Skip to content

Celebrating GAAD 2024

The Global Accessibility Awareness Day logo features a keyboard with its cable forming a globe around the acronym GAAD.

Theresa Reno-Weber, GoodMaps CEO.

Accessibility is the cornerstone of a world where everyone can participate fully.

As we celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, I’m reminded of the profound significance its message holds for me, our company, and the world at large. GAAD allows us time to pause and reflect on the essential principles of inclusion and accessibility that underpin an equitable and just society.

Accessibility is the cornerstone of a world where everyone can participate fully. However, it’s about more than just accommodating disabilities; it’s about creating environments where everyone can live and work with independence – which is why a commitment to accessibility sits at the heart of everything we do. Together, we strive to create solutions that consider the needs of all individuals, and this commitment reflects our belief that progress and innovation come from embracing diversity and fostering environments where everyone can participate and thrive.

The impact of a truly accessible world is far-reaching. For individuals with disabilities, accessibility means autonomy, dignity, and the ability to engage with the world on their own terms. It enables people to pursue education, seek employment, and gather for social engagements freely, but the benefits extend far beyond this. For society, it leads to robust and inclusive communities where everyone can contribute and feel welcomed.

GAAD is a call to action, a chance to examine how we can help contribute to a more inclusive world. It asks us to look at the barriers still present and to find ways to dismantle them. It inspires us to think creatively about building inclusive environments and encourages us to advocate for policies and practices that promote accessibility for all.

As we reflect today, let’s celebrate the progress made while recognizing the work that still lies ahead. Together, we can build a world where accessibility is a norm and not an exception and make possible a society where everyone can live independently.

The image includes several photographs of people with differing disabilities (a wheelchair user, a blind individual with a cane, a person with a prosthetic limb, etc.). As well as the text: “Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day ’24 with GoodMaps.”

Charlie Meredith, GoodMaps CTO.

On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we celebrate the work needed to make a more inclusive and accessible world. Today, we reflect on the importance of designing environments and technologies that cater to the diverse needs of all individuals.

At GoodMaps, designing for accessibility isn’t just a checkbox to be ticked off; it’s something that is rooted in our culture and embedded in our day-to-day process through rigorous accessibility design reviews, user testing with diverse user groups, and extensive quality assurance testing. By prioritizing inclusivity in our designs and innovations, we hold ourselves to a standard of ensuring everyone can participate fully and equally in society.

We are also looking to the future. Innovations in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and the Internet of Things are creating new ways to make our environment more adaptable to everyone’s needs. We plan to continue to adopt new technology and innovate toward a more accessible and inclusive world.

Today, we honor the visionaries and technologists dedicated to the cause. Together, we will build a future where accessibility is seamlessly woven into every aspect of our lives, ensuring that equity and inclusion are not just ideals but lived realities.

Happy GAAD, everyone!

An individual who is blind using their cane and the GoodMaps app on a smartphone

Neil Barnfather, GoodMaps CCO.

As someone who navigates life without sight, I can attest to the profound impact accessibility and inclusion have on a person’s daily life. Living with a disability can often mean encountering barriers that others likely don’t even notice. These can be physical, like stairs without ramps, or digital, like websites that are not screen-reader friendly. Each obstacle – no matter its size – can limit our independence and ability to participate in society. But each innovation and renewed commitment to accessibility opens further possibilities, enhancing our ability to connect, contribute, and thrive.

When we make spaces – the physical and digital – accessible, we enable individuals to reach their full potential.

Digital accessibility is crucial for today’s interconnected world. It enables me to access information, perform tasks, and engage in ways once unimaginable. From voice-activated technology and screen readers to captioning and alt text for images – these tools bridge gaps and nourish independence. They help turn the world into a space where everyone has a sense of belonging and agency.

Accessibility is not only focused on overcoming obstacles; it’s ultimately about empowerment. When we make spaces – the physical and digital – accessible, we enable individuals to reach their full potential. For a student with a cognitive disability, accessible educational materials can mean the difference between falling behind and excelling. For a professional with mobility challenges, an accessible workplace can open doors to career advancement and personal growth. For an older adult, accessible technology can help them stay connected with loved ones and continue to participate in the larger world.

When everyone can participate, we foster a more diverse and resilient community. Its value extends beyond the individual and creates a society where different viewpoints and experiences are embraced and welcomed. And so, by prioritizing accessibility, we celebrate the diversity of human experience and promote a culture that benefits all.

Thanks for being part of the journey. Together, we will make a difference.

Ready to Get Started?

Contact us or read more about how GoodMaps can enhance your venue today.