Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)

New digital accessibility tips video launched for Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Three digital inclusion organisations collaborate on introductory animation for Global Accessibility Awareness Day

A new animation explaining how to avoid design issues that exclude disabled people from digital content is released. You can also watch the video on youtube. The video was commissioned by the award-winning Fix the Web external website project for the 4th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day , today May 21st 2015. Stephen Fry, who has been a long-term supporter of Fix the Web, will support the video with a tweet, and there is a external websiteThunderclap campaign for social media.

A large section of the population is disabled in some way; in the UK alone at least 11 million people - over 15% of population has some form of impairment. The level of online effectiveness and satisfaction experienced by people with disabilities is significantly lowered when the needs of these users are not taken into account. It is estimated that at least 80% of sites fail to meet minimum requirements for accessibility . The new animated explainer video provides:

  1. an introduction to digital accessibility and why it is important,
  2. 15 tips to help people creating websites, apps, software and documents improve the accessibility of their technology (summarised in notes for editors below )

The video is the result of a collaboration between the steering group of Fix the Web, including Citizens Online , the Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC), and Dig Inclusion.

James Beecher from Fix the Web said: Digital technology provides amazing opportunities and has great emancipatory potential - so it’s a travesty that those opportunities aren’t routinely accessible to everyone. But sadly, even when people are interested in the topic of making technology as accessible and usable as possible, they often don’t know how or where to start. That’s why we’ve come up with these 15 tips. We really hope this animation will help people understand what digital accessibility is, why it’s important, and how to take some steps toward improving their digital technology.

Gavin Evans from DAC said: Global Accessibility Awareness Day is an initiative we support wholeheartedly. The online world should be accessible to everyone – and these tips are a great start. 19 of our 23 staff have disabilities and we work hard to make the internet more accessible - so we’re thrilled to be a part the project.

Grant Broome from Dig Inclusion said: We've supported Fix the Web since its inception, so when the opportunity arose to create this video we were delighted to be able to help. It's important to show people why digital inclusion matters, and to support people in making their websites accessible and inclusive through training and ongoing support.

The fifteen tips contained in the film are supported by a page on the Citizens Online website providing further information and links to other resources and organisations, including British Standard 8878 and the international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

In summary the fifteen tips are:

  1. Make accessibility part of the contract when commissioning apps, software or websites
  2. Use themes and plugins deemed ‘accessible’ when using Content Management Sites
  3. Allow users to customise their experience of pages, and use responsive layouts
  4. Always let users know where they are and how they get to somewhere else
  5. Make sure that every action can be completed using the keyboard alone
  6. Give the user control over moving content
  7. Provide captions and transcripts for audio and visual content
  8. Add 'Alternative Text’ to images
  9. Make your text easy to understand
  10. Organise your text and add 'mark up' to make structure and features perceivable
  11. Make links stand out clearly from surrounding text
  12. Test text and background colour combinations
  13. Let visitors extend their sessions
  14. Provide an accessibility statement
  15. Use alternatives to CAPTCHA