Young man with Down syndrome looks down at his phone while sitting on a couch

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 

Thursday, May 19, is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, a day meant to raise awareness and start conversations about the importance of digital accessibility.

 

What is digital accessibility?

Digital accessibility is ensuring digital products, like websites, apps, and other online tools, are accessible to everyone.

Someone with a disability or impairment should be able to experience digital content with the same successful outcomes as those without disabilities.

 

ONE BILLION PEOPLE worldwide have disabilities

Working towards digital accessibility is just one way we can create a more inclusive world!

First and foremost, digital accessibility is a civil right, but it’s also beneficial to businesses to have websites and digital tools that everyone can access and enjoy.

How accessible is the web right now?

The World Wide Web Consortium creates Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) which outlines a wide range of recommendations to make the web accessible like high contrast text, photo descriptions, proper links, and more.

 

98% of home pages have at least one WCAG failure

Young blind woman sits at desktop computer with braille input device

 

 

 

90% of websites are inaccessible to people with disabilities who rely on assistive technology

 

With nearly all websites failing to meet accessibility recommendations, there’s room for improvement!

 

You can help make a difference!

  1. Learn about the basic of digital accessibility!
  2. Recommend your employer or favourite businesses review the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List from the World Wide Web Consortium.
  3. Keep an eye out for common mistakes and inform the website owner of the evaluation tools list and why web accessibility is important for civil rights and business.

 

4 ways DASCH is working to improve digital accessibility

1. Alt text and image descriptions on social media posts

Woman holds iPhone in hand with Instagram open

Alternative (Alt) text or image descriptions conveys the function of the image for those with visual impairments.

You may have noticed on recent DASCH Instagram posts an “ID” (or image description) in the caption. This can be read aloud to users by screen reader software.

On other social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter the alt text isn’t needed in the caption as the image file contains the alt text.

Young man with Down syndrome painting on canvas with support worker

An examples of alt text or an image description for the photo to the left could be:

Young man with Down syndrome and support worker pose and smile for a selfie .

2. #CapitalizingInHashtags

When using hashtags, we capitalize each word, also known as “Camel Case.”

Similar to image descriptions, it means screen readers will be able to read each word individually, rather than one long jumbled word.

3. High Contrast Text

Comparison of good and bad text contrast

For images with text, we always try to ensure a high contrast between text and background so they are legible for people with visual impairments or who are colour-blind.

3. Improving our website’s accessibility

DASCH website on laptop

While there are always new advances happening, we continue to work on improving our websites’ accessibility as well! We look forward to sharing more soon.