 as the result of a community collaboration to raise awareness and improve skills around digital accessibility. Knowbility pursues its mission through initiatives to grow digital accessibility awareness and education, active participation at the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative, and offers an annual digital accessibility training conference, and regular free online webinars.
Their award-winning Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) program trains designers and developers in digital accessibility while they compete in a competition to build free accessible websites for nonprofit and community organizations.
In addition to AIR, Knowbility offers accessibility services, including audits, usability testing, staff training, design workshops, specific Help Desk support, and more.
Learn more about Knowbility at knowbility.org.