According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, nearly four million Australians have a disability. That's almost 20 per cent of our country's population and for context, Melbourne has a population of just over five million. We all have a part to play in ensuring venues, events and the digital sphere are accessible for all, and that's what spurned the advent of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).
GAAD is celebrated on the third Thursday in May of each year, and its aim is to bring awareness to how someone with a disability may experience web-based content compared to those without a disability. In 2020, WebAIM analysed one million home pages for accessibility and found that 98 per cent of them had at least one accessibility failure in regards to text, images, sounds and structure.
Here at Time Out, we work to make our content more accessible to those with visual or hearing impairments by adding alternative and descriptive text to multimedia, using descriptive URLs and adding warnings on content that may affect photosensitive individuals. We also aim to champion wheelchair-accessible bars and restaurants and inform readers when an event that we've highlighted may pose accessibility issues. It's always a work in progress, and we welcome suggestions for how we can continue to make our content more accessible.
Wondering how you can do your part this GAAD? Find a list of local and digital events like accessibility bootcamps, webinars and learning experiences here, spread awareness on GAAD through your platforms or use this guide to ensure that any content that you create is accessible to all.