What is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) and why is it so important?

Aneesha Singh
April 30, 2021

We can all agree: accessibility matters.

We want to design and create products and services that doesn't exclude anyone.

The question is; why are accessibility considerations one of the first things to get cut from projects when resources or time becomes scarce?

Unfortunately, the reality is that many companies or individuals don't know where to start when it comes to making a product or service accessible. It is, still, not a factor that is truly integrated into the design and development process and more often an 'add-on' at the final stage.

The aim of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, abbreviated often as GAAD, is to get everyone's focus on the world of accessibility and the importance of it.

What is GAAD?

Global Accessibility Awareness Day targets developers, designers and other creators to put a greater focus on digital accessibility and inclusion for the billion people across the world who have disabilities and impairments. It’s celebrated on the third Thursday of May each year, which makes the next occurrence of GAAD this year on the 20th May 2021.

Where does it come from?

GAAD was originally inspired by a blog post written by a web developer named Joe Devon back in 2011. In it, he called for developers to come together and work to bridge the accessibility gap by raising awareness and global standards. GAAD has continued to grow each and every year and has now reached a stage where people hold virtual and in-person events across the world.

It’s fantastic to see an increasing number of people participate in this awareness day each year to talk, think and learn more about how the physical and digital world can become more accessible and inclusive for people with different disabilities.

Why is it so important to be aware of accessibility?

There are plenty of obvious moral reasons that accessibility matters but ultimately, people with disabilities should have the same rights as the wider population and that includes their ability to engage with, learn from and communicate via the digital world. When we take it upon ourselves to design for accessibility, we create more opportunities for disabled people to utilize digital technology and, at the same time, increase our market share and support diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

What is Envision doing this year?

Envision is launching a Master Class video series for GAAD 2021

The idea behind the series is to throw a spotlight on exceptional experts (who happen to be blind), from around the world and have them teach everyone a bit of their craft. We will be revealing more details leading up to our eventual premier day on the Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Do join us!

Date: 20th May

Time: 4:30pm CET

Where?: Live on Zoom and our Youtube channel.

Register Now: Envision's GAAD Show 2021

See you there!

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