GAAD 2024

Offical Global Accessiblity Awareness Day photo of the letters GAAD in an enclosed circle with a keyboard.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is on May 16, 2024 and is an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of digital accessibility – the design of digital products and services to ensure they can be used by as many people as possible, including those with disabilities. To celebrate and spread the word, download and use a GAAD Zoom background

A key aspect of digital accessibility is ensuring that webpages, documents, and apps are easy to navigate, have clear and readable text, and have features that are usable by all.

Over the past year, USC has made great strides in improving the accessibility of our digital footprint. We have added the ability to scan all websites for accessibility concerns with automated intelligence, completed manual accessibility testing of websites, adopted an accessibility standard to guide us in best practices, remediated multiple websites, and have worked diligently to increase awareness and provide education about digital accessibility throughout the Trojan family.

In an effort to continue the awareness and education the Office of Institutional Accessibility and ADA Compliance has compiled an extensive list of trainings that will be occuring for Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

Webinars & Resources

  • Are you a USC employee working in website development or a content creator for a departmental website? Join Deque’s Live Customer Webinar to learn about axe Developer Hub where they integrate accessibility checks into the existing end-to-end tests and see if a code change made your product better or worse for our community members with disabilities.
  • USC has changed to Brightspace’s Learning Management System (LMS). Joine Brightspace to learn about about their committment to accessibility and the ‘why’ behind accessible content. Brainstorm ways you can improve the content posted in the LMS along with best practices in accessibility. Brightspace will also offer a sneak peek of new accessibility resources inside the Brightspace community!
  • Join Numerous events hosted by the Global Accessibility Awareness Day Foundation
    • University of Minnesota Global Accessibility Awareness Day is hosting a virtual event including keynote speaker, Ashley Shew, Associate Professor at Virginia Tech and author of Technoabelism as well as several breakout sessions covering four (4) tracks: Digital Content, Organizational Success, Community & Partners, and Teaching & Learning.
  • Deque’s Accessibility Fundamentals Bootcamp is a two (2) hour webinar to aid in understanding digital accessibility fundamentals and how you can champion accessibility to make a difference in your organization.
    • Date: May 16th
  • Using WordPress to host your website? Join the WordPress Accessibility Showcase for Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Discover how WordPress plugins and theme developers are working to improve and promote accessibility in all of their products. Plugin representatives from Accessibility Checker, CivicPress, Elementor, Gravity Forms, My Calendar, Popup Maker, and WP Accessibility will share their expeirences, future goals for accessibility and resources on how to build accessible sites with their products.
  • Join Lullabot, DubBot, and Iowa’s Department for the Blind in discussing how common issues impact real people every day. Learn the small things you can do that make a big and positive impact on those with disabilities. Topics can include keeping things simple, the importance of proper accessibility testing with a diverse user pool, and remediation concerns.
  • Join Deque’s free Live Office Hours with Dev A11y Experts, where Harris Schneiderman and Rachael Yomtoob will answer your questions relating to dev and testing processes and gain access to incredible advice from the accessibility experts. Have an especially difficult question you would like to see live debugging for? Submit your questions in advance when you register. *This session will not be recorded.
  • Axe-con 2024 contains 60 hours of accessibility talks across Development, design, Organization Success tracks and more. Axe-con is the world’s largest digital accessibility conference focusing on developers, designers, business users, and accessibility professionals at all experience levels. Deque is a leading expert in digital accessibility and this free virtual conference that focuses on building, testing, and maintaining digital experiences is a great addition to your annual conference schedule!
  • Faculty interested in the student accommodation process can view a pre-recorded 20 minute moderated discussion with USC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and the Office of Student Accessibility Services’ in An Introduction to the Student Accommodation Process at USC.

Top Tips

To mark GAAD, USC’s Office of Institutional Accessibility and ADA Compliance (OIA) is sharing three top tips to ensure that your digital content is more accessible.

  1. Use the accessibility checker in Microsoft products to identify and repair accessibility issues.
    1. Click “Check Accessibility” in the “Review” tab on the toolbar.
    1. Clicking an item in the checker’s “Inspection Results” highlights the corresponding item in the document and displays an Additional Information section with information on how to fix the issue.
  2. Add alternative text to an image to help users who are unable to see the image.
    1. Right-click on the image and select “Edit Alt Text,” then enter the appropriate alternative text in the field that appears in the Alt Text sidebar.
    1. Alt text should describe the content as well as the context of the image.
    1. If the image is decorative, leave the field blank and check “Mark as decorative.”
  3. Add closed captioning to an uploaded video.
    1. Captions are essential for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and also important if a user is unable to listen to the audio or if the audio is unclear.
    1. If using artificial intelligence (AI) to caption (e.g., the built-in auto-caption capability in YouTube or Facebook), know that auto-captions are only accurate 85% of the time. It is important to ensure accuracy by reviewing the content and editing any AI captions as needed prior to posting your video.
    1. Learn more about providing accessible captions from

Simple Practices

Along with the tips above, there are some other simple practices you can do to ensure that your content is digitally accessible.

  • Make sure your links describe your reader’s destination. Links with a long list of code (numbers/letters) or phrases like “click here” or “learn more” make it difficult for individuals to understand where the link will take them.
  • To create a descriptive link from a copy-and-pasted URL (in a Microsoft product):
    • Copy the URL from your web browser and paste into your document where you want it to appear.
    • Right click on the URL and select “Edit Hyperlink.”
    • At the top in the “Text to Display” bar, type your descriptive text and click “OK.”
    • The descriptive text will appear in place of the URL.
  • To add a descriptive hyperlink to existing text:
    • Copy the URL from your web browser then go to your Microsoft document.
    • Highlight the text you wish to link from, right-click, and select “Hyperlink.”
    • In the Address bar, right-click and paste the URL you copied, then click “OK.”
    • The text is now linked to that URL.

Learn More

  • Go deeper on digital accessibility with TrojanLearn trainings in the Six Core Skills of Digital Accessibility series including Tables, Lists, Captions, Alt Text, Headers and Structure, and Descriptive Links.
  • You can also download one of OIA’s useful accessibility cheat sheets.
  • If you have further questions about digital accessibility, please email

Share on Social Media

The OIA encourages you to take any or all of these actions and post your results on social media using the hashtags #GAAD or #GlobalAccessibilityAwarenessDay!

Remember to be accessible use CamelCase, descriptive links, alternative text for photos, and captions for your videos in all your Social Media posts.