Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2019: Let's Spread the Word
How did the GAAD come about?
May 16th, 2019 marks the 8th Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The GAAD began when a now-well-known web developer, Joe Devon, shared a blog post attempting to invigorate the web community to band together and promote the importance of web accessibility. In his blog, Joe sparked the idea by writing "Let’s agree on a Global Accessibility Awareness Day. This will be a day of the year where web developers across the globe try to raise awareness and know-how on making sites accessible." And guess what, the world agreed!
A Canadian accessibility expert by the name of Jennison Asuncion saw this blog and reached out to Joe. They then worked together to create what we now know as the GAAD - an annual day in which the global web community comes together to celebrate and spread the word on web accessibility. Well done Joe!
Let’s agree on a Global Accessibility Awareness Day. This will be a day of the year where web developers across the globe try to raise awareness and know-how on making sites accessible.
Why is it important to spread the word on Web Accessibility?
There are a number of reasons why Web Accessibility is so important. Today's generation having such a reliance on technology and the internet. We use it for for work, social means, bank and insurance management, pretty much everything and anything! Furthermore, there is a large number of the Australian population that are limited in their use of non-accessible websites. Australia has approximately 1 in 5 people live with some version of a disability and also has a heavily ageing population. By bringing this all together, the importance of making the web accessible is clear. Now let's all do our part in making
What GAAD means to Internetrix
As web accessibility experts, we at Internetrix want to ensure that people all around the world know about, and have the tools necessary to make the web accessible for everyone. In our eyes, Web Accessibility has come a long way since Joe Devon proposed the GAAD in 2011. Back then developers were still just coming to terms with what the WCAG Guidelines meant and were yet to strike the balance between accessibility and aesthetics. You can see in Joe's blog he states "I would argue that it’s more important to make a site accessible than pretty for older browsers". Nowadays, the majority of websites that are built for accessibility but are also beautifully designed.
The web has collectively come a long way since the first GAAD in 2012, however there is still a long way to go. There are still so many platforms on the internet that aren't at all accessible, and for those that are - the WCAG Guidelines are constantly being updated so it is important to keep an eye on any new releases from the W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium - the governing body of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).
So this Global Accessibility Awareness Day we want to ask you a question - Is there anything you could be doing to make the web more inclusive or accessible?