Global Accessibility Awareness Day flier

Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) 2020 on May 21st!

The campus community can recognize the ninth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on Thursday, May 21, by engaging in several activities. The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion of people with various disabilities. To commemorate the day, we invite you to choose at least one of the virtual activities below: 

Awareness Activities (5-10 minutes each)

Learn what Cal Poly is doing to support the CSU Accessibility Technology Initiative (ATI).

"Learn By Doing Accessibility" Activities

  1. Sign up for a free two-month trial of Otter for Teams, an AI-powered, cloud-based automated transcription service, and use it in Zoom for a meeting, event, or lecture. Instructions found here: Setup and use Otter's live transcription feature in Zoom meetings.  
  2. Make a video call on Microsoft Teams with a Cal Poly co-worker or student and use its live captions feature
  3. Submit an online application to have a video recording(s) for your lecture or event captioned for free by Project COVIDEO (Captioning Online VIDEO), a student-based video captioning service for Cal Poly faculty and staff. Support "Learn By Doing Accessibility" efforts by Cal Poly students while making your video recordings more accessible. 
  4. Upload a document (e.g., Word or PDF) to SensusAccess and choose to have it converted to audio MP3 (Note: make sure to enter your Cal Poly email address when prompted). SensusAccess is a free self-service file conversion service available to all campus members and hosted on the Kennedy Library website. A shortcut to SensusAccess is located in the menu at the top left of every PolyLearn page and in the Help menu of Cal Poly Canvas. 
  5. Explore the free Learning Tools that are available to Office 365 subscribers at Cal Poly. Learning Tools is located under the View menu in Word for Windows, Mac, and iPad. Choose the Read Aloud option to hear the text in your document read aloud with synchronized highlighting. Adjust other features such as page color, column width and text spacing to your preferences. You can also find this option in the online version of Word under the View menu, but it's called Immersive Reader
  6. Try navigating a website using only a keyboard for 5 minutes (no mouse!). You'll quickly understand the challenges that exist when use of a mouse is required. Familiarize yourself with Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts or MacOS keyboard shortcuts
  7. Try using the screen reader on a mobile device to navigate and read a website (e.g, Apple VoiceOver or Android TalkBack). 
  8. Watch a video or movie with audio description turned on and your monitor turned off (or your eyes closed). Audio description is defined as "the verbal depiction of key visual elements in media and live productions" for individuals who are blind or have low vision. Choose from among the audio described videos at YouDescribe or the audio described movies/TV shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime
  9. Post a photo on your Facebook or Instagram page, and include an image description or alt text so that screen reader users can better understand what is in the photo.
    • In Instagram, go to Advanced Settings > Accessibility > tap on Write Alt Text > type in your alt text, then tap Save.
    • In Facebook, once you've uploaded a photo, click the Edit Photo button in the bottom right corner of the photo > click Alt Text > click Override Generated Alt Text > type in a description for the image > click the Save button.
    • Alternatively, you can write an image description enclosed in brackets and titled "IMAGE DESCRIPTION" at the end of your post. Guidelines for writing effective image descriptions for your social media posts can be found in this article titled All About Image Descriptions
  10. Try the “NoCoffee” vision simulator extension in Chrome on a Web site of your choice. This tool accurately emulates a wide variety of visual issues – and is quite enlightening.

Good Reads/Skills Development

  1. In celebration of GAAD 2020, Deque, Level Access, and 3Play Media are offering the following free webinars on Thursday, May 21. Register for one of these webinars at the links below:
  2. Enroll in one of CTLT's online accessibility tutorials listed below. While these courses are geared toward faculty, staff may self-enroll as well:
  3. Tips for writing and presenting accessible web content: Writing for Web Accessibility
  4. Tips for user interface and visual design: Designing for Web Accessibility
  5. Short videos about screen readers:


To learn about past GAAD celebrations at Cal Poly, please visit Prior Accessibility Events

President Armstrong's Message about Accessibility

Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong recorded this short video message for Cal Poly's first-ever celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), which was held on Thursday, May 19th, 2016. The video includes English subtitles:

      Digital Inclusivity Resource Kit (DIRK)

      Here is a 1-page resource for creating accessible digital materials (DIRK PDF)

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