Global Accessibility Awareness Day flier

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

The campus community can recognize the eighth 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: 

"Learn By Doing Accessibility" Activities for GAAD 2020

  1. 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. 
  2. 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
  3. Call a friend or family member on Skype and use its live captions & subtitles feature. During the call, press the more + button, then select Turn Subtitles On.
  4. 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
  5. Attend a free webinar about digital accessibility
  6. 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
  7. Download the free Microsoft Translator app to your smartphone and encourage a fellow student or colleague to do so as well. Speak into the app and see your words instantly transcribed (or translated) as text for your partner to read in real-time on their smartphone. Consider how this app can facilitate conversation with individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing or who speak a different language. 
  8. Check out the digital accessibility resources compiled by CTLT (Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology): Accessibility Resources and Video Creation and Captioning.


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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