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 21, 2020, marks the ninth 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 https://globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org/events/.
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.
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:
- ADA & Web Accessibility Self-Paced Workshop | ongoing
- Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Principles to Online Courses to Increase Accessibility and Engagement | Starts June 8th
- Strategic Planning for Web Accessibility | Starts July 6th
- Fundamentals: ADA & Web Accessibility | Starts July 20th
- Designing with Accessibility in Mind | Starts August 17th
- Disability Equity by Design Series – Part 1: Re/Framing Disability – This 60-minute webinar introduces participants to prevalent models of disability. Explore how disability is framed in society, specifically in language, media, and design.
- Disability Equity by Design Series – Part 2: Disabled By Design – The disability experience is shaped by the dynamics of power and privilege. This 60-minute webinar will explore prevalent stereotypes about disability and how design choices can both perpetuate or combat these damaging ideas.
- Disability Equity by Design Series – Part 3: Equitable Online Environments – Emerging thinking about disability suggests that disability is created by the design of our environments. This 60-minute webinar will explore strategies to maximize access and inclusion in online learning environments.
Virtual Conference Events
- OLC Ideate (Recordings now available) – The Day 6 theme focused on Inclusive Learning and provided participants with information on how to be inclusive with their online learning strategies, including topics on equity, accessibility, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
- OLC Innovate (June 15-26, 2020) – Featuring 10 sessions focused around the topics of accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
- Access and Accessibility in Online Learning: Issues in Higher Education and K-12 Contexts – Accessibility in K-12 and higher education is becoming an increasingly complex terrain to traverse as schools increase online materials and instructional delivery options. This white paper provides an overview of critical terms, legal precedents, and other considerations for course designers, instructors, and administrators as they work to improve the educational experiences of learners with disabilities. (McAlvage & Rice, 2018)