Global Accessibility Awareness Day: What it’s all about

In today's accessible technology roundup: The world marks a day dedicated to raising awareness of digital accessibility, a way to tweet images with descriptions and crowdfunding the development of digital accessibility training programs

This past Thursday, May 15th, was Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a day dedicated to raising awareness about digital accessibility. GAAD started in 2012 and if you’re not familiar with what it’s all about, watch the above interview above with Jennison Asuncion, a blind accessibility professional and one of the founders of GAAD.

Many events were held, both virtually and around the globe, to discuss accessibility and accessible technologies, including, for example, a series of 24 one-hour webinars hosted by the Paciello Group, accessible technology consultants, and a talk by Peter Mahoney, CMO and GM of Nuance’s Dragon speech recognition software, explaining why he believes that accessibility = democracy. Here are the slides from his talk:

It took me almost 50 years to understand accessibility. from Peter Mahoney

Here are some other recent news items and information about the development of accessible technology:

  • Easy Chirp, an accessible Twitter client, announced last week that it now supports short and long descriptions for images, so you can provide accessible images with your tweets. [via Web Axe]

  • Do you use placeholder text within form elements on your website? Turns out that they can be more harmful than helpful, particularly for those with visual or cognitive impairments. The Nielsen Norman Group wrote about why this sort of thing is problematic and offers accessible alternatives for providing help and hints to your visitors.

  • Knowbility, an organization dedicated to promoting the development, use and availability of accessible technology, recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to develop online training to teach web professionals how to build accessible websites, apps and tools. Their goal is to raise $50,000; the campaign runs through June 26, 2014.

  • Speaking of crowdfunding for accessible technology development training, accessibility consultants EZFire also launched an Indiegogo campaign recently to raise money for what they’re calling Accessibility TV Network. Accessibility TV will be a subscription-based network of training courses and material for developing accessible digital content and tools. Their goal is to raise $100,000; the campaign will run through June 29, 2014.

Was there other news or interesting information from the world of accessible technology that I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Read more of Phil Johnson's #Tech blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Phil on Twitter at @itwphiljohnson. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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