Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day!

The tenth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is this Thursday, May 20th.

GAAD was launched to highlight the need for increased digital accessibility by getting people talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion for all and, more importantly, people with different abilities and talents.clip art of a blind man with a cane, woman with a hearing aid, a wheelchair user, a woman with a prosthetic limb, an older person, and a man with a limb difference, all standing together

Approximately 15 percent of the world’s population have a disability, according to the World Health Organization, which means that more than one billion people could face daily challenges when using digital devices. 

What is Accessibility?

Accessibility is the ability of a website/mobile app/electronic document to be easily navigated and understood by the widest range of users possible, including people with visual, auditory, speech, motor, neurological or cognitive disabilities.

Note that accessibility is not a discrete feature of a website, tool, or app. It’s an on-going aspect of a managed process made up of many intentional design and development decisions, based on real-world practice, institutional policy, public standards, and awareness of the diversity of user experiences.

Why Accessibility Matters

The World Wide Web is an increasingly important resource in many aspects of life: government information and services, education and training, commerce, news, workplace interaction, civic participation, health care, recreation, entertainment, and more. In some cases, the Web is replacing traditional resources.

Therefore, it is essential that the Web be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse abilities.

Link to Web accessibility – What does it all mean? (.docx, 17 MB) transcript.

Web accessibility is about eliminating barriers that prevent access to information and functionalities on websites.

How to Participate in GAAD 2021

How do I make an online tutorial in PowerPoint accessible?

Happy Monday! ITS Academic Technologies recently received an email from a student in search of help with PowerPoint:

“HELP! I am tasked with creating an online tutorial to help train individuals. I created a PowerPoint presentation, but was told this is not the preferred method, as it is not fully accessible. What should I do now?”

Wondering why web accessibility is important? “When ignoring web accessibility you’re potentially alienating one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, who experience some form of disability, whether auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical or visual.” (source)

Here’s the advice we shared:

“There are a couple of things you can do. It’s good practice to provide more than one format.

  1. Keep the PowerPoint format because it’s more engaging and memorable for the majority of people, but you can take steps to make it accessible with Microsoft built-in tools.
  2.  Save the PowerPoint as a PDF.  Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat and  follow the steps listed at JAN’s “Converting a PowerPoint file to PDF” to ensure it’s accessible
  3. You can also save the PowerPoint as a rich text file, open it in Word, format it, and save it as a .docx file.
  4. For the ultimate in accessibility, you could narrate the PowerPoint and save it as an MP4 file. This would provide an additional avenue for people with limited vision to interact with the content.”