Today we are celebrating the 11th Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)!
The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and how this impacts on more than 2.5 billion people living with disabilities worldwide.
Just as powerful as this annual celebration is the overarching work of the GAAD Foundation who are on a mission to modify the culture of technological and digital product development to include accessibility as a core requirement.
So let’s start by talking about some facts…
- The 2022 Global Report on Assistive Technology states that approximately 2.5 billion people globally need at least 1 assistive product, however, around 1 billion people cannot obtain them.
- The 2019 Click-Away Pound survey found that as many as 71% of people with disabilities will stop engaging with a website that they find difficult to use.
- Research published by Amazon shows that 99% of people with disabilities think smart home tech isn’t accessible.
- According to the International Labour Organization, excluding people with disabilities from the workforce can lead to a loss in GDP of up to 7%.
- Job Accommodation Network found that 56% of workplace accommodations for employees cost absolutely nothing to execute. The remaining ones typically cost just $500 (USD).
From the obvious human rights factors to the economic benefits these facts highlight some of the reasons why technological and digital accessibility simply must be considered and not continue to be overlooked.
Now let’s talk about accountability…
While technological innovations continue to evolve, so does the world of accessibility, which is why our team at Remarkable will be the first to admit that we may not always get things right. As a team, we believe that accessibility is not a one-size-fits all concept, but rather an evolving concept where we learn from our mistakes along the way, while continuing to strive for excellence in accessibility.
We invite you all to join us on this journey that continues well beyond today. This is an invitation to work toward a future described beautifully by Fernando H. F. Botelho, where “Assistive technology will then no longer be a lesser technology, but one more essential layer on the infrastructure of modern society.”