WordPress Accessibility Day, an independent 24-hour virtual conference, will return in 2023 – this time under an official non-profit status.
The first edition of the event was hosted in 2020 by the WordPress core Accessibility Team. They wanted to manage it independently of the WordPress Foundation in order to reserve the option to do things like pay speakers for their time and expertise. The most recent 2022 event ran its finances through WP Accessibility Day Board President Amber Hinds’ company, Equalize Digital, to expedite the process of getting started.
The success of last year’s event, which drew 1,604 attendees from 52 countries, thanks to 28 sponsors and a 32-person volunteer crew, inspired organizers to keep pushing to make the organization a nonprofit.
Through a fiscal sponsorship partnership with Knowbility, an Austin-based digital accessibility advocate and services provider, WP Accessibility Day has secured 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.
“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,” WP Accessibility Day Board Secretary Joe Dolson said. “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.”
This arrangement makes sponsorships and donations to the WP Accessibility Day event tax-deductible in the United States. Past sponsors include Cloudways, Gravity Forms, WP Engine, Yoast, GoDaddy Pro, Weglot, among other WordPress companies.
The next WP Accessibility Day event is scheduled for September 27-28, 2023, and will feature a single-track that runs for 24 hours. It will also include live captioning and sign language interpreters. Organizers plan to publish the sessions following the event with transcripts and updated captions.
Speaker and sponsor applications are already open, and speakers will be compensated with a $300 stipend per session. The deadline to submit an application as a speaker has been extended to June 18, 2023. Attendance is free via livestream.