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SiliconBeachClearly: May 15 Is #GAAD

The acronym #GAAD stands for Global Accessibility Awareness Day, a community-driven project that’s deemed May 15 a day dedicated to raising awareness about accessibility. It specifically targets digital as its medium, in terms of the internet, software platforms, and mobile apps. The goal? Educate and inform as many people as possible, and get online professionals thinking about how to help users with disabilities.

It’s also fitting, in that the whole concept sprung from a blog post written by Diamond Web Services developer and recent SBC interviewee Joe Devon. Thanks to the magic of Twitter, his post went viral and landed in the hands of Canadian accessibly pro Jennifer Asuncion; the two then became partners in organizing this event.

While this is a worldwide phenomenon that’s already begun with over 23 in-person events this year (and many more virtual and internal events), the main Silicon Beach event will be taking place at the Yahoo! office in Santa Monica from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Topics will include a talk by Sommer Panage (Twitter iOS Engineer) on the basics of accessible apps for Apple and Android. Other areas of coverage will be Twitter tips and tricks, as well as those for WordPress, which is now estimated to power almost 20 percent of websites around the world.

Also, Yahoo! has now successfully developed closed captioning for video. UI designer Karen Chiu will discuss her work on the product. Panelists will include Cara Quinn (iOS software designer and developer for, Patrick Burke (UCLA coordinator for the Disabilities & Computing Program), Chuck Blanchard ( co-founder), Zahir Herz (Android app developer).

Sponsors for the event are Yahoo! and Fandago.

For more information about #GAAD, click here.


Twitter: @gbla11yday

Hashtag: #GAAD

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