May 19- Global Accessibility Awareness Day

The purpose of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments.

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. 

Population Affected by Inaccessibility 

One million people worldwide have disabilities. From both civil rights and a business perspective, people with disabilities are underserved by today’s digital products.

Common Disabilities/​Impairments

Visual: People who are blind need alternative text descriptions for meaningful images and use the keyboard and not a mouse to interact with interactive elements.

Hearing: People who are deaf or hard of hearing will need captioning for video presentations and visual indicators in place of audio cues.

Motor: People with motor impairments may need alternative keyboards, eye control, or some other adaptive hardware to help them type and navigate on their devices.

Cognitive: 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. some examples of how inclusive design and development can impact lives are available here.

Digital Accessibility Checklist

When creating accessible content there are many different factors to consider. Websites, documents, audio, and video are just a few areas to address. Below is a helpful checklist to walk through when developing, shaping, and editing content.  

Accessibility Checklist

The top 10 Accessibility Checklist, suggested by New York University (NYU) IT experts, is as follows: 

  1. Page Title and Description: Is your page title and description unique and clear?
  2. Page Layout: Is your page content presented in a logical flow?
  3. Headings and Heading Order: Are there section headings that separate content into segments, and do they descend in a logical way, e.g., Heading 1, Heading 2?
  4. Visibility: Does the text on the page stand out against the background?
  5. Readability: Is text concise on the page and easy to read?
  6. Language: Is your site’s language defined, e.g., English, or French?
  7. Links: Do the links describe the destination clearly and are they easy to find?
  8. Image Descriptions: Do all images convey meaning and have descriptive text (alt tags)?
  9. Media Captions: Do media have captions for audio and descriptions for information provided visually? 
  10. Keyboard: Can all page elements be accessed without a mouse?