With a focus on accessibility, Global Accessibility Awareness Day is celebrated every third Thursday in May. This year, it takes place on May 18. People are encouraged to discuss, debate, and educate themselves on digital access issues on Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The purpose of the day, a key event that spotlights digital accessibility and inclusion for persons with disabilities, is to raise awareness and inspire action. Increasing the usability and accessibility of digital products like websites, mobile applications, and other online tools is important as everyone needs to have access to the same information, no matter what their disabilities may be.
History of Global Accessibility Awareness Day
Established in 2012, Global Accessibility Awareness Day aims to have conversations and educate people about accessibility. It all started with a single blog post authored by Joe Devon, a web developer located in Los Angeles, who came up with the concept. A post on this blog served as inspiration for Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
As a result of their collaboration, Devon and Jennison Asuncion founded Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Asuncion, an accessibility expert from Toronto, discovered Devon’s blog article entirely by chance, owing to a tweet from him that he came across while surfing the internet. After reading it, he immediately contacted Devon via Twitter and the two of them teamed up to bring the event to fruition by utilizing their large and separate networks.
Per the website for Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the goal is to get everyone talking about digital (web-based) access/inclusion and persons with different disabilities, as well as to encourage others to think about it and learn about it.
Local Global Accessibility Awareness Day events may demonstrate how people with disabilities use the web and digital products with assistive technologies, or they may provide assistance to people developing technological products to ensure that they consider the needs of people with specific disabilities when designing their products.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day timeline
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794 d) mandates federal agencies to make their electronic and information technologies accessible to everyone, whether they’re employees or members of the public.
George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act into law on July 2,6 making it a federal law for the fair and equal treatment of people with disabilities.
It is the goal of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) to ensure that legislation written in the 1980s and 1990s is updated to accommodate 21st-century technology.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Global Accessibility Awareness Day is started to change the mindset of technology and digital product design to make accessibility a fundamental necessity.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day FAQs
What does digital accessibility encompass?
The process of making digital products like websites, mobile applications, and other online tools accessible to everyone is called digital accessibility.
In what ways does accessibility help you and others?
The fact is that accessibility helps all members of society, including those with disabilities, and this is a fact. Improved accessibility leads to an improvement in overall quality of life, as well as enhanced independence and improved social integration.
What are the different types of accessibility?
Content must be POUR: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust, according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
How to Observe Global Accessibility Awareness Day
Consider visual and hearing impairments
Whether you are a content creator on YouTube or TikTok, or you create videos for your company, it is a great idea to include closed captions to make them more accessible. Besides captioning the videos you can add audio descriptions and instead of using audible cues, use visual indicators to aid those who are hard of hearing. You can also prepare and add a transcript if you have a digital product such as online courses. Allows those with vision impairments to read the "alt text" accompanying an image, if necessary.
Accessibility from designers and developers
Developers and designers should take the time to test their websites with a screen-reader to ensure that they can still be utilized by people with disabilities. The design should allow users to choose between mouse-based and keyboard-based input if desired. Incorporate features that assist users in navigating the site, finding content, and determining their location.
Harness the power of social media
Change can only come about when people become aware and educated about the importance of diversity. Increase the number of people who know about accessibility and make a statement on social media! Share your efforts to make the world a more inclusive place on Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
5 Important Facts About Disabilities And Accessibility
One billion people
Worldwide, one billion people are living with disabilities/impairments affecting vision, motor, hearing, and cognitive skills.
Low contrast text
The most common accessibility issue is low contrast text.
A whopping 69.9 errors are seen per home page.
The most common impairments affect hearing, vision, motor, and cognitive skills.
Another common accessibility failure is missing links on a web page.
Why Global Accessibility Awareness Day is Important
For a truly inclusive world, digital accessibility is essential. In the world of employment, medicine, e-business, and e-learning, this signifies equitable opportunity. In today's world of social media, this implies that everyone has the opportunity to make friends and expand their social circles.
It’s for everyone
People who don't think of themselves as impaired can also benefit from digital accessibility. You've already experienced the benefits of digital accessibility if you've ever magnified text on your smartphone. From how websites are built to the tiniest details of how users connect to the internet, accessibility should be considered when developing digital products and services.
Accessibility for web
Accessible technology can be utilized by everybody, not only by a select group of people. To put it another way, accessibility means making technology usable for everyone. From how a website is built to the tiniest of web connections, accessibility influences every aspect of web use.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day dates