GAAD 2024: Bigger than Ever!

A circle of hand drawn figures in different colors to represent an international community

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2024 was huge! Now in its 13th edition, GAAD has become an important day for everyone in the digital world and news of its reach and impact is impressive. As always, the publishing community had plenty to celebrate and we’ve put together a brief overview of some of the events that took place.

Inspiring Leadership

  • Macmillan Learning were lucky enough to receive an inspirational message from CEO, Susan Winslow, looking back at achievements and encouraging everyone to continue to improve and develop on the outstanding work that they have been doing. This example of commitment from senior executives is so powerful in making sure that company policy is driven from the top down.

As today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, I want to draw attention to our company’s vision statement: at Macmillan Learning, we envision a world in which every learner succeeds. As a learning company, this means we’re working tirelessly to ensure that, regardless of demographics or ability, each learner has the best possible opportunity to flourish in their educational experience. An important part of getting that right is developing course materials that are accessible, and I’m pleased to share some of our recent progress on our accessibility journey as it evolves with the needs of both students and instructors. 


  • Springer Nature hosted an internal event for employees entitled “Inclusivity shapes the tech we all use”. Demonstrations from users with lived experience showed how consideration for users with diverse needs, can and does benefit everyone. To be able to witness demos of this kind is incredibly important for staff, strengthening the accessibility message and company policy.
Springer Nature GAAD event flyer features pictures of the 4 speakers
  • Australian organization The Center for Accessibility released 2 videos to highlight the important of digital accessibility for users
  • The Funka Foundation in Sweden held an open house event where users with lived experience demonstrated various tools and answered questions. They were plarticularly pleased to be able to share their knowledge with many delegates who were new to accessibility. The Funka event overview contains some useful “smart sheets” prepared for the event.
2 images from the funka demo day. The left hand image shows the profile of a woman holding a smart phone infront of a laptop and one other bigger screen. The right hand image shows another woman sitting at a desk appearing to answer a question.

Introducing Accessibility Colleagues

Some organizations used GAAD as an opportunity to introduce accessibility staff and teams to their colleagues:

  • Microsoft published a Behind the Scenes blog discussing the work of Brett Humphrey, Principal Product Manager and Advocate for Accessibility
  • Jadu introduced their new accessibility specialist, Catriona Morrison, who has joined their organization from Bloomsbury.
  • Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft, interviewed the founders of GAAD, Joe Devon and Jennison Asuncion.

Tech Announcements

Companies with tech updates saved announcements for GAAD and it was wonderful to see so many new features being released:

  • Apple announced a number of new accessibility features on their devices.
  • Colibrio released a new Vanilla Reader version with added support for “page flipping” when using a screen reader with a demo for everyone to try out for themselves.


If you have interesting events or articles to add to this roundup we would be delighted to hear from you!