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Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2022

Logo for Global Accessibility Awareness DayGAAD takes place on May 19th this year and we’d like to encourage all our readers to take part so that we can build awareness in our industry and play our part to increase the availability of your digital content to people with print disabilities, especially as we are beginning to return to in-house working. If your organization has an accessibility advocate then this is their chance to build awareness and co-ordinate activities that your teams may be able to take part in whether at home or in the office.

A Publisher’s Toolkit

In 2021 there were some exciting events surrounding GAAD and we have put together a few ideas in our annual GAAD Toolkit to help you organize something yourself. It might be an event surrounding awareness building and advocacy or it might be a more technical dive into what makes an accessible ebook. Whatever you choose, please send us the details so that we can tell others about your good work and build on this for future events. We have lots of ideas to get you started:

Celebrate Your Success

GAAD presents an opportunity you to reflect and to celebrate how far you have come on your accessibility journey. Take a moment to remind yourselves about the challenges you’ve overcome and think about all the wins, both big and small, that have contributed to where you find yourself today.

Awareness Building

You can easily do this from your home office so long as you and your team are online and communicating

  • Put together a blog piece in advance of GAAD. This will help to raise awareness amongst your colleagues about what GAAD is all about.  We have resources and tools that you can include in your own post to spark interest and encourage questions! A good place to start is our Introduction to Inclusive Publishing.
  • Alternatively, you are welcome to cross-post any of the interesting articles that we have published on Inclusive Publishing during the last year. Contact us if you need help finding the correct piece for your newsletter.
  • Think about updating your accessibility statement in time for GAAD. Have a look at the work of ASPIRE which is all about increasing the effectiveness of your organizational accessibility statement
  • Hold an online social event to promote your support of accessible publishing. Set up a “party” online to discuss awareness issues and next steps for your company when you return to the workplace. (Zoom offers the most accessible online conferencing experience we have found).
  • Introduce your colleagues to web accessibility and W3C standards via this W3C video session, available in numerous languages.

User Experience

GAAD is a great chance to find out for yourself what it’s like to be a print disabled reader. You can put together all manner of sessions to focus on this but here are a few ideas:

  • Go mouseless for an hour—unplug your mouse and only use your keyboard (tab/shift tab, arrow keys, enter and spacebar) to navigate and interact with content.
  • Experience reading using assistive technology – try 10 minutes with a screen reader for example
  • You may wish to set up a UX session so that your colleagues can experience accessibility features such as Voice Over.
  • Try your hand at writing image descriptions—collect a few images from the content that you publish together with some contextual information. See how your colleagues fare in writing alt text! This could be a fun challenge that would be easy or organise for those of you working from home.
  • Encourage your colleagues to watch the new UX demos which formed part of the NNELS accessible publishing summit this year. These YouTube demos concentrated on Reflowable EPUB and Fixed Layout EPUB and were invaluable.

Last year, ReadSpeaker published an interview in celebration of GAAD, which includes ideas for user experience sessions that you can easily set up for your colleagues.

This year, ADCET in Australia have prepared 3 GAAD challenges for you to test out the user experience for yourselves:

  • Challenge 1: No Mouse in the House
  • Challenge 2: No Sound to be Found
  • Challenge 3: No Peeking, Just Listening

Accessible EPUB

  • GAAD for Geeks! If  your technical ebook developers can run an online demonstration of what makes an EPUB accessible it would be a fantastic resource for you to share with colleagues. The benefits of using EPUB 3 are significant for accessibility and a short presentation about this would greatly increase understanding of the technical advantages of building a11y in from the very start of the content creation process. See our top tips page for some guidance on this.
  • Ask the Expert! EPUB for non-technical teams. Try running something similar for your non-technical teams. They may not need to know the technical details but will appreciate and understand information on how your content production teams are handling accessibility for mainstream product. Our EPUB resources pages for publishers will be able to give you some pointers on this. They will be delighted to know that you have this in-hand!

Webinars

Encourage your colleagues to watch one of our free webinars available on the DAISY YouTube channel. We have many different sessions available already and lots more planned for the future so this would be a terrific time to ask your co-workers to choose something new and interesting. If you host a discussion following a webinar viewing you could initiate some interesting debate which we would love to hear about.

Events

We are gathering information on events that are happening during the week of GAAD. Let us know if we’ve missed something our readers might like to be involved in or that may inspire them for their own planning!

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2019: A Publisher’s Toolkit

Logo for Global Accessibility Awareness DayGAAD takes place on May 16 this year and we’d like to encourage all our readers to take part so that we can build awareness in our industry and play our part to increase the availability of your digital content to people with print disabilities. If you have an accessibility advocate then this is their chance to co-ordinate activities. If not, then perhaps you can encourage your own team or teams that you work closely with to participate.

In 2018 there were some exciting in-house events to do just this and we have put together some ideas to help you organize something in your own company this year. It might be an event surrounding awareness building and advocacy or it might be a more technical dive into what makes an accessible ebook. Whatever you choose, please send us the details so that we can tell others about your good work and build on this for future events.

We have lots of ideas to get you started:

Awareness Building

  • Put together a blog piece in advance of your event. This will help to raise awareness amongst your colleagues about what you plan to do on May 16th. We have resources and tools that you can include in your post to spark interest and encourage questions! A good place to start is our Introduction to Inclusive Publishing.
  • Check out your website: do you have an accessibility statement about your digital content? If not then perhaps you can set about writing something on GAAD.
  • Hold a social event—we can email you some flyers on accessibility to help you educate your colleagues. It’s time to celebrate!

User Experience

GAAD is a great chance to find out for yourself what it’s like to be a print disabled reader. You can put together all manner of sessions to focus on this but here are a few ideas:

  • Go mouseless for an hour—unplug your mouse and only use your keyboard (tab/shift tab, arrow keys, enter and spacebar) to navigate and interact with content.
  • Experience reading using assistive technology – try 10 minutes with a screen reader for example
  • You may wish to set up a UX booth in a communal area within your organization. This can be a physical booth or just an area where your colleagues can experience accessibility features such as Voice Over. See last year’s report from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt who did just this.
  • Try your hand at writing image descriptions—collect a few images from the content that you publish together with some contextual information. See how your colleagues fare in writing alt text! For guidance on this see the variety of resources that we have on Rich and Complex Content.

Accessible EPUB

  • GAAD for Geeks! If you can it would be very helpful if your technical ebook developers can run a demonstration of what makes an EPUB accessible. The benefits of using EPUB 3 are significant for accessibility and a short presentation about this would greatly increase understanding of the technical advantages of building a11y in from the very start of the content creation process. See our top tips page for some guidance on this.
  • Ask the Expert! EPUB for non-technical teams. Try running something similar for your non-technical teams. They may not need to know the technical details but will appreciate and understand information on how your content production teams are handling accessibility for mainstream product. Our EPUB resources pages for publishers will be able to give you some pointers on this.

 

Whatever you decide to do in your own organization we applaud you! This is a terrific opportunity to create a focus amongst your team and encourage support for Inclusive Publishing. We would very much like to hear from you about your events so that we can let others know what you’ve been up to! Contact us here.