Returning for the ninth year on Thursday, May 21, 2020, Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is the annual worldwide community event to raise awareness about digital accessibility.
People around the world will attend online events, including panel discussions, meetups, and all-day workshops around the world with the goal of talking, sharing, and learning about accessibility, inclusion, and people with different disabilities.
Digital accessibility has improved over the years, but as our current COVID-19 outbreak demonstrates with inaccessible content shared in videos and inaccessible documents published online, there’s more work to be done.
What is Global Accessibility Awareness Day?
Jennison Asuncion read Devon’s blog post and contacted him to discuss how they could make that happen.
The two worked together and the first GAAD was held in May 2012.
The idea spread through the web community over the years, as organizations, schools and universities, and individuals planned events and activities to raise awareness about digital accessibility.
In 2015, the date for GAAD was moved to the third Thursday in May.
With the move to online events this year, there are a number of different ways to get involved with GAAD 2020.
Here are three of my favorites:
1. Lunch and Learn for Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) 2020
Director of the Centre for Accessibility Initiative and invited expert for the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative APA Research Questions Task Force (RQTF), Hollier with give an overview of his life journey as a person who is legally blind.
In addition, Hollier will discuss his work at RQTF, which includes accessibility of remote meetings, XR accessibility requirements, and best practice in the use of Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA).
The event will be held May 21, 2020 at 11:00am to noon Australia British Standard Time, which converts to 9:00pm on May 20, 2020 Eastern Daylight Time (convert lunch and learn event to your time zone).
2. OhMyGAAD 7 day Challenge
Become an accessibility ambassador by joining SiteImprove’s #OhMyGAAD7 7-Day Challenge to help spread awareness about accessibility.
Each day you’ll receive daily challenges about accessibility information, resources, and tips delivered to your email address.
Their goal is to get 1,000 accessibility ambassadors for GAAD.
I’m participating, won’t you join me?
3. Deque Celebrates GAAD
As part of their three-day celebration of GAAD, Deque is offering a wide variety of free virtual events from Tuesday, May 19, 2020 through Thursday, May 21, 2020.
No matter your background, you’re bound to find one of their webinars that interests you.
I’ve registered for the Digital Accessibility Legal Update and the Basic Accessibility Fundamentals Bootcamp. I always learn something new at Deque webinars!
Here’s their schedule:
- May 19, 2020: Expand Your Test Coverage: Manual And Automated Testing United
- May 20, 2020: Enabling Full-stack Accessibility in Online Learning: Webinar with D2L
- May 20, 2020: Digital Accessibility Legal Update
- May 21, 2020: Virtual Panel: Teleworking for People with Disabilities
- May 21, 2020: Basic Accessibility Fundamentals Bootcamp
- May 21, 2020: Intro to Agile Accessibility
I invite you to join any of the Global Accessibility Awareness Day events I’ve included in this post. If you didn’t find one that interests you, check out GAAD Events for other choices.
Free webinars, like the ones I listed above, can help you learn about digital accessibility in your work, school, and at home.
Can’t make it to any of the online events?
Unplug your mouse and use your keyboard to navigate websites for the day. Publish a blog post about your findings.
Or learn how to use a screen reader and navigate the web for an hour.
Which online GAAD events will you attend?