Skip to Page Content


EITS to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Monday, May 6, 2013

Just how does someone with vision impairment read a website? Or, how does someone who can’t hear well listen to audio files on a website?

Thanks to various assistive technology tools — such as screen readers and audio captioning — users with different disabilities can have the same access to digital content as those without disabilities.

The University of Georgia and other institutions in the University System of Georgia (USG) follow Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, which requires that web-based information and data be equally available to users with and without disabilities.

Enterprise Information Technology Services (EITS) is joining other groups at UGA and the USG to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day on Thursday, May 9.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is intended to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) accessibility and users with different disabilities.

The Web Accessibility Group (WAG) — which is a joint group of digital content providers and web designers at UGA and 22 other USG institutions — has resources available for meeting Section 508 requirements.

Is your department’s website web accessible? WAG has accessibility checkers on its website to ensure that your website is accessible to those with disabilities.

Not sure about the requirements to meet web accessibility requirements? WAG provides training resources, including information on how to make courses in eLC meet Section 508 standards.

Several WAG members will host a Global Accessibility Awareness Day event on Thursday, May 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., outside of the Main Library.

Visitors may bring a URL of a website or a blog, which volunteers will inspect for web accessibility. The website or blog URLs may be associated with the University or a personal page. Volunteers will talk to visitors about their findings of the URL's web accessibility and provide some basic tips. The event is a partnership between the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, the Disability Resource Center and EITS.

For Global Accessibility Awareness Day, some ideas to experience digital accessibility firsthand for an hour include:

  • turning off your computer speakers and trying to access web-based videos
  • turning off your monitor and trying to access websites by hearing, instead of sight
  • unplugging your mouse and trying to navigate websites with only your keyboard
  • removing semantic structure and trying to understand website content.

WAG also maintains a listserv, which is open to anyone.