The idea of Global Accessibility Day 2023 is to empower visually impaired people through accessible technology. Accessible technology has a vital part in helping and supporting the visually impaired to overcome their challenges and utilize their potential to create a career or upgrade their lives.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is a yearly event that is celebrated on the third Thursday of May. The purpose of GAAD is to raise awareness about the importance of accessible technology and to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Due to advanced technologies and assistive devices plus digital tools, people with visual impairments can read information, interact and go around with their daily chores in an independent manner. Yes, you read it right! If you are not aware of the same, let us understand how assistive devices can help visually impaired people.
Screen readers, braille displays, smartphone apps, and voice-controlled devices are some of examples of assisted devices that help to provide equal chances to the visually impaired to lead their lives in a better manner. These assisted technologies not only help them in their daily lives but also makes them feel a part of the world that they cannot see with their eyes but definitely understand and explore as equal to other abled people.
They can participate in society with the help of assistive devices and digital solutions. They can get themselves educated through e-books and screen reader software. They can utilize specialized audio players like Daisy player that provides structured and navigable audio content in order to help them to access books and other materials. Visually impaired people can also access their surroundings through digital cane and smart goggles which can help them to find obstacles and give tactile and audio feedback to the users about their environment and help them walk around safely.
There are also technologies such as screen reader software to make digital content accessible and accessible computing systems and software that can help them to work in their jobs without any issues.
Other assistive devices include:
Magnifiers: Magnifiers can be used to enlarge text or images.
Talking watches: Talking watches can be used to tell time and to provide other information, such as the date and the weather.
Talking calculators: Talking calculators can be used to perform mathematical calculations.
Talking computers: Talking computers are computers that have been specially designed to be used by people who are visually impaired. They have features such as screen readers and Braille displays.
On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, let us celebrate the importance of accessible technology and the difference it can make in the lives of people who are visually impaired. Let us also call for more accessible technology to be developed and made available to people who need it.
Donate to organizations that are working to develop and make accessible technology available to people who require it. Champion for accessible technology in your workplace and in your community. Volunteer your time to help people who are visually impaired learn how to use accessible technology. These are some of the ways you can make the day memorable in your life.