Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Every year, the third Thursday of May marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a day to teach and focus on digital access and inclusion. This year, GAAD fell on May 20th, this past Thursday. More than ever, we are and should continue increasing accessibility.

Accessibility is an everyday activity that should be incorporated into our work always. The way to do this is through practice and habit. Here are some examples of brief things to try out:

  • Working on a PowerPoint deck, a Word document, or designing a Canvas course? Give the accessibility checker a go. Don’t know where to find the accessibility checker? No problem! In PowerPoint and Word, you can find the Check Accessibility tool under the Review tab in the ribbon to get input on your content. In Canvas, you can use Ally.
  • Got a few more minutes? Maybe grab an old document, slide deck, or file in Canvas and check to see if it needs any remediation! Why do it? Accessibility features go with you most of the time when you copy and paste. Write that alt text for that photograph once in Word and it will be there if you paste the image from the first document to another.
  • Ever wonder how accessible some website you like is? Take a brief moment and do keyboard testing. Open the page in a browser and try to use it only with your keyboard. Can you navigate everywhere? Click every link and button? Here is a list of what keys do what:
    • Tab – Move to next link, button, or form field
    • Shift + Tab – Move to previous link, button, etc.
    • Enter – Trigger current link or button
    • Space – Trigger interactive element (dropdown menus, buttons, checkboxes, etc.)
    • Up or Down arrows – Navigate dropdowns, choose radio buttons, adjust number inputs
    • Right or Left arrows – Adjust sliders, navigate some menus, etc.
    • Escape – Close menu or modal

Although the above are about doing accessibility, it’s important to also understand why to do it. Take a moment to listen or read from disabled voices, including:

This spring, ITG has been working hard to revamp our Accessibility guides. We’d previously included information on various resources like captioning, alt text, and more scattered throughout our guides but we recently compiled a set of guides with accessibility front and center. You can check those out here: ITG’s Accessibility Guides. We currently have 9 guides listed with more in the works!

Have more suggestions? Let us know! As always, ITG is happy to help if you get stuck or have any questions!


Much of this post came from Kate Deibel’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2021

Hand vector art created by pch.vector