May 20 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day!

communications icons for accessibility

The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments.

The WC3 Web Accessibility Initiative has produced WCAG Guidelines for making the web accessible. However, as recently as 2020, WebAIM analyzed one million home pages for accessibility issues and found 98.1% had at least one WCAG 2.0 failure, with the average number of errors per home page being 60.9!

Common accessibility failures included:

  • Low contrast text – 86.3%
  • Missing alt text for images – 66%
  • Empty links – 59.9%
  • Missing form input labels – 53.8%
  • Empty buttons – 28.7%
  • Missing document language – 28%

(source: Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 2021)

For those interested in attending an event to learn more about creating digital experiences that are accessible for everyone, the GAAD website provides registration links for a long list of virtual events and webinars. These sessions are presented by international experts, and most are free to attend.

To help celebrate GAAD and raise awareness of accessibility issues, the Library has provided the below list of resources from the collection that focus on web accessibility, the design issues that make using the web challenging for people with a disability, and how to design sites that provide a better user experience for everyone.


Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing with Accessibility in Mind
Author: Regine Gilbert

What is inclusive design? It is simple. It means that your product has been created with the intention of being accessible to as many different users as possible. For a long time, the concept of accessibility has been limited in terms of only defining physical spaces. However, change is afoot: personal technology now plays a part in the everyday lives of most of us, and thus it is a responsibility for designers of apps, web pages, and more public-facing tech products to make them accessible to all. Our digital era brings progressive ideas and paradigm shifts – but they are only truly progressive if everybody can participate. In Inclusive Design for a Digital World, multiple crucial aspects of technological accessibility are confronted, followed by step-by-step solutions from User Experience Design professor and author Regine Gilbert. Think about every potential user who could be using your product. Could they be visually impaired? Have limited motor skills? Be deaf or hard of hearing? This book addresses a plethora of web accessibility issues that people with disabilities face.

Read Inclusive Design for a Digital World online


Maximum accessibility: making your Web site more usable for everyone

Authors: John Slatin and Sharron Rush

Accessibility is now a legal requirement for all national government Web sites in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the European Union. Throughout the world, many other organizations – universities, schools, and private companies – are recognizing that accessibility is a moral and business imperative; many are adopting policies aimed at making Web resources accessible to the more than six hundred million people with disabilities worldwide. Maximum Accessibility is a comprehensive resource for creating Web sites that comply with new U.S. accessibility standards and conform to the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. This book offers an overview of key issues, discusses the standards in depth, and presents practical design techniques, up-to-date technologies, and testing methods to implement these standards for maximum accessibility.

Read Maximum accessibility online


Constructing Accessible Web Sites
Authors: Cynthia Wadell et al.

Accessibility is about making websites that don’t exclude people with visual, aural, or physical disabilities. Through real-world examples, this practical book will teach you how to create or retrofit accessible websites quickly and easily. This book is aimed toward web professionals creating accessible websites or updating existing sites to make them accessible. It’s also useful for corporate, university, and government policy-makers involved in the development and maintenance of websites for their institutions. The thorough and practical accessibility techniques outlined in this book come from some of the best accessibility professionals in the business.

Read Constructing Accessible Web Sites online


Accessibility Handbook: making 508 websites for everyone
Authors: Katie Cunningham et al.

Get practical guidelines for making your website accessible to people with disabilities. With this handbook, you’ll learn how to design or develop a site that conforms to Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act—and in the process you’ll discover how to provide a better user experience for everyone.

Read Accessibility handbook online


Inclusive Designing: Joining Usability, Accessibility, and Inclusion
Authors: P Langdon et al.

Proceedings of CWUAAT ’14; a unique multi-disciplinary workshop that represents the Inclusive Design Research community Provides a platform for a multidisciplinary approach that reconciles the diverse and sometimes conflicting demands of Design for Ageing and Impairment, Usability and Accessibility and Universal Access Develops methods, technologies, tools and guidance that support product designers and architects to design for the widest possible population.

Read Inclusive Designing online


Practical Web Inclusion and Accessibility: A Comprehensive Guide to Access Needs
Authors: Ashley Firth.

The web has to be inclusive. From Microsoft’s “inclusive design” movement – creating adaptive controllers for users with a range of disabilities – to Beyoncé’s site being sued for failure to be accessible, the importance of considering access needs is gaining mainstream attention. Recognizing and catering for a range of disabilities in our online platforms is key to achieving a truly inclusive web. You’ll be guided through a broad range of access needs, the barriers users often face, and provided practical advice on how your sites can help rather than hinder. Going beyond advice tailored solely for developers, this book offers potential improvements for designers, developers, user experience professionals, QA and testers, so that everyone involved in building a website can engage with the concepts without the need to understand how to code. Learn about the very latest technology – such as natural language processing and smart home tech – and explore its application accessibly. This book comes complete with practical examples you can use in your own sites and, for the first time in any web accessibility book, access needs experienced by those with mental health disorders and cognitive impairments are comprehensively covered.  Applicable to both new projects and those maintaining existing sites and looking for achievable improvements on them, Practical Web Inclusion and Accessibility gives you all the information you need to ensure that your sites are truly accessible for the modern, inclusive web.

Read Practical Web Inclusion and Accessibility online