Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) 2020 – virtual this time!

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

May is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s month to celebrate what I work everyday. Third Thursday of May is observed as Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Since 2011, it has become a global momentum and various activities take place across the world; some are small, some are big, some are in-person and some are virtual.

Due to unprecedented situation due to COVID-19, this year, we are forced to celebrate virtual and still a lot of organisations are planning variety of online activities. Glad to see the great spirit.

Since Working from Home is now a new normal, I would urge people to think of accessibility challenges due to remote work places and how we can overcome those challenges; we should also keep in mind that our solutions need to be cost-effective since companies are also facing financial crisis. Either our solutions should be at no cost or at a very minimal cost.

For example, how do we include our employees with hearing impairment in scrum or any meetings; During Empower 2018 Conference, I have noticed a person sincerely typing on a google document whatever speaker is speaking. Later I was told, they have shared that document with view only mode to all attendees with hearing impairment. It helps them even when an event does not have sign-language interpreter. Another advantage is that attendees with hearing impairment need not just sit in fron row and they can sit anywhere they like.

Another example is how can we ensure people with vision impairment could participate in meetings? Today there are a lot of accessible meeting platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.,

So start thinking more innovative ideas and let’s mark a successful Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 21, 2020.

Srinivasu Chakravarthula

Srinivasu Chakravarthula is an accessibility evangelist for 12+ years. Accessibility is not just his profession but something that is very close to his heart. Srinivasu believes that technology plays an important role to make lives of people with disabilities independent. Srinivasu is recipient of Yahoo! Ratna and NCPEDP MphasiS Universal Design Award. Srinivasu is Certified Web Accessibility Specialist by International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). Srinivasu is also an individual Professional member of IAAP. Visit his personal website to learn more.

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