Western celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day by offering trainings online and in the community

Thursday, May 16 was Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), an event that occurs every May and invites content creators to help make the digital world a little more accessible. Western aims to improve its accessibility on a daily basis, and GAAD provides the chance for creators to look for ways to improve their content accessibility.

GAAD logoDavid Engebretson, one of Western's accessibility specialists, provided an in-person training on accessible digital content to over 30 staff and faculty at Bellingham Technical College. The in-person session covered accessible web content, documents, and Canvas LMS content. "It was a lively and engaged audience," David reported.

Web Communication Technologies has also released their Western Advanced Accessibility Training, geared towards anyone working with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA). It covers best practices with these technologies, as well as some use cases and how to test websites and web apps for accessibility. Western's web developers across campus are highly encouraged to take the advanced accessibility training, but anyone is welcome to self-enroll and learn more about web accessibility.

The Western Accessibility Training is also available by self-enroll for anyone that works with basic web content and/or Word/PDF documents.

There are many ways to celebrate GAAD, but here are a few tests that anyone can run on a computer or mobile device:

  • Go mouseless for 30 minutes. See if you can navigate your favorite websites, web apps, and social media platforms by keyboard alone.
  • Get descriptive. If you are linking to other content in a document or webpage, use meaningful hyperlink text instead of "click here," "read more," or just "here."
  • Turn down the volume and watch a YouTube video. Chances are it will be hard to understand what is being said or what is happening by sound. This is why captions are important to include in video content.
  • Turn down the screen brightness. Dim your computer or mobile screen and see if you can still see the digital content. If you can't, your content likely needs higher color contrast.

For more info about digital accessibility at Western, please visit https://access.wwu.edu/.



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Friday, May 17, 2019 - 9:59am