Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day and Melissa Scanlan from Halifax Public LIbrary has shared the following resources for our monthly email:

Digital Accessibility Resources


May 20, 2021 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than 1 billion people globally who have disabilities and/or impairments.


What is digital accessibility?


Digital accessibility is the ability of a website, mobile application or electronic document to be easily navigated and understood by a wide range of users, including those users who have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities.




Google’s Live Transcribe application for Android allows Android devices to capture speech and sound, so people can see spoken words as text on their screens. See it in action.

Android also has a live caption setting allowing users to add automatic captions to their Android screen. You can use it on videos, podcasts, phone calls, video calls, audio messages, social media videos, etc. 


You can also learn about Google’s other accessibility features here.

If you have a paid Zoom account, consider turning on the option for auto-captioning in your next meeting. PowerPoint for Office 365, Google Meet, Google Slides, and YouTube also provide auto-captioning services.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide an international set of guidelines for building websites with web accessibility in mind. These guidelines are developed by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), the governing body of the web. Get started with their Introduction to Web Accessibilityor check out some of their tools such as the WCAG 2 Checklist, the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool, or the Color Contrast Checker. 

Microsoft’s Make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities site provides you with step-by-step instructions and best practices to make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities. This video shows the difference when using a screen reader on an accessible word document and an inaccessible document. 

The purpose of the Accessible Canada Act is to make Canada barrier-free by January 1, 2040. This involves identifying, removing and preventing barriers in federal jurisdiction such as employment, communication and more.

A screen reader is software that enables people with sight loss to use computers. It reads the text on the screen in a computerized voice. JAWS for Windows is a popular screen reader and costs about $95 a year for an individual user. Watch the JAWS Demonstration to learn more about how to customize the JAWS experience, or click here to view JAWS keyboard shortcuts.

 is a free screen reader for Windows computers. For more detailed information on using NVDA, see WebAIM’s list of NVDA keyboard shortcuts or the NVDA User Guide.

Learn about Microsoft’s accessibility features, such as Microsoft NarratorWindow's built-in screen reader.

Apple Voiceover is a screen reader built into Macintosh computers since MacOS 10.4.  You can also learn about more of Apple’s accessibility features, including features for iOS, here.

The Center for Universal Design in Education helps educators apply universal design to all aspects of education.

CNIB is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion. 


Thanks for reading!




Cate Carlyle


VP Nova Scotia, Continuing Education IG Convenor

Atlantic Provinces Library Association

CRC Coordinator, Mount Saint Vincent University

T (902) 457-6426 E [log in to unmask] @aplagram |

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