Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is on May 19, 2022 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.

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.
    • Click “Check Accessibility” in the “Review” tab on the toolbar.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Alt text should describe the content as well as the context of the image.
    • If the image is decorative, leave the field blank and check “Mark as decorative.”
  3. Add closed captioning to an uploaded video.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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):
    1. Copy the URL from your web browser and paste into your document where you want it to appear.
    2. Right click on the URL and select “Edit Hyperlink.”
    3. At the top in the “Text to Display” bar, type your descriptive text and click “OK.”
    4. The descriptive text will appear in place of the URL.
  • To add a descriptive hyperlink to existing text:
    1. Copy the URL from your web browser then go to your Microsoft document.
    2. Highlight the text you wish to link from, right-click, and select “Hyperlink.”
    3. In the Address bar, right-click and paste the URL you copied, then click “OK.”
    4. The text is now linked to that URL.

Learn more

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!