Celebrating GAAD 2022

22 May 2022
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Posted by Crownpeak

Today, we’re celebrating the 11th anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) . Launched in 2011, with the ambition to get the world talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, GAAD shines a light on the continuing challenges faced by the more than one billion people with disabilities or impairments worldwide.

While awareness and support for digital accessibility has grown, there are still widespread barriers to access in the online world. According to the WebAim Million 2022 Report , 97% of the million most visited websites have accessibility issues impacting people with disabilities. This failure to provide inclusive digital experiences comes with serious downsides for businesses too, including significant legal risk and opportunity costs. In 2021, digital accessibility lawsuits filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) reached a rate of 10 per day - a 15% increase on the year before. The financial risk is substantial, with landmark lawsuits reaching over $6M.

The good news - for both businesses and the customers they serve - is that 2022 promises to be an inflection point for digital accessibility.

  • June 28, 2022 will see EU member states adopt the European Accessibility Act requirements into law, for the first time establishing a set of common accessibility rules for private sector companies. By harmonizing accessibility requirements and making them legally enforceable, the EAA promises both greater access to products and services to consumers, while making it easier and more cost-effective for businesses to sell compliant services and products across EU markets.
  • This year should also see the much-anticipated update to the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines - WCAG 2.2 - with a tentative release date this September. WCAG 2.2 builds on the previous version of the guidelines, WCAG 2.1, by further improving accessibility guidance for users with cognitive or learning disabilities, users with low vision, and users with disabilities on mobile devices.

To celebrate GAAD, we’ve brought together some of our most popular accessibility resources to help you understand these current trends, expand your knowledge, and drive your digital inclusion initiatives forward.

Blog: The European Accessibility Act: What it Means for Your Business

Until now, the EU private sector has been largely unregulated when it comes to accessibility. This is about to change with the European Accessibility Act (EAA), and companies in the EU, as well as those in the UK and other regions that serve and sell to citizens in the EU, need take note. The EAA is due to be adopted by EU member states on June 28, 2022, with enforcement beginning in July 2025, making accessibility a direct and urgent issue for commercial enterprises to address.

In this post, we answer key questions about the applicability of the EAA, what businesses need to be aware of, and the benefits that will make this legislation a boon both for people with disabilities and the businesses that serve them.

Read the blog

Blog: WCAG 2.2 Compliance: What You Need to Know

The W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are the global standard for digital accessibility, cited in accessibility regulations around the world. With a major update to the guidelines – WCAG 2.2 - tentatively scheduled for this September ’22, companies need to be prepared.

Indeed, any organization who considers inclusion to be an important aspect of doing business - or has websites subject to global regulations - such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), European Accessibility Act (EAA), or Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) - will want to track this update to ensure the compliance of all existing and future digital content.

Check out our blog post for the latest on WCAG 2.2, what’s new and what you need to do to comply.

eBook: How to Action Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives Across Your Digital Enterprise

Heightened societal awareness, combined with regulatory and business imperatives have put Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at the top of the to-do list for many organizations. While it’s important for all businesses to represent themselves well across the different aspects of DEI, one of the most crucial aspects to address is digital accessibility.

Taking a proactive, strategic approach to DEI can help organizations attract and retain a high-calibre workforce, strengthen market leadership, win new customers, build loyalty, and stay ahead of the competition. Likewise, the lack of inclusivity can have the opposite effect on every one of these key success factors, and companies that aren’t engaging in DEI efforts now are already behind.

Download our new eBook for a practical guide to the tools, processes, and methodologies you need to implement digital accessibility as part of a successful DEI program at your organization.

Read the eBook →

eBook: Digital Accessibility Playbook

For organizations embarking on a WCAG, ADA or EAA compliance initiative, the challenge is often to centralize their approach in a way that can be operationalized and scaled effectively.

We took the extensive knowledge gained from helping leading brands achieve more inclusive and accessible digital presences and distilled it down to create this easy-to-follow playbook.

Need help with your accessibility initiatives?

Have questions about digital accessibility, or ready to dive in and get started?

Whatever your accessibility challenge, we’re here to help. At Crownpeak, we can get you going quickly, with our fast, intuitive enterprise solution for accessibility compliance.

Request a free Web Accessibility Assessment or try DQM free for 14 days .