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Thinking About Digital Access and Inclusion on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Posted on 05/16/2019


Today is the 8th Annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD is celebrated the third Thursday in May and according to the organizers, the purpose of GAAD is ”to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.” The genesis of GAAD was a blog post in 2011 that asked designers to urgently think about accessibility in their own practice and designate a day each year where people around the world try to raise awareness about the issues those with disabilities face each day with technology.

One of the most valuable features on the GAAD website External link opens in new window or tab is a list of ways that the average person could explore technology usage the way that a person who relies on accessibility features does. On its Participate External link opens in new window or tab page, ideas (with how-to's) include:

  • Go mouseless for an hour

  • Enlarge your fonts

  • Check for sufficient color contrast

  • Check the order of elements on a webpage

  • Surf the web with a screen reader

These ideas and more help us see how features and actions that we take for granted when using technology are potentially obstacles for those with disabilities. The idea is that by being educated about accessibility issues and with a window into the experience of those with disabilities, this will help those who build, shape, fund, and influence technology and its use to include everyone and exclude no one.

Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day! If you would like more information about accessibility issues or an introductory training, please email us at support@otan.us External link opens in new window or tab or call our office at 916-228-2580.