GAAD co-founders' accessibility tips for the future

"The idea with the GAAD pledge is to really focus on the frameworks that people build technology in," said Joe Devon, co-founder of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on last week's Accessibility Insights webinar

He continued: "...because if the frameworks are accessible, they include accessible documentation, they include accessible examples, and the developers that take up the project will do a better job with accessibility which can affect millions of users downstream."

Facebook takes the #GAADPledge

Joe was discussing the #GAADPledge on the webinar alongside his GAAD co-founding partner Jennison Asuncion, Head of Accessibility Engineering Evangelism at LinkedIn. The pledge is a commitment made by organisations and developers to make accessibility a core value of their digital products.

Facebook became one of the first organisations to take the #GAADPledge.

Coming up on 20th May and now in its tenth year, GAAD aims to encourage thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than one billion people with disabilities/impairments.

GAAD's influence on accessibility 

You can watch the webinar playback below (download the transcript):

On the webinar, Jennison shared his thoughts about GAAD's significance as a day for promoting accessibility.

"What is neat about this, is that people use the GAAD platform as a reason or an excuse to raise accessibility for the first time in companies or to launch a product or to start a campaign, or to end something, or to make an announcement," Jennison said. "We are fine with all of that, as long as it involves digital access or inclusion."

Seeking to learn more about digital accessibility? AbilityNet has a range of accessibility training courses available online. 

Keeping mobile apps accessible

Jennison also noted his thoughts about how GAAD can develop further: "We have to do more on the mobile side of things to ensure that the mobile app developers are doing exactly what the web folks have been doing for the last ten years."  

Webinar attendees posed their questions to Jennison and Joe during the session. One attendee asked: "Do you have suggestions for getting companies to keep their apps accessible as they update so often? Many apps are broken with updates."

Joe Devon responded: "It all comes down to the organisation having accessibility as a core value of the company. If they do, everyone doing updates will pay attention to accessibility and most importantly, have accessibility testing as part of their quality assurance process before going live with an update."

You can find the remaining Q&As on the webinar page.

Robin Christopherson, Jennison Asuncion and Joe Devon

Meet Larry Goldberg of Verizon Media

Each session in the Accessibility Insights series is hosted by AbilityNet's Head of Digital Inclusion, Robin Christopherson. He asks the guest to pose a question to the next guest in the series, so each session follows on from the previous episode.

Our guest for June's session is Larry Goldberg (pictured, below), Senior Director and Head of Accessibility of Verizon Media.

"I want to shower the praise on to Larry for all he has done in accessibility and for being such an approachable leader… he has so much energy... he is doing so many great things over at Verizon and I wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge and to thank him for his keen enthusiasm," said Jennison.

Larry Goldberg

Joe and Jennison's question for next month's webinar: "What are your thoughts on auto captioning technology and in particular, the habit of sensoring out content like swear words?"

Find out Larry's answer by attending the webinar on 8 June. Registration now open:

Register for the next webinar


Further resources

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