Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2024 – what you can do?

GAAD logo

It’s that time of the year when people in the accessibility community start thinking about how we can mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on 3rd Thursday of May every year. This momentum has started around 13 years ago by Jennison (currently Head of Accessibility Engineering at LinkedIn) and Joe Devon (a developer with accessibility in mind).

Over the years, GAAD has grown to a great extent ranging from small get togethers to large scale conferences around the world.

While we can continue to organize activities such as Go mouse less, use a screen reader, watch a video by turning off audio, run an Accessibility Testing Tool (such as aXe DevTools) on your website, this year, let’s add a few more ideas to our list.

May you be a start-up or an enterprise organization, it is essential and adds value to consider accessibility of your products. If you are a start-up, leverage this Global Accessibility Awareness Day to start your accessibility journey. I know that building features is the top most priority for start-ups but ensure accessibility at start-up level will help you in long term and saves a lot of time and money in the future. Many large organizations did such a mistake and then had to spend a lot of money and time. More than the actual work, you will end up spending time on building accessibility and inclusive culture if you delay considering accessibility. You may not really have to worry about accessibility at the initial days of your business but as you grow, it becomes essential both as a right thing to do for customers as well as it becomes legal obligation. So it’s better injecting accessibility into your organization’s culture at early stage itself. Leverage this GAAD and Accessibility Awareness sessions to your teams. Reach out to me and I will be happy to be of help.

If you are a mid-size or enterprise organization, host an accessibility week in the month of May. During this week, you can arrange talks related to accessibility, accessibility bug bash sessions and arrange stalls of assistive technologies in your offices. Connect with me and I will be happy to help you plan.

During this month, whatever websites or applications that we use, let’s identify and send out accessibility issues to respective developers. Not necessarily an exhaustive report but at least a few issues and help them educate about accessibility.

In addition, let’s start expanding Global Accessibility Awareness Day beyond digital accessibility. Places that you go, transport that you, products that you use, make note of accessibility features and areas where they need improvement and publish on social channels and/or let respective vendors know of.

And yes, look up for events on GAAD Website and participate if your schedule permits. As of writing, I know of two events happening in India. GAAD at Hyderabad and Accessibility Symposium at Bangalore.

Let’s continue the momentum and make the world place to live.

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