The third Thursday in May, which falls on May 19 this year, is annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD is targeted toward all of us who design, develop, build, fund, and influence technology. Many of us are genuinely concerned about optimizing the experience of the widest possible audience, including persons with disabilities, but it can be a challenge to acquire and apply the requisite know how. Awareness comes first. An excellent way to participate in GAAD is to experience the impact of accessibility first-hand, for example:
- Unplug your mouse and surf the web using your keyboard.
- Read a PDF document using the free VIP Reader from the Swiss National Association of and for the Blind. The VIP Reader is intended for people with visual impairment.
- Download the popular free screen reader NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA). Learn some of the basic commands, then fire it up and listen to a document or web page.