Test: Do you know what it’s like to watch TV when you can’t see?

Today is the 10th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), celebrated on the third Thursday of May. It’s an important day, aimed at getting everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion.

Logo: GAAD Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Digital access is something Descriptive Video Works (DVW) does every day.

A leader in North American audio description, or described video, services, DVW makes entertainment and education media accessible so people with blindness, vision impairments, cognitive and other sensory challenges can be included.

Our work is accessed by millions of viewers on broadcast networks and streaming services. Since 2003, we’ve led the way completing more than 35,000 productions including television shows, feature films, short films, documentaries and TV commercials.

We’re innovators, the first to provide live audio description for major sports events, award shows and fundraising initiatives like One World Together (Global Nation). The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO) had an audience of nearly 21 million people.

More recently, we created and narrated AD for many video game trailers like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla featured at #UbisoftForward, September 2020, helping make gaming accessible for players with blindness and low-vision.

GAAD is important to us because providing more accessible media is core to what we do.

Understanding, and supporting, the needs of blind and visually-impaired consumers of visual media is key to our success. But more needs to be done to make digital media globally accessible and inclusive to all.

Today, accessibility and inclusion matter more than ever.

Worldwide, more than one billion people have disabilities. Of these, 285 million (WHO) have blindness or low vision. These numbers are growing every day as our population ages.

Join GAAD and raise awareness for a more accessible digital world.

Back in 2011, web developer Joe Devon posted a blog on MySQL Talk about the need for accessible web design. Joe challenged web developers to dedicate a day in May to talking about digital accessibility.

Jennison Asuncion, an accessibility professional from Toronto, discovered Joe’s blog. They met, joined forces, pooled networks and launched GAAD2011.

Today is a chance to talk about what accessibility means to you.

The truth is, each of us will experience disability at some point in our lives. Whether disability is caused by the natural effects of aging, or by an accident or injury, all of us will need fully accessible communities, digital and more, so we can continue to participate and live full lives.  

Let’s build an accessible digital world for everyone. Include audio description in your media projects.

Accessibility is a shared responsibility. You can help make a more accessible world by spreading the word. We all have a role to play in making this human right a reality.

Find out more about GAAD: https://globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org/about/

Questions about how to include audio description in your next media project? Contact us: [email protected]

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