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Global Accessibility Awareness Day

  • 2 mins

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is today and it is about ensuring digital platforms and organisations are creating accessible online spaces for all.

The GAAD Foundation was started in 2001 with its mission to push social media to become more inclusive for those living with a disability, to not just feel included but to have a strong digital voice.

Those living with a visual, hearing, motor or cognitive disability, along with others not specified in those categories, are restricted in a number of ways in the digital landscape.

We can all take steps to ensure that we are creating a welcoming, accessible and positive environment online that all individuals can utilise to their benefit.

A step that HenderCare has started to take in our efforts to create an accessible online platform is ‘Alt text’.

Alt text is a description of an image, outlining the details in an image that a screen reader is able to play back to the user. This tool allows those are who visually-impaired to understand and enjoy the same images as the rest of us.

Another way that the online space can be made more accessible is creating easy-to-read and structured headings.

The navigation of websites can be difficult for many individuals living with a disability and once again, organised and structured headings, are much easier to understand for those using a screen reader.

One final accessible idea for those with, or creating, a website is to ensure all content is accessible from a keyboard. This helps individuals who live with mobility issues, including a repetitive stress injury, who may not have the ability to use a mouse or trackpad.

To ensure website layouts meet this requirement, they will need to have their tabs in the order of the visuals on the screen and long pages of content should be broken up with ‘anchor links’ or ‘jump lists’ to allow the user to skip content easily.

There are many ways in which the online space can be made more accessible, visually and practically. We encourage others to check their favourite website and see if they are using some of the ideas above. For some more ideas, click here.

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