Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Today, 16 May 2024, we're celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! GAAD is an awareness day focusing on digital access and inclusion for the more than one billion people alive today who live with disabilities or impairments. It is marked annually on the third Thursday of May. The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion.


Global Accessibility Awareness Day launched in May 2012. It was inspired by a blog post from November 2011 by Los Angeles–based web developer Joe Devon. Devon worked with Jennison Asuncion, an accessibility professional from Toronto, to co-found GAAD.

At present time, over one billion people worldwide have disabilities and are affected by inaccessibility. From both a civil rights and a business perspective, people with disabilities are underserved by today's digital products. For this reason, digital accessibility aims to ensure that people with disabilities and/or impairments can independently consume and interact with digital (e.g., web, mobile) applications and content. 

Common disabilities and impairments include visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive disabilities, and a higher degree of accessibility should be achieved to remove barriers for all these types of impairments.

In 2020, WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind) conducted an extensive analysis of a very large sample of web home pages for accessibility failures. Among the most common accessibility failures, we can include:

Accessibility issuePercentage of sample home pages 
Low contrast text86.3 per cent
Missing image alt text66 per cent
Empty links59.9 per cent
Missing form input labels53.8 per cent
Empty buttons28.7 per cent
Missing document language28 per cent


Accessibility and Better Internet for Kids

Accessibility has become a central area of work within the BIK project. We continue to improve knowledge and expertise on the topic, and to embed this within day-to-day content creation and publishing activities. 

In November 2023, we published the good practice guide "Ensuring accessibility in content for all" specifically aimed at content managers and producers, and including a series of recommendations, suggestions, and tips on how to make digital content  more accessible - whether you're working with websites, Word or PDF documents, presentations, videos or social media.

In addition, we are organising an online training for the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres' staff members in June 2024, to help Centres ensure that accessibility priorities can be reflected in their national outputs as well. 

You can find more information about GAAD on their official website.

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