Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020

"GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities."

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What is GAAD all about?

The idea behind GAAD is to shine a light on the fact that 1 billion people in the world have some form of disability, and by making even small steps within your business you can create a more inclusive environment.

Accessibility is about creating products and areas that work for everyone, including those impaired by their situation, circumstance, body or mind.

Now in its ninth year, we continue to see it as a big part of our calendar and are looking forward to further raising awareness for the great work this day represents. 

Our responsibility as a job board technology provider

We are big on accessibility, usability and inclusion. It's always a major part of our design and build process. We even have a specialised team made up of multiple departments called the Accessibility Avengers - yes we are that geeky.

This team makes sure that whatever we do as a company we are considering accessibility. As we mentioned above, 1 billion people in the world have some form of disability and as a job board technology provider it is our responsibility to help make sure that everyone has access to search for employment. 

We always strive to deliver a highly accessible product

Tracy Godding our Head of UX Research says "It is important to be conscious that every design decision has the potential to include or exclude someone. Even something as small as deciding the colour of text has the potential to make that text difficult to read for a large group of users."

She continues "Every individual using the internet has the right to access the same information on the web and to have a positive and equal experience. Shifting focus beyond the ‘normal’ desktop experience to ensure availability across an ever expanding multitude of devices is key. Both accessible design and responsive design provide a flexibility that helps to make the web work for everyone."

What we have done over previous years

We've been taking part in GAAD since 2015, and normally we do in house activities like using assistive technology and video lunches to raise awareness. In addition to these we also do a challenge to not use your mouse for an hour and to navigate a job board blindfolded using a screenreader, then apply for a job. This is to show just how important it is to have technology that works for all abilities.

This year, whilst we're not able to celebrate as a team, we're excited to announce the launch of our biggest accessibility review yet.

Launch of our accessibility audit  

Today we are happy to announce that we are launching an accessibility audit of Job Board Enterprise, our flagship product.

We're paying particular attention to both Jobseeker and Recruiter sites using Diversity in Research as our benchmark. In addition to this, we are also conducting disability user testing of our Jobseeker site. What this means is we'll get a range of people with different abilities to use the site and test its functionality. 

Though we have made sure that we cover inclusion techniques when building our products, having a third party expert give us a review will help us spot things we may have missed and gives us further understanding on what we can do to perfect our process.

We are keen to see what comes up from the audit and then getting started with implementing any suggestions so we can be better aligned with the WCAG 2.1 guidelines

ISO standard

Next we're working towards implementing an accessibility ISO standard, to make sure it's embedded in our day-to-day product development. We feel it's the logical step in our commitment to accessible job boards. 

As we continue to strive for this goal, we hope to encourage every technology provider and other job board companies to think about accessibility.

You can find out more by checking out the hashtag #GAAD2020 or by following them on social media with the handle @gbla11yday

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