Thursday, May 17, 2018 marks the seventh anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), the annual worldwide event to encourage people to learn about digital accessibility.
Events and activities will be held around the world to get people talking, sharing, and learning about digital disability and users with different disabilities.
Whether you use a smart speaker, tablet, smartphone, laptop, smartwatch, desktop/laptop computer, or other technology, digital accessibility is a part of your everyday life.
Want to participate in Global Accessibility Awarenesss Day, but don’t live near an inclusive design or accessibility meetup group hosting an event?
I’ve got you covered!
Here are five ways you can participate online in GAAD 2018.
1. Access All Areas 2018
The BBC is hosting a free all-day livestream event from their Salford and London offices.
Sessions are focused on workplace diversity, TV production, inspiring the next generation, and inclusive design.
The event will be held 9:30am to 4:30pm British Standard Time.
Here’s their current schedule:
- 9:30am: Welcome and opening address
- 9:45am: Keynote: Nancy Doyle, Employable Me
- 10:30am: Accessible Gaming, presented by Hecto Minto, Microsoft and Lauren West, Muscular Dystrophy UK
- 11:15am: CBeebies Swashbuckle, presented by Vanessa Amberleigh, BBC Children’s
- 11:45am: Deaf awareness in the workplace, presented by Esmail Patel (D.E.A.F)
- 12:15pm: BBC CAPE project and neurodiversity guidelines for workplace design, presented by Sean Gilroy and Leena Haque, BBC Neurodiversity
- 12:45pm to 1:45pm – Lunch break
- 1:45pm: Voice assistants and spoken interfaces, presented by Robin Christopherson, AbilityNet)
- 2:15pm: BBC Voice Skill, presented by Sarah Challis, CD BBC Voice
- 3:00pm: Seeing AI, presented by Saqib Sheikhm, Microsoft
- 3:30pm: BC Reith, an accessible font, presented by David Bailey, BBC GEL and Bruno Maag, Dalton Maag
- 4:00pm: Panel Discussion: future technology.
2. Reimagine Accessibility for Today’s World
Learn about practical ways to build a more inclusive environment, using technology such as Microsoft 365, in a short film from Microsoft.
Leaders from Microsoft partners—U.S. Business Leadership Network, Be. Accessible, TD Bank Group, and Rochester Institute of Technology—will highlight how they’ve removed barriers to create more inclusive products and services.
The free 30-minute video will be available for watching on-demand for Global Accessibility Awareness Day, but you’ll need to pre-register.
Check out their one-minute trailer of the film.
3. Using WordPress for Accessible Web Development
As part of the Great Lakes Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center Accessible Technology Webinar series, Joe Dolson (who is well-known for his WordPress accessibility work) will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of building accessible websites with WordPress.
You’ll walk away with knowledge of what you can do to create accessible WordPress sites and what you want to avoid.
The free webinar is Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 2:00pm Eastern Time. Pre-registration is required and you can earn continuing education credits.
4. Introduction to Screen Readers
If you’ve been wanting to learn how to use a screen reader to navigate the web, Deque Systems is hosting a free webinar that will help you better understand how screen reader users navigate the web.
The fundamentals-based webinar will provide a first-hand experience of screen readers. You’ll learn how to avoid common design barriers that make the web inaccessible to people using assistive technology.
In addition, you’ll learn about accessibility testing with screen readers.
The free webinar will be held May 17, 2018 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm Eastern Time. Registration is required.
5. Blackboard’s GAAD Follow-the-Sun Webinar Series
Join Blackboard for a day of nine free accessibility and inclusive design sessions.
While the sessions are focused on K-12, higher education, and professional development, I think the concepts apply to every organization seeking to build inclusive design into their work and projects.
Featuring speakers from around the world, the free webinars begin at 12:30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).
Recordings will be available for everyone who registers.
Here’s their schedule:
- 12:30pm AEST: Creating an inclusive and accessible learning experience for all, presented by Dr Paul Harpur, Senior Lecturer at The University of Queensland
- 11:00am British Standard Time: Accessibility: EU Standards and Teaching Excellence, presented by Robert McLaren, Manager, Assistive Technology Policy, PolicyConnect
- 1:00pm British Standard Time: An Ally for Inclusive Derby, presented by Claire Gardener, Senior Learning Technology Adviser, University of Derby and Laura Hollinshead, Learning Technologist (Curriculum Development), University of Derby
- 9:00am Eastern Daylight Time: Accessibility Journey at University of Cincinnati, presented by Heidi Pettyjohn, Director Strategic Priorities, University of Cincinnati and Dave Rathbun, Instructional Technologist, University of Cincinnati
- 11:00am Eastern Daylight Time: Don’t Grab Me! Proper etiquette for interacting with persons with disabilities, presented by Elizabeth Simister, Senior Technical Project Manager, Blackboard, Heidi Jungel, Senior Software Engineer, Blackboard, and D’Anthony White, Public Relations Manager, Blackboard
- 1:00pm Eastern Daylight Time: Universal Design for Learning at California State University, presented by Brett Christie, Ph.D., Director of Quality Learning and Teaching, CSU Office of the Chancellor
- 3:00pm Chile Standard Time: (In Spanish) El uso de la tecnología para expandir el acceso a la educación en Latinoamérica (Using technology to expand access to education across Latin America), presented by Cristian Jaramillo, Director de Educación a Distancia, IPLACEX, Alvaro Leiva, Director de Asuntos Estudiantiles, IPLACEX, Verónica Águila, Directora de Educación Inclusiva, Andrés Bello University, Paola Olivares, Jefa de Diseño Instruccional, Andrés Bello University, and Minerva Carrizo, Solutions Engineer, Blackboard
- 6:00pm Eastern Daylight Time: The Landscape of Accessibility: ADA Requirements, presented by Lewis E. Kraus, Deputy Director of the Center on Disability at PHI and the DBTAC: Pacific ADA Center
- 5:00pm Eastern Daylight Time: Accessibility Matters, presented by Davidson Institute
Global Accessibility Awareness Day is one of my favorite accessibility events for the year (I’ve organized and hosted six Detroit-area GAAD events in the past). They’re intended to be public events, open to anyone who wants to learn about digital accessibility.
And free online events remove the time and cost barriers for many people.
Which online GAAD activities do you plan to participate in?