According to the World Health Organization, over a billion people (about 15% of the world’s population) have some form of disability and the rates of disability are increasing due to population aging and increases in chronic health conditions (WHO, 2018). Thursday, May 20, 2021, marks the tenth anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD was originally inspired by a blog post written by a web developer named Joe Devon back in 2011 where he encouraged developers to come together and work to bridge the accessibility gap by raising awareness and global standards.

Celebrate GAAD with us this year by following @gbla11yday on Twitter and tweet using the #GAAD hashtag. Don’t forget to check out the GAAD Facebook page too! A full list of events and activities can be found at

There are many different ways that you can get involved and learn more about GAAD, including attending a virtual event, spreading awareness, contributing directly to a digital accessibility effort (such as captioning a video), and by checking out the compiled OLC resources below.

Online Workshops

Take your awareness of digital accessibility a step further by completing the OLC Accessibility Badge, or join OLC for an upcoming accessibility workshop this summer:

On-Demand Webinars

Virtual Conference Events

Although these synchronous conference sessions have ended, you can still access all of the recordings on-demand!

Blog Posts

  • Equitable Online Environments: Thinking Beyond Basic Access and Compliance – Dr. Amanda Kraus, Executive Director of the Disability Resource Center at the University of Arizona and OLC Institute faculty for the 7-day workshop on Reframing Disability and Implications for Inclusive Practice, joins us to discuss the importance of thinking beyond basic access and compliance when ensuring equitable online environments.

Faculty Playbooks

  • Delivering High-Quality Instruction Online In Response to COVID-19 is a faculty-focused playbook intended to improve course design, teaching, and learning in online environments. With special attention to the needs of instructors teaching online for the first time, the guide offers strategies for getting started and improving over time. Applicable sections include designing with equity in mind, as well as a focus on accessibility and Universal Design for Learning as crucial course design principles.
  • Caring for Students Playbook (Coming Soon!) – The next highly anticipated faculty-focused playbook is broken out into six recommendations for caring for students, each providing practical recommendations, concrete strategies, and resources to support instructors in operationalizing equity-focused, inclusive teaching strategies that put student care into practice by acknowledging student challenges while identifying student assets. The section on Review and Revise Your Course Content provides strategies, tools, and examples for ways you can ensure accessibility in content, make content more inclusive, and chunk content to support your students.