Author: Anita Kelley, Enable Savings Plan Alabama Director, Alabama State Treasury

In today's day and age, almost everything can now be accessed online or digitally. In fact, a majority of people use digital versions of books and receive most of their news through online websites, Twitter, Facebook, and various other social media channels. The pen and paper of yesterday are becoming obsolete.

Though many of us take the internet for granted, people who have visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive disabilities often have trouble accessing the internet. Global Accessibility Awareness Day attempts to change and influence technology and its use. The sixth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is this Thursday, May 18th, and we encourage all of those in the Enable community to take a part in developing awareness.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is filled with events and webinars that bring together those in the digital community to help educate and raise awareness about making education materials and technology more accessible for all.

Many technology companies have created features that allow individuals with disabilities to more easily access the digital world, such as text to speech, VoiceOver, and Automator. However, with so many individuals with such unique needs there are always more modifications that need to be made, and it starts with raising awareness of these needs. It is important for all of us in the digital community to be aware of best practices to help ensure the digital world becomes a more user-friendly place for all.

We challenge you to brainstorm some of the biggest obstacles many face when it comes to using modern technology, as well as ways these obstacles and barriers can be lifted.   

We encourage you to become involved in this important awareness day and take advantage of its offerings by walking a digital mile in someone else’s shoes for the day. For more information and to find local events near you please visit: http://globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org/.