Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Global Accessibility Awareness Day   

May 19, 2016

On Thursday May 19th, 2016 Student Accessibility Services celebrated Global Accessibility Awareness Day(GAAD) in the Chancellor Paterson Library. GAAD is a worldwide event that aims to help get us talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility for people with different disabilities.

Student Accessibility Services featured interactive demonstrations and displays highlighting how students, faculty and staff can help themselves and others overcome barriers related to digital accessibility. Everyone also enjoyed some refreshments, snacks and a chance to win some cool prizes!

Leading up to GAAD, various challenges were announced to help everyone experience the impact of digital accessibility.


Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Challenge 1

Many individuals rely on screen readers, magnification software or other types of assistive technology to access web content. It is essential that all web content is created using accessibility standards to remove obstacles or barriers. There are many accessibility best practices that are common to all platforms; colour contrast, font style and size, letter spacing and the structure of the document.

We challenge you to find five features of a web document that makes it inaccessible.

For more information please contact Nancy Cahill in Student Accessibility Services at 807-343-8087,

 Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Challenge 2

Dictate your Docs!

Individuals with accessibility issues, from carpal tunnel, to strain injuries, to learning disabilities, face unique challenges when it comes to using a computer. The keyboard and mouse can be barriers to productivity, not to mention a cause of pain and frustration. Dictation programs and software help reduce those obstacles and allow the user greater access to a computer’s many functions and features.  

We invite you to try Voice Typing through Google Docs. All you need is the Google Chrome web browser and a microphone!

Follow these steps to participate:

  1. Login to your Lakehead email account and navigate to your Google Drive suite. Open a blank Google Doc;  
  2. Under the Tools menu, select Voice Typing;
  3. A microphone icon should appear on your screen, turn dictation on/off by selecting it;
  4. Dictate a few sentences on what accessibility means to you;


Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Challenge 3

Test your Knowledge!

Accessible Education is the process of designing courses and developing a teaching style to meet the needs of people from a variety of backgrounds, abilities and learning styles. Just as there is no single way to teach, people learn in a variety of ways; using different instructional methods will help meet the needs of the greatest number of learners. An important aspect of Accessible Education is the creation of accessible materials.

Visit the Council of Ontario Universities Accessible Campus website to learn more about creating accessible documents!

For more information please contact Nancy Cahill in Student Accessibility Services at 807-343-8087,