Today, May 9th, is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The point of this day is to increase awareness of the importance of digital accessibility for all people. This outreach is for both geeks and non-geeks. It is for accessibility in learning, playing, working and enjoying life on the web. Because when it comes right down to it the web really is for everyone. So what are you going to do today to celebrate GAAD? Here are a few ideas:

Ideas for Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)

  • Real People, Real Lives, Real Accessibility – Watch the accessibility story of Aleeha and see how technology is allowing her to overcome her disability and study to become the first blind veterinarian.
  • Experience Loss of Dexterity – Trying switching your mouse to your non-dominent hand for an hour. See what it would be like to use the web without your current level of dexterity.
  • Experience Keyboard Only – Try using your favorite web page without a mouse. If you hit a road block realize that people who use screen readers or have dexterity issues and can’t use a mouse would not have equal access to this site. Consider sending a message via the “contact us” form for that site asking them to make their site more accessible.
  • Experience Reduced Vision – Dim the screen on your mobile phone and try to use it in bright sunlight. See what it would be like to have reduced vision and a lack of clear color perception.
  • Sign up for the online version of AccessUAccessU at Your Desk – Learn more about accessibility from the comfort of your own desk. What a great line-up of speakers and topics.
  • Apply for a $10,000 Accessibility Grant - Apply for the Amaze Digital Accessibility Grant. Deque has extended the deadline for submission through today. What would you do with $10,000 to make the web more accessible through innovative technology or an amazing new project?
  • Try using a screen reader.
    • ChromeVox – Try ChromeVox, a free screen reader for the Chrome Browser. I’ll tell you, the interactive ChomeVox Tutorial is really awesome.
    • VoiceOver – If you have a mac, try VoiceOver (it is already on on your computer).
    • NVDA – Try using the open source screen reader NVDA for PCs. Great instructions on getting started can be found at

Additional News and Resources of Global Accessibility Awareness Day

What did I do last year? I spent one hour using the web without my mouse. I reported my findings last year at “Accessibility Awareness: My 1 Mouseless Hour on the Web” .

What am I going to do this year? I’m going to use ChromeVox (a free and powerful screen reader) to explore Google Docs. I’ll share my findings in an upcoming Tweetchat as well as a post to my blog.