abstract world map where land is represented by blue dots

Global Accessibility Awareness Day Continues!

Thursday, May 16, 2024, marked the 13th Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), and it doesn’t need to end there. Please join us to continue to spread awareness. The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.

The GAAD Foundation

The GAAD Foundation was launched in 2021 to mark GAAD’s 10th anniversary. Its mission is to disrupt the culture of technology and digital product development to include accessibility as a core requirement.

What is Digital Accessibility?

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

State of Accessibility

In 2020, WebAIM analyzed one million home pages for accessibility issues and found the following:

According to WebAIM Million Report

  • 98.1% Home Pages With At Least One WCAG 2.0 Failure
  • 60.9 Average Number of Errors Per Home Page
Causes of Most Common Accessibility Failures (% of Home Pages)

Population Affected By Inaccessibility

From both a civil rights and a business perspective, people with disabilities are underserved by today’s digital products.

1 Billion People Worldwide Have Disabilities

Common Disabilities/​Impairments

  • Visual

    People who are blind need alternative text descriptions for meaningful images and use the keyboard and not a mouse to interact with interactive elements.

  • Hearing

    People who are deaf or hard of hearing will need captioning for video presentations and visual indicators in place of audio cues.

  • Motor

    People with motor impairments may need alternative keyboards, eye control or some other adaptive hardware to help them type and navigate on their devices.

  • Cognitive

    An uncluttered screen, consistent navigation and the use of plain language would be useful for people with different learning disabilities/impairments.

Accessibility Removes Barriers and Unlocks the Possible

Here are some examples of how inclusive design and development can impact lives.

Jamie standing on stage raising right arm and holding stuffed lion with left arm

Cognitive Accessibility- Jamie Knight & Lion

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two men talking while sitting at square table in large outdoor patio

James Learns About Apple’s Take on Accessibility

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boy in wheelchair with laptop attached; he’s smiling and there’s a large fireplace in the background

Justin Finds a Voice Through Inclusive Technology

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Rikki with pensive look and gesturing slightly with hands

Rikki Explains How Apple Accessibility Helps Her

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Ways You Can Help