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Global Accessibility Awareness Day is May 17

#GAAD is meant to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion.
April 24, 2018
Illustration of people with various visible and non-visible disabilities.
Celebrate #GAAD

Global Accessibility Awareness Day, external link takes place Thursday, May 17, 2018. Started by a web developer based in Los Angeles and a Toronto-based accessibility professional, GAAD came to fruition in 2015. GAAD takes place annually on the third Thursday of May.

The purpose of the day is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility (i.e. websites, software, documents, mobile, and other) and inclusion for people with different disabilities.

In support of GAAD, Access Ryerson will be hosting a week of workshops on the topics of creating accessible documents, presentations and websites. The three workshops will take place from Monday, May 14 to Friday, May 18.

Monday, May 14

Event Title: Best practices for creating accessible websites
Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Ryerson Library Collaboratory, 3rd floor of library
Open To: All staff, faculty, and students

Tuesday, May 15

Event Title: Boardrooms to classrooms: Creating accessible presentations
Date: May 15, 2018
Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Ryerson Library Collaboratory, 3rd floor of Library
Open To: All staff, faculty, and students

Wednesday, May 16

Event Title: Essays, resumes, reports, oh my! Creating accessible Word and Google Docs
Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Ryerson Library Collaboratory, LIB 387.
Open To: All students, staff, and faculty.

Thursday, May 17

For the official day of GAAD, we will have sessions available exclusively for faculty and instructors participating in the 2018 Learning & Teaching Conference. Please refer to their website for session times and more information.

Note: Please note you must be registered to attend these conference sessions. 

Session Title: Universal Design for Learning: Creating Flexible Learning Environments

Session Type: Concurrent50 minutes 

Session Description: Working with Ryerson's exceptionally diverse student body requires instructors to use innovative and creative teaching methods to ensure the inclusion and engagement of all students. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) uses a variety of strategies that are well supported by research and includes in-class practices, assessment practices, and course website practices to help us reach all of our students. In this workshop, led by the Universal Design for Learning Committee, we will explore best practices for creating an accessible and inclusive learning environment through an interactive teaching simulation. Participants will leave with a set of tips, tricks, and strategies for creating engaging and innovative learning experiences using a universal design framework.

Session Title: Creating accessible instructional content in your D2L course shell

Session Type: Concurrent50 minutes 

Session Description: This session will explore digital accessibility pertaining to content creation and/or remediation in your D2L Brightspace course shell. We will look at simple ways to make an immediate impact on the accessibility of your course, such as the use of alternative text, proper use of headings, captioning/transcriptions, and more. We will then demonstrate how these techniques improve access with assistive technologies, such as text-to-speech programs and screen readers. Participants will leave with an understanding of accessibility requirements, set of tips and strategies for creating accessible course content that is inclusive to everyone.

Session Title: Digital accessibility: A highlight of the D2L Accessibility Checker & document accessibility tips

Session Type: Poster session (cocktail reception from 4:45 to 6:30pm)

Session Description: The D2L text editor, found in many tools across Brightspace, features an accessibility checker which highlights common accessibility issues with your content. This poster session will show you where to find the checker and how easy it is to use, as well as some basic tips to creating accessible course content in your D2L course shell.