Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is this Thursday, May 18th. The goal of GAAD is to spread the word about digital accessibility. Digital technology is everywhere: we work, play, and interact through websites, smartphones, tablets, apps, games, desktops, kiosks, and so on. We can bank while walking the dog, play with friends across the country, and work from almost anywhere. For people with disabilities, however, these devices may present as many barriers as they do opportunities to participate in the digital community. GAAD gets designers, developers, programmers, vendors, and users talking about digital accessibility and what it takes to create inclusive technology.
How do you start the conversation about digital accessibility? These resources from the NIDILRR community might be useful:
- Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Wireless Inclusive Technology (Wireless RERC) focuses on mobile technology and offers research and resources for designers, developers, and vendors on creating inclusive wireless technology. Their annual Survey of User Needs captures how people with disabilities actually use mobile technology in their everyday lives.
- LiveWell – The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Community Living, Health, and Function also promotes access to existing and emerging technologies for all people, regardless of ability. Check out their publications and reports.
- These two projects host the App Factory, an annual grant program to assist tech companies and developers in creating accessible apps or improving the accessibility of existing apps
- The ADA National Network includes several projects focused on accessible tech: The Accessible Technology Webinar Series and Accessible Technology in the Workplace
- The Trace Center at the University of Maryland leads several NIDILRR-funded projects on accessible ICT including the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) which combines cloud computing, web, and platform services to make computers and online information and services accessible to all.
- The RERC on Information and Communication Technology Access is focusing on projects related to mobile health, virtual job coaching, parent tele-support, and Web 2.0.
- These are just a few of the more than 70 current and recently completed projects focusing on accessibility and the digital world.
- Our collection includes more than 700 publications from the NIDILRR community on this topic!
The GAAD community has some great events schedule for May 18th, including a virtual reality tour, “Walk with Someone Else’s Eyes,” demonstrating new technology that allows architects and designers to experience the world both built and imagined through the eyes of a person with visual impairments. Visit their Facebook page and Twitter feeds for more events all week!