Global Accessibility Awareness Day

May 16th is the 8th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) - so why am I writing this blog post today instead of then? Well, this year I am calling the Ember community to take action on May 16th.

My goal is that after you read this blog post, you will block off some amount of time on your calendar for Thursday, May 16th. I am going to provide a few ideas that will take different amounts of time, so that no matter what kind of time you have available, you will be able to participate.

5-30 minutes

  • Visibly support accessibility efforts on your social media platform of choice. Here are some ideas:
    • Share the link to GAAD, and vocalize that all websites should be accessible. Make sure to include the hashtag A11y (#A11y).
    • Start following (if you aren't already) prominent Accessibility Advocates & Engineers. Programmers like Léonie Watson, Scott O'Hara, Marcy Sutton, Eric Bailey, Carie Fisher, and Zoë Bijl are all a great place to start!
    • Share your own advice on how to get started with digital accessibility.
  • Find the existing keyboard shortcuts for your operating system, and schedule time to become more familiar with them, via https://dequeuniversity.com/screenreaders/.

30-60 minutes

  • Go mouseless: using only your keyboard, visit a website that you helped build (even if it's just a local build) and try to navigate around the app with only your keyboard. Don't have a website to visit? Visit our own website (emberjs.com) and try it out - and if you find things that don't work, file an issue or submit a PR!
  • Check the modals/dialogs/popups in your application. Do they trap focus? File an issue or submit a PR if they do not. Not sure what that means? Check out this simple modal addon for a demonstration.

60+ minutes

As for me, I'll be spending May 16th in the #topic-a11y channel on the Ember Community Discord chat server - ready to help you with whatever accessibility questions you might have. If you are able to help answer questions and knowledge share that day as well, please do join in!

Everything you do matters. Our community is well-known for being inclusive- let's make sure that our commitment to inclusion includes the digital accessibility of not only Ember.js, but the products we build with it.

Do you have something planned for Thursday? I'd love to hear from you!