By Dan Holbrook
It’s the third Thursday of May, which means it’s once again Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! If you’re unfamiliar with GAAD, check the events list for activities in your area — it’s a great way to learn about the challenges that technology can create for users with disabilities, as well as some of the (actually pretty cool) ways that technology can help us overcome those problems.
(If you can’t attend an event, our Chicago Nerds hosted and recorded an accessibility Nerd Therapy a few months ago. Watch it here.)
Accessibility standards can seem overwhelming, but you don’t need a lot of specialized training to get started. Here are two handouts that we give out at events; these are easy ways to do some website review on your own if you’re not sure about your site’s usability.
We also have some great guides here on Nerdery.com, if you’re looking to create inclusive, accessible content, design for accessibility or integrate accessibility into your development process.
This year will be the 7th GAAD, and it’s amazing to see how much awareness of accessibility issues — and the community around accessibility — has grown in that time. Here in the Twin Cities, both a11yTC and Accessibility Twin Cities have regular meetups to discuss accessibility — another good option if you can’t attend something today. And online, #a11y on Twitter and the A11yweekly newsletter are great sources of regular accessibility insights.
We have a long way to go — the vast majority of websites don’t fully meet the widely agreed-upon WCAG A/AA standard, and even many of the biggest sites are downright unusable for some people — but even just thinking about accessibility before you start a project can make a huge difference. We encourage you to check out some events and resources, take a close look at any of your own websites, and start thinking about what you can do to improve the online experience for all users.
Published on 05.17.18