Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2013

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) logo

Today, May 9, marks the second Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). This worldwide event aims at getting people talking, thinking and learning about […] accessibility.

There are many ways you can participate. Here are some of our favourites:

Go mouseless

Try navigating our website using your keyboard only. This is how people with motor disabilities (people who are unable to use a mouse with enough accuracy) surf the Web.

Use Tab and Shift + Tab to set the focus on the next/previous link, press Enter to select a link, and press Backspace to go back to the previous page. Other usefull keys and keystrokes include the arrow keys, as wells as Space and Shift + Space.

Thankfully, the eWorks website is built so that you can always see which link has focus. Unfortunately, few websites are built this way. Try surfing some of your favourite websites to see whether or not they are keyboard-friendly.

Try out a screen reader

If you’ve got a half hour to spare, how about trying to surf the Web the way a blind user would?

Using a screen reader is a very interesting and surprising experience. It’s also very easy! If you’re a Windows user, simply download and install NVDA. If you’re a Mac user, your system already includes a screen reader called VoiceOver. The next step is to quickly get familiar with your screen reader’s basic keystrokes. After that, just open a Web page and try it out!

If you’re feeling adventurous, try turning off your monitor or blindfolding yourself. You sure will remember the experience!

Free talks on accessibility

There are a bunch of public events taking place accross Australia today. We especially encourage you to swing by and enjoy free talks at the Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra GAAD Meetups.

Did you try out one of the above activities, or are you planning on taking part in a public event? We’d love to hear about it! Share your #GAAD experiences and thoughts on #accessibility with us on Twitter.