Posts

A Round Up of Celebrations, Awareness Building and Commitment to GAAD 2020

Banner with words May 21 #GAADGlobal Accessibility Awareness Day 2020  (#GAAD) took place on May 21 this year and we put together some tools and resources to encourage partners, publishers and industry bodies to promote awareness from our home offices during lockdown. Building on last year’s activities we saw our industry actively get involved in educating colleagues and customers and playing their part to increase the availability of digital content to people with print disabilities, despite the challenges of a global pandemic. Congrats to all who took the time and made the effort to reaffirm their commitment to accessible publishing by marking this event in some way.

Our publisher’s “at home” toolkit was a great success with large numbers taking our fun Accessibility quiz.You can still access the quiz and use it to promote awareness and to compliment other accessibility activities that you may have in mind for your colleagues. In fact, all of our suggestions are appropriate for any time so please carry on the good work!

Selecting a few events to highlight in this report:

a megaphoneRedShelf, one of our Inclusive Publishing Partners, ran a webinar on the day to focus on Open Educational Resources and you can watch this  still on YouTube. Keeping accessibility at the forefront of decision making is perhaps more important than ever, particularly when it comes to course materials. Many instructors are turning to Open Educational Resources (OER) during this period of rapid movement to online instruction—yet many of those tools may require alterations to ensure they are accessible to all. This session recognized Global Accessibility Awareness Day  by diving into the role that OER is playing in today’s course materials strategy and how to ensure the most accessible development and distribution of that content.

a megaphoneVitalSource, one of our Inclusive Publishing Partners, published a blog piece entitled: Accessibility Matters More Than Ever by Rick Johnson. “We must all remember that accessibility is a journey, not a destination. Just as technology is continuously evolving and changing, so too are students’ needs.”

a megaphoneMacmillan Learning published their Accessibility Journey and shared this with employees on May 21. A fantastic way to confirm their commitment to accessible publishing with colleagues on the occasion of GAAD. “Accessibility touches all areas of our Macmillan Learning. It’s important, and as is typical, you all excel when presented with an ambitious goal. So, thank you for your ongoing enthusiasm and support of this important initiative.”

a megaphoneJoAnna Hunt, Amazon, who recently presented a DAISY webinar, published a GAAD blog piece entitled: The Severity Gap in Accessibility. “I believe that closing the severity gap in accessibility has three parts. First, we need to reset who comes to mind when businesses think about their customers so we can change their prioritization framework. Second, we need to ensure they have an objective understanding of the barriers created by accessibility defects, so they can properly evaluate impact. Finally, we need to help leaders understand the business value of investing in accessibility, so we can influence their perception of severity.”

a megaphoneThe State University of New York (SUNY) held an accessibility week of webinars to celebrate GAAD, all of which are available to watch on YouTube. The full listing of webinars shows a wide reaching a varied program. “SUNY Accessibility Weekis specially designed to provide informative, practical accessibility knowledge to enhance inclusiveness of digital content for users with disabilities.”

a megaphoneHuw Alexander, textBOX prepared a piece for Typefi on The Silence of the Image, as part of their GAAD celebrations. “Writing alt-text can be a challenge, but it offers content providers a significant opportunity to engage with their audience whilst simultaneously providing a powerful marketing tool. Due to its hidden nature alt-text is often forgotten, but the coding underworld is a rich environment and enables the translation of the visual into the textual.”

These are just a few of the fantastic events that took place throughout the day and we hope to be able to build on our toolkit for next year and prepare more resources for you to use. In addition to publishing industry events there was a huge effort worldwide from other digital organizations and we’d welcome feedback on news and information from other sources that may be of interest to our readers.

Images in this post are taken from sketchnotes produced by Serena Nusing on the occasion of GAAD2020

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020: A Publisher’s “At Home” Toolkit & Quiz

Logo for Global Accessibility Awareness DayGAAD takes place on May 21 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, particularly during this challenging time when many of you are working from home. 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 whilst self-isolating.

In 2019 there were some exciting events surrounding GAAD and we have put together a few ideas to help you organize something 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. Contact us here.

We have lots of ideas to get you started:

Take Our Accessibility Quiz!

How much do you know about ebook accessibility? Try out our quiz, share it with colleagues and see who is really “in the know”.  This is just for fun, but you can find your score along with information about each of the questions after you finish. Easy to complete from home and very straightforward to include in a variety of activities that you may have planned. Good Luck!

The Inclusive Publishing GAAD Quiz

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 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. 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” on zoom 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).

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.

Accessible EPUB

  • GAAD for Geeks! If you can it would be very helpful if your technical ebook developers can run an online 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.

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.

Other Events We’ve Heard About

Some of our amazing inclusive Publishing Partners have organized events for GAAD 2020 and we have listed those we know about below…please keep us updated if there are any others planned:

  • Red Shelf: are running an educational session about the accessible creation and distribution of Open Educational Resources. Register for this RedShelf event here to join at 1pm CST on Thursday 21 May
  • The LIA Foundation: are holding two online presentations entitled—Toward an accessible publishing ecosystem & Offering services through smartspeakers:
    challenges and opportunities of a new kind of UI—both on Friday 22 May, you can register at the LIA Accessibility Days event page

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020

May 21st, 2020

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is designed  to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion for people with different disabilities. Last year we reported on some terrific events held at publishing organizations and we hope to see similar this year. See our Publisher’s Toolkit of ideas to get you started.

Date

May 21, 2020

Venue

International

Learn More

For information on last year’s event please read our event report

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2019: A Success All Round

Logo for Global Accessibility Awareness DayGlobal Accessibility Awareness Day 2019  (#GAAD) took place on May 16 this year and we put together some tools and resources to encourage partners, publishers and industry bodies to promote awareness. Building on last year’s activities we saw our industry actively get involved in educating colleagues and customers and playing their part to increase the availability of digital content to people with print disabilities. We are pleased to say that this good work has not just been confined to one day and we continue to see thought provoking events taking place around the globe.

Selecting a few to highlight in this report:

  • Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt once again made sure that accessibility was at the heart of their working day on May 16. Combining problem solving discussions with fun activities throughout the day, Katy Mastrocola and team used GAAD as an opportunity to highlight the importance of collective understanding and commitment.

Katy Mastrocola and team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • TextBOX Digital made us think about the user experience in a world without image descriptions—a strong and thought provoking message.

A tweet from textBOX urging readers to use image descriptions oherwise it's like seeing a blank box for print disabled readers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Kobo held a mini-conference in their Toronto offices with an exciting agenda. In addition to some stellar speakers Wendy Reid (Kobo) organized  3 challenges  for colleagues—keyboard navigation, different web views, and screenreader usage. A fantastic way to impart a message and to create discussion.

Kobo employees particpating in challenges on GAAD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Macmillan Learning continued to show their commitment to accessibility with an interactive workshop Make Some Noise: Design and Build Your Own Educational App with Sonification.  Read about Macmillan Learning’s recent announcement —they are the first publishers to gain accreditation through the Benetech GCA program and they published this banner on GAAD to re-affirm their commitment from their CEO, Ken Michaels.

Macmillan Learning banner for GAAD showing commitment from CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • RedShelf prepared a webinar for GAAD—Born Accessible: Ensuring You’re Adopting Accessible Course Materials. On college campuses across the country, only half of the students with accessibility needs register with their DSO. How do educators ensure digital course materials are accessible to everyone? This recorded webinar is relevant to any campus, bookstore or publishing professional interested in learning more about accessibility and how it impacts digital course materials.

These are just a few of the fantastic events that took place throughout the day and we hope to be able to build on our toolkit for next year and prepare more resources for you to use. In addition to publishing industry events there was a huge effort worldwide from other digital organizations. Laura Patch, Digital Marketing Specialist, wrote The Power of an Accessible Web—Global Accessibility Awareness Day which reminds us all:

Anyone working in the digital space, from editors and writers to your back-end developers, must hold themselves accountable to make their content accessible to everyone.

Congratulations to everyone who took part in GAAD!

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2019

May 16th, 2019

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is designed  to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion for people with different disabilities. Last year we reported on some terrific events held at publishing organizations and we hope to see similar this year. See our Publisher’s Toolkit of ideas to get you started.

Check out the webinar being run by RedShelf on “Born Accessible: Ensuring you’re Adopting Accessible Course Materials“.

Date

May 16, 2019

Venue

International

Learn More

For information on this year’s event please visit the GAAD website