Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), the annual global event to encourage people to learn about digital accessibility, will be celebrated May 18, 2017.
This is the sixth annual GAAD with worldwide events and activities to help people talk, think, and learn about digital accessibility and users with different disabilities.
No matter who you are, if you use a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other technology in your everyday life, digital accessibility affects you.
Wondering how you can get involved in GAAD? Glad you asked!
Here are five ways you can participate in Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
1. Attend a Local GAAD Event
Dozens of GAAD events are being held worldwide on May 18. Visit the in-person event list on the GAAD website where you’ll find events in Australia, Europe, North America, South America, and Africa.
One year, I hope they’ll have an event in Antarctica!
While our Refresh Detroit GAAD event is sold out, I encourage people in metro Detroit to register for the other two local events:
- Detroit User Experience will be holding their Creating Accessible Products and Inclusive Experiences with in Birmingham, Michigan.
- Troy .NET User Group is hosting Chris Demars, who will present I Can’t See: Low Vision A11Y & Users in Troy, Michigan.
2. Take the #NoMouse Challenge
If you use a desktop or laptop computer, unplug the mouse on your computer for one hour. Or more.
Try navigating websites using only your keyboard (no touchpad). Watch the screen to see if you can follow the visual focus on a web page.
You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish with only the Tab, Enter, Escape, and arrow keys. (And hopefully not surprised with what you aren’t able to do.)
3. Attend an Online Mini-Conference on Digital Inclusion
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Inclusive Learning Network is hosting their free online mini-conference on digital inclusion on May 18, from 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time.
The conference features presentations on:
- Design Thinking
- Accessible Learning Materials
- Accessible Coding with Tickle and Spher
- 3D Printing
- Accessible Maker Spaces
4. File a Bug in Your Favorite Browser
If you’re a developer and discover an accessibility issue in your favorite browser, report the bug.
Steve Faulkner, who works at The Paciello Group, published a helpful post on where to file bugs for each browser.
In addition to explaining where to file bugs, I liked that Faulkner explains details you should include in your bug report
5. Caption a Video
If you create your own YouTube videos, upload your transcript so YouTube can automatically add and synchronize captions.
Don’t have your own YouTube videos?
You can still caption someone else’s video. Create the captions and check if the YouTube author has enabled public contributions.
If they have, upload your captions. Otherwise, contact the author and ask how you can send them your captions.
I hope these suggestions get you as excited about Global Accessibility Awareness Day as I am. I’d love to know what activities you participated in, share how you celebrated the day in the comments.