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UW GAAD 2023

7th Annual UW Global Accessibility Awareness Day (UW GAAD)

GAAD is an annual global event, designed to engage people around the world in talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion.

Additional information about GAAD is available at

Each year, the UW commemorates GAAD by offering a full day of lectures, workshops, and other activities related to digital accessibility. In 2023, we will be celebrating with a hybrid event, in person and on Zoom.

Event schedule

  • Date: May 18, 2023
  • Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Location: HUB 214 and virtual via Zoom

UW GAAD 2023 sessions are free and open to the UW community, but registration is required.

The day will be divided into two main activities:

Fix Your Accessibility Workshops

It is always best to create digital resources that are accessible from the start, so no fixing is required. However, despite our best intentions, there will always be problems to fix. With the goal of fixing as many accessibility problems as possible within a three hour span, our morning will be focused on fixing three common accessibility problems:

  1. Headings – All digital documents should be organized with a clear heading structure that forms an outline of the page content.
  2. Alt text for images – All informative images require alt text that succinctly describes the image content to people who are unable to see it.
  3. Color contrast – Accessibility standards include specific requirements for contrast between text and background colors.

Each of these issues applies to a variety of technologies, including websites; digital documents in Word, Google, or PDF; and Canvas pages. Each hour will begin with instruction that includes an overview of the problem and a brief demo of how to fix the problem in each of these digital environments. Following this instruction, participants will devote the rest of the hour to fixing as many instances of this problem as possible within content they own or manage, with instructors available to answer questions and provide support.

In-person participants should bring their own laptops. All participants should take a moment prior to the event to install the free tools listed in the Free Recommended Tools section below.

See the table below for the specific schedule.

For in-person attendees, coffee and continental breakfast will be available throughout the morning.

Accessibility Awards and Roundtable Discussions

At noon, we will be honoring several individuals and groups who have contributed significantly to digital accessibility at the UW over the last year. For more information see the Digital Accessibility Awards page.

For in-person attendees, pizza and salads will be served. They will also have the opportunity to sit at tables focused on specific accessibility topics, with accessibility staff on hand to answer questions and facilitate the conversations around the following topics:

  • Web accessibility
  • Digital document accessibility (e.g., Word, PowerPoint, Google, PDF)
  • Video accessibility (e.g., captioning, audio description)
  • Accessibility in procurement
  • Accessibility in online and hybrid courses

Detailed schedule

Join us for one session or attend them all!

Time Session Title Presenter(s)
9:00 – 9:50 Fix Your Accessibility 1: Headings Terrill Thompson
10:00 – 10:50 Fix Your Accessibility 2: Alt text for Images Gaby de Jongh
11:00 – 11:50 Fix Your Accessibility 3: Color Contrast Terrill Thompson
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch, with Digital Accessibility Awards and Roundtable Discussions Various
1:00 – 4:00 Stay as long as you like!
Fix more problems, ask more questions, and have more discussions!

Free Recommended Tools

The following free tools will be used in the Fixing Your Accessibility Workshops. Please download and install them in advance (it should take less than five minutes to install them all):

For additional tools, see the annotated list on our Tools and Resources page.