The WP Community Collective (WPCC), a newly formed nonprofit organization dedicated to funding individual WordPress contributors and community-led initiatives, has announced its first Accessibility Fellow. Alex Stine, a fully blind individual contributor who has been working with the WordPress Accessibility team since 2016, is the first recipient of the fellowship.
WPCC is managing its finances transparently on Open Collective. The fellowship has yet to be fully funded. Just $645.63 USD of $15,000 (4%) has been raised for the Accessibility Fellowship, although individual memberships are at $3,589.75 USD of the organization’s $20,000 goal.
“We’ve set up a few different ways folks can support the WPCC,” co-founder Sé Reed said. “We’re just launching our fundraising campaign for the Accessibility Fellowship now. So far, most of our contributors have opted to support us as members, with a recurring membership pledge.
“Monthly membership funds go to our general fund, which will primarily be used to support our fellowships and projects. As of today, we’ve raised slightly more than $4k, with $3,600 of that reserved for the Accessibility Fellowship.”
The organization is currently in the process of finalizing sponsorships from a few large companies and is building out a corporate sponsorship program and a small business sponsorship program.
“We can’t discuss anything yet as we’re still working out the details, but there is a lot happening that we hope to announce soon,” Reed said.
Once the Accessibility fellowship is funded, Stine will continue his work with WordPress’ Accessibility Team and will serve as the Team Rep, while continuing his private work as a consultant and an engineer at Waystar.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to give back to the project that provided me with my start in the technology field,” Stine said. “I could not continue to give back at my current capacity without this generous program. I will help ensure WordPress becomes more accessible, and I will fight to have the community as a whole adopt new principles that will ensure accessibility is the first thought, never the last.”