Global Accessibility Awareness Day: What exactly is it? | AudioEye

Global Accessibility Awareness Day …. is what exactly?

Seems, these days, there’s a “holiday” for just about everyone and everything.

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day.
Squirrel Appreciation Day.
Awkward Moments Day.

While some may not be as important or impactful as others (no offense, squirrels), there’s one we want to be sure is on your radar. Why? Its sole purpose is to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital inclusion for everyone. It’s called Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), and this year it’s on May 16.

Back in 2015, a Los Angeles-based web developer, Joe Devon, started GAAD with a single blog post. That post caught the attention of Jennison Asuncion, an accessibility professional from Toronto, and the two joined forces to take the conversation more mainstream. Which brings us to what GAAD has become today.

But first, let’s back up. Did you know that approximately 15-percent of the world’s population has some form of disability? In many instances, that disability may prevent them from accessing online information or content. For example, someone who is blind; in many cases, that person would rely on assistive technology, such as a screen reader, to read aloud the information on a website. However, if that website isn’t coded with this person, and this technology, in mind, the screen reader wouldn’t read the site accurately, and the person who is blind will be locked out of receiving that particular digital content.

Imagine that for a moment.

Close your eyes and try to navigate a website you use every single day. Our dependence on digital content is life-altering in this age of accessing any information we want when we want it… literally in the palm of our hand.

Back to awareness. That’s why every year, on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, AudioEye brings together accessibility advocates – from Fortune 500s to mom and pops – to talk about how we can collectively raise awareness about the importance of digital inclusion. But not only raise awareness about it… do something about it.

So, on May 16, watch as AudioEye pulls individuals together in Washington DC, Atlanta, Tucson, and Sacramento; we’re doing our part to take this conversation coast to coast. Better yet, if you’re in any of these markets, be sure to join us (email GAAD@audioeye.com) and follow us on social media to keep up with our updates (@audioeyeinc #gaad).

Until then, we encourage you to start your own conversation about the importance of digital accessibility. If you’re not sure where or how to start, start with us. Because we can all agree that equal access is not only the right of every individual, it’s just the right thing to do.