What Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) Means to Daman Wandke

What Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) Means to Daman Wandke

As an individual with a disability, I have first-hand experience of how inaccessible the world has been and continues to be. There is a need for more awareness of accessibility and inclusion. Disability is not the barrier; it is the misunderstandings of others and physical barriers that hinder the disability community. If removed, through education and awareness, the world would be made into an equal playing field for people with disabilities.

Throughout recent history, laws have been passed to secure rights for the disability community but laws cannot encompass everyone’s needs nor get rid of the misconceptions. This is where diversity and inclusion training comes into play. Learning about and implementing accessibility into best practices, can begin to bridge the gaps to fully include the disability community in society.

Websites have become one of the main parts of organizations’ services. Due to precedent, courts are requiring accessible websites which have unintentionally led to the increased use of accessibility overlays. Overlays are a website plugin that are intended to automatically make a website accessible. However, these overlays are simply band-aids to make websites more accessible, but in fact, they end up making websites less accessible. In a recent NBC News article by April Glaser, this idea is expanded upon. “…[B]lind people and disability advocates have been speaking out on social media and suing companies that use AccessiBe. Blind people say AccessiBe, which is supposed to automatically make websites more compatible with the screen readers blind people rely on to access the internet…].” A band-aid does not solve the problem and in this case, it is just increasing the barriers that it is claiming to solve. Overlays do not solve the lack of accessibility built into websites and this needs to change. 

For more information, check out the Overlay Fact Sheet by Karl Groves, Founder and President,, that I signed.

What We Do

Through providing our firsthand knowledge of disability, we at Wandke Consulting strive to serve as trusted advisors to empower industry leaders in building disability inclusion into the foundation of their practices. accessibility, disabilities.

We specialize in disability inclusion training and website usability testing. Our disability inclusion training sessions are constructed for organizations with the intent of creating a more accessible environment for people with disabilities. Our website usability testing provides your team with the changes necessary to ensure your customers and employees have a seamless user experience on your websites and apps. Additionally, we offer assistance for technical testing, remediation, and technical training to ensure your website is accessible. We are eager to help your organization foster a more inclusive environment and web presence.

Why this Matters

The world was not built with people with disabilities in mind and for the most part, society doesn’t understand what needs to change. Until you live with a disability or live with a person with a disability, you may not understand what barriers are imposed on the disability community every day. Change can happen through education which can bring an understanding of how to implement accessibility into daily life. 

Education and understanding exposes the need for usability testing. Those of us with disabilities live our life every day and we know what works for us. Technical testing is great but because it meets compliance does not mean it is actually usable. Usable is usable.

Society can learn and grow from people with disabilities. Accessibility incorporated into design, online and in infrastructure, can benefit everyone. Accessibility is a sustainable investment that will reflect the value of people with disabilities now, tap into the over $13 trillion disability market worldwide, as well as be available for you when the day comes that you need it too.