Global Accessibility Awareness Day
Thursday, May 18, 2023,
Thursday, May 18, is the 12th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), focusing on digital equality for the one billion people in the world living with a disability. Creating an accessible digital environment supports the full participation of all members of the campus community in the academic, research, and work life of the University.
This year, the Center for Digital Accessibility (CDA) is celebrating GAAD throughout the month of May with a series of virtual sessions and activities on creating accessible web content, course materials, and multimedia.
• Week 1: Content Creators Week
• Week 2: Learn how you can get involved to improve digital accessibility in your department and across the University as we kick-off the new Digital Accessibility Advocates network.
• Week 3: Hear from members of the University community about their digital accessibility success stories.
• Week 4: DIY – Go mouse free!
The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments.
The GAAD Foundation
The GAAD Foundation(external link) was launched in 2021 to mark GAAD’s 10th anniversary. Its mission is to disrupt the culture of technology and digital product development to include accessibility as a core requirement.
What is Digital Accessibility?
Every user deserves a first-rate digital experience on the web. Someone with a disability must be able to experience web-based services, content and other digital products with the same successful outcome as those without disabilities. This awareness and commitment to inclusion is the goal of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a global event that shines a light on digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities.
State of Accessibility
In 2020, WebAIM(external link) analyzed one million home pages for accessibility issues and found the following:
According to WebAIM Million Report
Home Pages With At Least One WCAG 2.0 Failure
Average Number of Errors Per Home Page
Causes of Most Common Accessibility Failures (% of Home Pages)
A bar chart showing information: Low Contrast Text 86.3%; Missing Image Alt Text 66%; Empty Links 59.9%; Missing Form Input Labels 53.8%; Empty Buttons 28.7%; Missing Document Language 28%;
Population Affected By Inaccessibility
From both a civil rights and a business perspective, people with disabilities are underserved by today’s digital products.
1 Billion People Worldwide Have Disabilities
People who are blind need alternative text descriptions for meaningful images and use the keyboard and not a mouse to interact with interactive elements.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing will need captioning for video presentations and visual indicators in place of audio cues.
People with motor impairments may need alternative keyboards, eye control or some other adaptive hardware to help them type and navigate on their devices.
An uncluttered screen, consistent navigation and the use of plain language would be useful for people with different learning disabilities/impairments.
Accessibility Removes Barriers and Unlocks the Possible
Global Accessibility Awareness Day takes place every year on the third Thursday of May, and is all about getting people thinking and talking about making the web accessible for those with different disabilities.
Technology is a wondrous thing. With a quick search, we can find all the information we need on anything we want. We can order dinner, research a paper, listen to a podcast. But if you happen to be blind, deaf, or impaired in some way then it’s not uncommon to find technology can be more of a burden than a boon.
Keeping technology accessible for everyone is the key theme of this day, and in an era when technology just keeps getting more and more a part of our lives, it’s never been more important.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day