Adobe celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Illustration of people of varying ages, abilities, genders, and ethnicities, including people with both permanent and temporary disabilities.

Image source: Adobe Stock/SpicyTruffel.

Today, we celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) a day dedicated to recognizing accessibility efforts around the world, creating an inclusive way to get people thinking, learning, and talking more about digital accessibility and inclusion. Every year, we observe this day to recognize the more than one billion people worldwide with disabilities. We also want to acknowledge and highlight the significant strides the industry has made while looking ahead to what’s next in removing barriers and unlocking inclusive and accessible experiences for all.

This past year, accessibility has continued to advance to the top of many companies’ list of priorities — we’ve seen accessibility at the forefront of product releases and updates, paired with the increasing inclusive hybrid workplace efforts. The Department of Justice (DOJ), has also shown its support by releasing new web accessibility guidance to help educate companies on how to make websites more accessible, with an aim to align with the wide-spread adoption of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Although there's always more that can be done, providing more guidance for companies will lead to significant progress as it will help break down unnecessary barriers and increase equal access to information.

Celebrating GAAD at Adobe

We’ve continued to make strides in our accessibility and inclusion efforts at Adobe and within our products and services. For Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we wanted to share some exciting new updates and work we have been doing to continue raising awareness.

At Adobe offices, we provide a space for our employees to share their stories and continue to raise awareness internally on disability inclusion and accessibility. This includes:

Creativity is a language we're both fluent in.

Embracing Neurodiversity. How we can improve workplace to be inclusive to all.

A focus on accessibility in the workplace

In December, we released a study to better understand how work environments changed over the course of the pandemic and how accessibility and inclusivity evolved with these new ways of working.

The past two years completely reshaped how companies work, increasing their reliance on digital technology. The way workplaces think about accessible and inclusive design involves more companies looking to increase support for employees with disabilities.

Among the key findings:

The survey results clearly showed us how accessibility and disability inclusion efforts are helping to level the playing field for employees. Companies are making concerted efforts to build more accessible tools and technologies that help address diverse needs and create an environment where everyone can be empowered to do their best work.

Illuminating accessibility and disability inclusion year-round

In addition to these events, we are working to continually enhance our employee experience by creating an inclusive workplace through community-building, training and internal awareness-building, family-friendly benefit policies, and parity commitments. A few ways we do this include:

Our goal is to continue to build a culture where every employee is encouraged to share their unique perspectives, to actively participate and engage, to feel included and valued, and where they can do their best work and achieve personal growth while contributing to the growth of the organization.

Spotlight: Hometown Heroes

In addition to Adobe’s efforts in this space, we want to share an inspirational story from Janie Desir. She created several Braille books that blind/visually impaired parents can read to their sighted children, creating an opportunity for the same story-time bond that sighted parents enjoy with their children. Janie lost most of her vision due to a rare congenital disease called keratoconus, and after having her son in 2020, she found that the mediums available for visually impaired parents did not offer the same hands-on quality experience as those available for sighted parents. Using the skills she gained through her education in graphic design, Janie connected with Jack Nicolai, senior product manager for accessibility at Adobe, to leverage Adobe’s products to create books in braille that would allow visually impaired/blind parents to read and teach their sighted children the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors. Image of Janie Desir and her son.

You can read more about Janie’s story and donate if interested, to support her in reaching visually impaired parents who are looking to share bonding experiences with their child.

We’ve made progress when it comes to building accessibility and disability inclusion into our culture and programs, and we know that this work must continue year-round.