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Digital Access and Global Disability Awareness Day (GAAD) – Think. Explore. Learn. Share.

In every post and online interaction, think, learn, and share about digital access and inclusion. Every day throughout the year continue to include access from the start and spread awareness including in May to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).

The Basics of Digital Access

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 to do. 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 that are 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, nature of digital content. It is vital to have accessibility contacts and accessibility policies in place.

Be aware and comply with legal responsibilities for digital access under various U.S. Federal and state laws that may be applicable. Consider that while the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has no specific technical standards for digital access, the ADA is a civil rights law that covers “effective communication,” “equal opportunity,” and “non-discrimination” for individuals with disabilities.

  • The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has consistently taken the position that digital access is covered by the ADA. On March 18, 2022, the DOJ Guidance on Web and the ADA was released.