Gunela Astbrink

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Reducing Barriers: A Recap of the Webinar on Digital Accessibility

Accessibility for persons with disabilities isn’t just for people who are disabled. It benefits everyone – and there’s even a business case for it, too. That was the key message of the Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) event organized by the Internet Society Accessibility Special Interest Group (A11ySIG). The webinar was A11ySIG’s very first, only a month after its formation!

The purpose of GAAD is to get people talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion (including web, software, mobile, etc.) and about people with different disabilities.

The webinar “Digital Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities” was facilitated by A11ySIG’s president, Muhammad Shabbir Awan. Dan York, the Internet Society’s Director of Web Strategy was a guest speaker together with the founders of A11ySIG.

Joly MacFie, A11ySIG’s admin, outlined the historical context of the Special Interest Group, which grew from the Disability and Special Needs Chapter, the first non-geographical Chapter. Joly paid tribute to the Chapter’s Cynthia Waddell, who was a pioneer of web accessibility and an inspiration to many.

Dan York reinforced the Internet Society’s vision “The Internet is for Everyone” and stated its goal for accessibility across its websites. He explained that the work being done includes: