Today is the Global Accessibility Awareness Day or GAAD,
and people around the world organize events to raise awareness about digital accessibility. Especially as everything is online these days, GAAD has become something that celebrate throughout the month of May.
2020 was the 10th anniversary, and also the launch of the GAAD Foundation.
I represented Drupal in Funka's We4Authors Accessibility Cluster. Yesterday, Funka organized a pre-GAAD event to highlight the importance of authoring tools. Authoring tools with built-in accessibility! was a wonderful success with over hundred participants from over 35 countries around the world.
The We4Authors Cluster is a multi-CMS (Content Management System) group that is working to better support authors. Authors need to be subject matter experts, not accessibility experts, and CMS tools can help make their job easier. It should be simple for everyone to produce accessible content. For folks familiar with the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative, it is essentially looking at implementing Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 - Part B. By bringing together leaders in CMS solutions that are popular with governments in the European Union, we are finding solutions which can help many of the authors that will need to implement the European Union's Web Accessibility Directive.
The challenge that governments face to see that their digital solutions are able to meet the needs of all citizens is significant. By working together and funding common solutions to widely used libraries the European Commission is able to make a very cost-effective contribution to improving accessibility. Millions of citizens in member states will benefit from having better accessibility defaults.
Both proprietary & open source communities were involved in the We4Authors Cluster and both can help develop common best practices.
It was also terrific to see the efforts that the organizers placed on accessibility for this event. A live captionist was engaged for the event. That text was automatically translated into multiple languages so that representatives in non-English speaking countries could participate. Building in accessibility best practices can really help so many people engage with digital content. Everyone can benefit, whether they have a disability or not.