Global Accessibility Awareness Day

On May 17th, 2018 Student Accessibility Services,  the Chancellor Paterson Library, The Teaching Commons, students, staff and faculty celebrated Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) here at Lakehead University!

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is a global event that was established to get us talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility for users with different disabilities.

Poster of Global Accessibility Awareness Day May 17, 2018

Global Accessibility Awareness Day - May 17, 2018

Leading up to Global Accessibility Awareness Day, various challenges were announced to the Lakehead University Community to help everyone experience the impact of digital accessibility.

Special thank you to Campus Tech, Lakehead University Bookstore, and The Study for their generous donations and continued support with Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

Our challenges are listed below for you to try!

For more information: Please contact Nancy Cahill in the office of Student Accessibility Services. Call ( 807) 343-8086 or email:

Challenge 1 -You’ll never be bored using your keyboard

Try going mouse-less for an hour using these Keyboard Shortcuts.

People with mobility difficulties, who are blind or have low vision may rely on the keyboard instead of the mouse to navigate web pages. We challenge you to work without your computer mouse for one hour.

Let us know what you thought! Answer this simple question to enter your name for a chance to win some great prizes!

Challenge #2 - Surf the Web with a Screen Reader for an hour

Many individuals with disabilities rely on screen readers to navigate through web pages, applications and text documents. Screen readers are audio interfaces. Rather than displaying web content visually, screen readers convert text into synthesized speech so that users can listen to the content. We challenge you to surf the web with a screen reader and listen to your favourite web pages and applications.

There are a number of free/open source screen readers available for Windows users. One of the more popular ones is NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA). Take a bit of time beforehand to download the software and learn some of NVDA’s documented basic keystrokes.

As a Mac, iPad or iPhone user, you have a built-in screen reader calledVoiceOver on your system. Take some time to familiarize yourself with how to turn on VoiceOver and explore this and other built-in accessibility features on your Apple device.

Let us know what you thought! Answer this simple question to enter your name for a chance to win some great prizes!

Challenge #3 - Are your presentations and documents accessible for all?

According to Statistics Canada, it is estimated that 14% of Canada’s population lives with a disability (CDS 2012). With this in mind, it is essential that all web content is created using accessibility best practices to remove obstacles and barriers. There are many accessibility best practices that are common to all platforms: colour contrast, font size, font type, letter/character spacing and the structure of the document.

We challenge you learn more about creating accessible documents by viewing the following video tutorial from, a provider of online training with a focus on technology, software, and business skills. 

To access the course, click on the link below.  At the login prompt, enter your Lakehead University username and password.  To add this course to your personal playlist, click the “Add to Playlist” link (visible when in Creating Accessible Documents

Let us know what you thought! Answer this simple question to enter your name for a chance to win some great prizes!

For more information, please contact:

Nancy Cahill
Student Accessibility Services
Phone: 807-343-8086