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The blog post that launched Global Accessibility Awareness Day

The idea for Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) began on November 27, 2011, when Los Angeles-based web developer Joe Devon wrote a blog post about why web developers and designers need to focus on making websites and software fully accessible to everyone – including those with disabilities – rather than focus solely on how attractive a site’s interface looks.

Besides touching on current efforts to make websites more accessible, in his post Devon called for one day of the year on which web developers around the world would raise awareness and teach others how to make sites more accessible. His pick? May 9 would be the first Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

Shortly after Devon published his blog post, Jennison Asuncion, an accessibility professional from Toronto, discovered it and contacted Devon. The two met up and worked together to promote the event and spread awareness about how others can help.

The first GAAD celebration happened in May 2012. The event continues to grow in global popularity, with the hashtag #GAAD frequently used on Twitter to discuss the overlooked issue of digital accessibility for those with disabilities. Since 2015, the event has been held on the third Thursday of each May instead of on a fixed date. This year we celebrate GAAD on May 17.

Our commitment to digital accessibility

What role does T-Base Communications play in digital accessibility? T-Base provides web accessibility training for organizations that want to learn how to make their websites and mobile apps accessible for users who are blind or have low vision.

For organizations that have built a website and need to know whether it is accessible, we offer two types of web accessibility audits: a high-level review of your website, checking for current compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA, and a full audit of your online properties, with recommendations for fixing accessibility issues.

Our commitment to digital accessibility goes beyond websites and mobile apps. Through accessible PDF remediation we ensure organizations provide accessible digital documents. When screen reader users access a standard PDF, their technology may not process content properly, making readability and usability low. That’s why it’s important to ensure an accessible PDF is available – one that is structured so people reading your document with their accessibility software (e.g. a screen reader) receive the information in the proper, logical order.

Ensuring organizations are equipped to communicate effectively with people who are blind or have low vision is important to us. Spreading awareness of digital accessibility on GAAD is too. Have a question about digital accessibility? Let’s chat! Tweet @tbasecomm using the hashtag #GAAD.