What is the Global Accessibility Awareness Day?
Daily life is becoming increasingly more digital with everything from ordering food to accessing the NDIS happening online. To promote an online world that is accessible to all users, Global Accessible Awareness Day (GAAD) was established to promote a continuous discussion of digital accessibility.
Digital platforms such as websites and apps work best when they are created with everyone in mind– accessibility is not limited to people with disability. When we are so used to operating in a digital world, it is easy to forget that inaccessible websites can create barriers for all users, not just those with disabilities. GAAD promotes discussion with an aim to create an internet that is accessible and inclusive for all.
For a website to be considered accessible to all its users it must:
Be asy to navigate and read
Utilise appropriate design and colour
Provide clear guidelines
Be easily accessible
Common disabilities and digital accessibility
Below, we have investigated some common disabilities and impairments and how they affect the digital experience.
Visually impaired may rely on screen readers to audibly listen to a website. Because of this, alternative text descriptions are required on imagery that is meaningful to the text.
For people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment, video captions are essential to consume content online. This is especially important when apps like YouTube and TikTok become mainstream.
When it comes to accessibility and the digital experience, it’s not just the online experience that needs to be considered, but the physical experience in regards to technical hardware itself as well.
For people with cogitative disabilities or impairments options for alternate layouts which feature uncluttered screen design, consistent navigation and the use of plain language is required.
If you want to learn more, we recommend these resources on digital accessibility
South Australian Government’s Online Accessibility Toolkit
To help push an accessible digital environment in Australia the South Australian Government co-designed an Online Accessibility Toolkit to be a publicly available online resource.
World Wide Web Consortium (WRC)
W3C is the authority on digital accessibility, and they set the standard and benchmarks for what is deemed accessible from a digital perspective. You can read their introduction to accessibility to learn more about their work.
A11Y Bytes is a series of community-driven events and initiatives to raise the profile of digital accessibility in support of Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Visit A11Y Byte’s website to take part in their free online event.