Most people don’t think twice about how to access digital content and information - in today’s day and age it has become second nature to move in the digital sphere. However, for the more than 1 billion people worldwide living with some form of disability, it’s just not that simple.
Online access issues are unfortunately still a part of the daily lives of people with disabilities. According to WebAIM’s most recent report, 96.8% of the 1 million tested homepages had WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2 failures, with an average of 50.8 failures per page. The most common WCAG 2 failures are low contrast text, missing alternative text and empty links.
It’s clear that there’s still a lot of work to be done. That’s the foundation on which Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) was built 11 years ago, with the mission to get everyone talking and learning about digital inclusion and accessibility. No matter your ability, you should be able to access web-based services and content with a successful outcome. If you want to learn more about GAAD, check out the interview we did with the founders for 13 Letters Podcast.
There are several ways you can get involved on Global Accessibility Awareness Day to help raise awareness for digital inclusion and accessibility, no matter if you're part of a large organization or just using your personal platforms. Here’s a few suggestions:
There are plenty of events going on on GAAD, whether you’re looking for an in-person or virtual event. You can easily find an event to participate in, or submit your own event for others to join.
There are many initiatives that professionals such as designers or developers can participate in on GAAD. Why not use the occasion to test your website’s accessibility? Or make sure your videos have closed captions? You can also write a blog or social media post describing how you implement accessibility in your services. You can find a lot more inspiration to what your organization can do on Be My Eyes’ Business Solutions Blog.
The GAAD Foundation is a non-profit organization founded on the 10th anniversary of GAAD, with the mission to disrupt the culture of technology and digital product development to include accessibility as a core requirement. If you have the financial resources, you can make a donation to support their work for digital inclusion.
Make a commitment to take public and tangible actions for digital inclusion and accessibility by taking the GAADPledge. The GAADPledge is a commitment made by organizations and developers behind open source projects to make accessibility a core value of their digital products.
Even though you’re not a part of a larger organization, you can still participate in GAAD on a personal level. A small thing you can do is make sure your social media posts are accessible to everyone. We recently published a blog post on how to make your social media posts accessible, so check it out to learn how you can improve your own social media presence.
Whether you’re part of the disabled community or not, digital inclusion and accessibility is of extreme importance, and we encourage you to take part in any way you can. Please let us know how you’re participating this GAAD!