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Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness – Think. Explore. Learn. Share: Digital Access Everyday

May 16, 2024
Sources: Southeast ADA Center and GAAD Foundation

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)

Annually held on the third Thursday of May, Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) aims to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.

State of Digital Accessibility

1 billion people worldwide have disabilities.

Digital accessibility refers to the ability of people with disabilities to independently consume and/or interact with digital (e.g., web, mobile) applications and content. Take a look at the WebAIM Million Project, for a current snapshot of trends and issues regarding web accessibility.

Accessibility Removes Barriers and Unlocks the Possible

Accessibility is essential for people with disabilities and useful for all. But, various barriers often prevent equal access and limit equal opportunity for people with disabilities in digital content and online interactions. 

Everyone can help and has a part in promoting and providing equitable digital access to all. Accessibility is not all “techie” or only for the designer or developer. Various resources and tools are available that “break down” best practices and can guide you in simple quick checks for digital access.

Accessibility should be included from the start and built-in throughout the process of design, development, and management to promote digital inclusion for the more than one billion people with disabilities worldwide. Ensure the purchase and provision of third-party digital products, technology, and services are also accessible.

Keep in mind that digital access is not a one-time checkbox, given the diversity of technology and users together with the continual, often critical, changing nature of digital content. It is vital to have accessibility contacts and policies in place.

Legal: ADA, Laws, and Cases – Digital Access

Be aware of your legal responsibilities for digital access under various U.S. Federal and state laws that may be applicable. Keep in mind that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that covers “effective communication,” “equal opportunity,” and “non-discrimination” for individuals with disabilities. 

Below are some links to resources on digital access related to the ADA, health care, and more federal guidance.

Resources for Digital Access – Think. Explore. Learn. Share.