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Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Today marks the ninth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a day meant to focus on digital access and inclusion for the more than one billion people with different disabilities and impairments.

For all of us, it’s an opportunity to celebrate how technology is becoming more usable and accessible for people with disabilities, while also serving as a reminder that we have a ways to go before fully accessible technology is the norm and not a welcome exception.

At Carizon, we are committed to digital accessibility efforts and ensure that all our employees are trained on Ontario’s accessibility laws and the Human Rights Code.

Here are some interesting ways to understand the importance of accessibility (or experience the challenges therein) with technology that we use on a daily basis:

  • Unplug the computer mouse or disable the trackpad or touchpad. In the manner of a learner with limited physical input. surf the web and interact with a favorite website using only the following keyboard keys: tab/shift-tab, arrow keys, enter, and spacebar.
  • Turn off the monitor and like a person who is blind surf a favorite website using only a screen reader.
  • Enlarge the font size on a favorite website to be sure the page is accessible and usable for low vision/visually impaired users. Resize text on the screen to 200 percent. Is content or functionality lost? Do widgets resize at the same time?
  • Download a color contrast analyzer (i.e. The Paciello Group). Judge if the color contrast is sufficient for visually impaired users who mostly need a striking difference in color to access the text.
  • Turn on the screen reader and see if the text is read in the correct order to aid understanding. It may be necessary to disable the style sheets first.
  • Try using a favorite app but enable different accessibility features you don’t ordinarily use.

Want to learn more?

Check out this article covering some of the ways people with disabilities customize their technology to thrive: https://mashable.com/2017/05/17/apple-accessibility-videos-disability/.