Events: May 21 Global Accessibility Awareness Day Events


Join us in this special day focused on building an inclusive university!

May 21 Global Accessibility Awareness Day events

Thursday May 21 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of the day is to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) accessibility and users with different disabilities. There’s more information about this annual tradition on the GAAD website at

The following GAAD events and activities are planned. They are open to all members of the University of Washington (UW) community:

  • Web Council, 9:00-10:20am, Odegaard 220.Web Council is the largest regular meeting of web professionals on campus. They meet monthly, and this month’s meeting will focus in part on digital accessibility, including the unveiling of the new University of Washington IT Accessibility Guidelines, a quick introduction to accessible web design, and a discussion about PDF accessibility. You will also be able to find out how accessible your site is.
  • Drupal User Group, 10:30am, Odegaard 220 (immediately following Web Council). Topics will include an announcement of the results of a recent survey on Drupal at the UW, and Terrill Thompson will describe efforts to evaluate and improve accessibility of modules commonly used on UW Drupal sites.
  • Website Accessibility Tune-Up, 11:30am – 1pm, UW Tower 4th floor café. Your local accessibility enthusiasts and experts will be available to chat with you personally about the accessibility of websites of your choosing! Receive valuable advice and meet people who are excited to join you on your road to accessible IT.
  • Access Technology Center (ATC) Open House. 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Mary Gates Hall 064. Drop by to learn about the ATC, meet the staff, and help celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day! The ATC provides consultations on website/web application accessibility and demonstrates a wide variety of hardware, software, and furniture for users with disabilities. Bring your whole team or just come by yourself! Come with questions from accessibility policy, student services, staff/faculty accommodations, access technology, website accessibility and related topics. Members of DRS (Disability Resources for Students), DSO (Disability Services Office), and ORM (Office of Risk Management) along with ATS (Accessible Technology Services) will be at this open house to answer your questions.

Can’t Attend Any Of These Events? You can still participate by taking the #NoMouse challenge! Try your department or unit’s website without a mouse, using the keyboard alone. Try the following keystrokes on a website:

  • Press Tab to move to the next link, form element, or button.
  • Press Shift+Tab to move to the previous link, form element, or button.
  • Press Enter or space bar to activate the current link or button.
  • Use Arrow keys, Escape key, and any other keys to determine their function.

When navigating without a mouse, can you access and operate all features on the web page? Can you tell where you are on the page? If so, the website is accessible to people who cannot operate a mouse, but rather use the keyboard alone.

Keyboard accessibility is important because some users have physical disabilities that prevent them from using a mouse. It’s one of many web accessibility issues, but is a very simple issue to test. For more about web accessibility, see the UW Accessible Technology website at accessibility. And be sure to tell others to take the #NoMouse challenge!

UW/GAAD events are provided by:

Access Technology Center
The Access Technology Center (ATC) provides consulting for students, faculty and staff with disabilities who need to use computing resources and online materials. The ATC provides campus-wide consulting for accessible and functional web site and application design, and provides all braille embossing and tactile graphics for the UW community.

Disability Resources for Students
DRS is dedicated to ensuring access and inclusion for all students with disabilities on the Seattle campus enrolled in UW undergraduate, graduate, professional, Evening Degree and Access programs.

Disability Services Office
The Disability Services Office (DSO) provides many services on campus including accommodation advice and resources for University departments, interpreters, general access accommodations for members of the public attending University events, and coordination of disabled parking or disabled transportation.

Office of Risk Management
The Office of Risk Management organizes, coordinates, and implements programs to control risks for all University of Washington campuses.

University Marketing and Communications
Marketing strives to ensure the University’s central sites are as modern and usable as possible for users of all abilities and to provide an accessible base for partners across campus.

UW Information Technology Communications
UW IT Communications facilitates UW-IT’s commitment to transparency, oversight, and open communication. They inform students, faculty, and staff of UW-IT services, developments, and issues at the UW that impact their work.

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