Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is Thursday, May 18, 2017. The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion. GAAD started in 2011 as a way for web developers to educate themselves and others about how to create web pages that are accessible to people with disabilities and has since become an
international initiative with events around the globe.
The Libraries Accessibility Committee invites you to take the opportunity to learn more about digital accessibility. The GAAD website encourages “designers, developers, usability professionals, and everyone else to take an hour to experience first-hand the impact of digital accessibility (or lack thereof).” A few suggested activities to raise awareness about
A few suggested activities to raise awareness about accessibility issues are:
- Unplug your mouse. People who are not able to use a mouse rely on other input devices, such as their keyboard. Try unplugging your mouse and using only your keyboard (tab/shift tab, arrow keys, enter and spacebar) to navigate. If you’ve been involved in the creation of a web page, see if you can interact with all the elements on the page using the keyboard alone.
- Browse the web with a screen reader. Screen readers read the text on a screen aloud for users with sight loss, or for any users who prefer hearing content rather than reading. Windows has a built-in screen reader, Narrator, or PC users can also try the free screen reader tool NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access). For Mac users, use the built-in screen reader VoiceOver.
- Learn about other accessibility features on your devices. Both Windows and Mac operating systems have built-in accessibility features, as do iPhone and Android devices.
More activities and information are on the GAAD website participation page.
Also, mark your calendars for two upcoming events sponsored by the Libraries
- June 6, 1:30-3:00 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park
Panel discussion with the State College Sight Loss Support Group of Central PA
and the Happy Valley Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind
- July 18, 1:30-3:00 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park
Presentation on the Summer Academy at Penn State, a program focused on enhancing independence skills for high-school students who are blind, vision impaired, deaf or hard of hearing and are transitioning to college.
For more information, contact the Libraries Accessibility Committee at
The Libraries Accessibility Committee (LAC) is seeking new members to join the committee beginning in fall 2017. All Libraries faculty and staff at all locations are eligible to serve. Contact Emily Rimland, LAC Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
– submitted by Dawn Amsberry, Libraries Accessibility Committee