Ohio University

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Thursday, May 21 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion, particularly from the perspective of people with different disabilities.

What can I do?

The digital world we now live in was meant to benefit everyone, but in the US alone, roughly 40.7 million people who live with disabilities face serious barriers on the web that we can all help remove. We can do this together! Let’s get started.

Discover accessibility settings that work for you

  • Enlarge your font: Some webpages use fonts that can be difficult to read, but our browsers have settings to help:
    • In Chrome, go to Settings > Appearance
    • In Firefox, go to Options > Language and Appearance
    • In Microsoft Edge, go to Settings > Reading
    • In Internet Explorer, go to Settings > Accessibility and select Ignore font sizes specified on web page
      • Alternatively, on any browser, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl and or Command and + to enlarge font size, and you can use Ctrl/Command and 0 (zero) to go back to the default.

Analyze digital content for accessibility

  • Check for sufficient color contrast: When digital content has enough contrast, it ensures users with low vision can still access it. Try using a contrast analyzer, such as the WebAIM Color Contrast Checker or download this one from The Paciello Group.
  • Check the order of elements: All of us, but especially users with disabilities, rely on a logical, linear layout of headings and hyperlinks. Try navigating through a page using only the Tab key to see whether the order of page elements is logical.

Try navigating the web in alternate ways

  • Surf the web with a screen reader for an hour: A screen reader is a device that allows users with low vision to access visual content by converting it to non-visual output, such as audio or braille.
  • Accept the No Mouse Challenge: Some users are unable to operate a mouse. Instead of using your mouse, try using only the keyboard instead. Can you access all the features and operate all the buttons, sliders, and other controls without a mouse?