A logo with a white background and blue text. The acronym GAAD surrounds an enclosed circle. A keyboard is part of the line of the enclosed circle. Text reads Global Accessibility Awareness Day on the right.

Access Tech Department Marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day at Tech Together, May 16

May 18 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, for the more than one billion people with disabilities and impairment.
To mark GAAD, the May 16 edition of the online class, Tech Together, will be all about GAAD. The Access Tech Team will chat with students about how GAAD is observed, and discuss how to advocate for digital accessibility and universal usability.
We sat down with Access Technology Specialists Fernando Macias and Sean Dougherty to get their thoughts on this important day.
“GAAD is about making the world aware of global accessibility. More people are starting to learn about it and become aware of the fact that you can make things accessible to all. The more people that get access to something, the better for everyone,” Fernando began.

“The day itself is about public awareness of the disability community and the different access needs that are out there.” Sean added.
“One thing that is important about GAAD is that it helps to normalize the fact that people do things in different ways. Someone might be a coder who is blind, so they might use a screen reader to code. Someone might be a blind photographer, so they need accessible photo editing software. People like to experience everything everyone else experiences, and some people need to do that different ways. That’s one of the things that GAAD is meant to highlight,” Fernando continued.
“Sometimes people will discover that maybe they don’t have a disability or don’t identify as someone having a disability, but maybe they’re using an accessibility tool that they didn’t even realize was one. Maybe they use dark mode on their phone or they’re someone who spends a lot of time on their computer, so they use high contrast or they use closed captions. They may not think of these as being accessibility tools, but GAAD raises awareness of why these tools were initially created. That helps raise awareness as well.” Sean explained.
“Like Sean said, a lot of people use things in technology, architecture and design that were made with accessibility in mind, for example like automatic doors or ramps. Now everybody likes to use them. It speaks to the idea of Universal Design, which is designing things in a way to be accessible to as many people as possible,” Fernando concluded.
What: Tech Together – Accessibility Advocacy for Global Accessibility Awareness Day
When: Tuesday, May 16, from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Where: Zoom or phone
RSVP: RSVP online for Accessibility Advocacy for Global Accessibility Awareness Day or leave a voicemail at 415-694-7684.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *