May 16th is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) – a day dedicated to raising awareness of accessibility and inclusivity in the digital world. According to GAAD organizers, developers, designers, and programmers may be interested in making an accessible digital world, but they may not know where to start. We gathered a quick list of resources from the NIDILRR Grantee community and elsewhere which might help get them started.
Get into Web Accessibility
Start with an Intro to Web Accessibility from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) including this video about web accessibility and the W3C Standards and its benefits.
Dig a Little Deeper into WCAG
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), developed by WAI, cover the accessibility of all online content from static webpages to multimedia. The current version (2.1) has a new guideline and new success criteria that focus on touch inputs. The Great Lakes ADA Regional Center hosted a webinar to go over these latest improvements.
Get into Mobile
The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Inclusive Wireless Technology (Wireless RERC) focuses on this area, from understanding how people with disabilities use mobile technology to the policies and practices of government and industry. Check out their research briefs on mobile phone accessibility, wireless emergency alerts, and much, much more.
Think About Inclusive Gaming
The video gaming industry is HUGE, but there’s room to improve when it comes to accessibility and inclusivity. Check out our Research In Focus article about designing accessible balance board technology. AbleGamers is an organization dedicated to inclusive video gaming, from building switch technology to training game developers and designers in universal design concepts #SoEveryoneCanGame.
Use Tech to Solve Problems
Wireless technology, the Internet of Things, and Smart Home technology can help people with disabilities and those aging with and into disability to stay active and safe in their homes. Engineers, designers, and programmers can work together with the community to find tech solutions to challenges to independence. The Innovative Design Creation Process Workbook from The RERC on Technologies to Support Successful Aging in Place with Long-Term Disability, the Wireless RERC and Tools for Life guides a tech team through this process: Meet your team, define a problem, design a solution, present a concept, and talk about next steps.
These are just a few examples of how accessible technology and an inclusive digital world improves access for everyone. To learn more about NIDILRR-funded research in this area, and explore even more research from other agencies and organizations, visit naric.com!