How AbilityNet is celebrating #GAAD

GAAD logoThursday, 16 May 2019 is Global Accessibility Awareness - also known as #GAAD.

AbilityNet is proud to have been involved in GAAD since the start, recognising its value as an opportunity to loudly champion accessibility and get people thinking about how tech can help transform the lives of disabled people. Here’s a brief overview of some of the events the AbilityNet team is involved in for Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2019.

Dafydd Henke-Reed

Senior Accessibility and Usability Consultant

"I’m attending the BBC’s All Access event at Broadcasting House, London. We spend a lot of time on errand accessibility, such as checking your bank balance and buying groceries. These are massively important for independence and dignity. But they aren't fun. We don't often talk about the accessibility of entertainment and recreation. That's why I’m particularly interested in talks about Accessible Games for Everyone (Graham Densham) and Exploring Barriers in VR (Jamie Knight and Lion). 

"You can find more information about it here: BBC - GAAD - Access All Areas 2019." 

"In the evening, I’m speaking at the UK Chapter of the UXPA (User Experience Professionals’ Association about Dyslexia without Borders. I wish to talk about dyslexia as I am dyslexic. "

"Cognitive and neurological accessibility is challenging to evaluate and define - particularly when compared to screen reader and keyboard accessibility, which is more objective and testable. I also want to champion how much technology has enabled me."

"The brief for my talk is: Technology has revolutionised the experience of dyslexia." 

"On the one hand, assistive technologies, such as dictation software and voice assistants, have become mainstream. On the other, digital communicate has become less text oriented, with reactions, emojis, voice chat, and multimedia messaging being commonplace. Mixing personal stories and professional experiences, this talk will go beyond spellcheckers and explore the holistic benefit technology has had. It will also examine good practice for enabling dyslexic users and barriers to avoid.”

Robin Christopherson, MBE

Head of Digital Inclusion

"At 1pm on GAAD (and then as a podcast afterwards) I'm with Steven Scott and Robin Spinks from the RNIB are doing a Tech Talk special for GAAD, talking about accessibility past, present and future. You can listen to the show on AudioBoom - and if you’d like to tweet about the show, you can use the hashtags #RNIBConnect #RNIBTechTalk"

Abi James

Senior accessibility and usability consultant

Abi will be at the ATOS GAAD event in London talking about the accessibility and regulatory landscape. She will discuss new legislation in the UK and across Europe that will ensure websites and apps meet accessibility standards.

Alex Barker

AbilityNet advice and information officer

Alex answers our freephone helpline

Alex work on our free helpline, supporting disabled people to solve tech accessibility issues. He also regularly speaks at events for different companies, sharing his vast knowledge on improving digital access.

The software engineering company Anaplan asked Alex if he would do a talk for them to celebrate GAAD. Some of the Anaplan engineering team work on user interface and experience. The company is looking to be as inclusive as impossible in its product design so Alex is looking forward to helping them understand some of the ways they can deliver a more accessible digital experience for all their users.

Adi Latif

Accessibility and Marketing COnsultant

Adi is delivering a talk about Microsoft's UK HQ about how tech can make the world a more accessible place for disabled people.

Spreading the word

Our whole team will be sharing links across social media so check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

More about #GAAD

GAAD is a day to celebrate inclusive access wins, but also to highlight what needs to change.  About fifteen percent of the world’s population (one billion people) has a disability, according to the World Health Organization. That’s a huge number of people who might struggle to use technology and digital services which aren’t created with accessibility and inclusion in mind. Share the message far and wide this GAAD!

Find out more at

How can you get involved in GAAD?

Further reading

- Mashable has a very comprehensive article about GAAD. A really informative and interesting read
- 5 top tips to make your website more accessible
- 7 Steps to digital accessibility
- 5 Ways to make your tweets accessible
- Creating accessible content
- Use AbilityNet's My Computer My Way to find out about all the accessibility features of your devices