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U.S. Access Board Celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day

May 20, 2021

Today, the U.S. Access Board celebrates the tenth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day to promote discussion and learning about digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities. The Board is a leading source of information on accessible design, including access to information and communication technology (ICT) under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communications Act. The Board also issues guidelines and standards for the built environment, outdoor sites, transportation, and medical diagnostic equipment.  

“Accessibility should not just be a national dialog but a global effort where we all work together to create inclusive communities,” U.S. Access Board Executive Director Sachin Dev Pavithran stated. “The Access Board will continue to work with international partners to develop an accessible world for all people with disabilities.” 

In addition to developing accessibility guidelines and standards, the Board has recently held events focused on accessibility and new technologies. In March and April, the Board hosted a series of viritual meetings on inclusive design of autonomous vehicles (AVs). The series included over 2000 attendees from the United States and twelve other countries, including Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Spain, Ukraine, and United Kingdom. Recordings of the four sessions are available on the Board’s YouTube Channel. Yesterday, the Board also hosted panel discussions on self-service transaction machines (SSTMs) where presenters discussed usability issues, accessibility barriers, and industry research to improve access to SSTMs. 

The Board regularly provides virtual trainings on its guidelines and standards upon request. For further information or to request training, contact Bill Botten, the Board’s Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator, at training@access-board.gov or 202-272-0014. Additionally, the Board conducts free monthly webinars through its partnership with the ADA National Network. Webinars cover accessibility in the built environment as well as accessibility of information and communication technology. Upcoming webinars are posted on the Board’s Webinars & Training webpage

Accessibility Specialists are available to assist with questions on the Board’s standards for electronic and information technology via email at 508@access-board.gov. The Board also operates a free technical assistance hotline to help professionals and other members of the public implement accessibility standards. Individuals with questions on accessible design may contact the toll-free technical assistance hotline at 1-800-872-2253 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm ET weekdays or send an email to ta@access-board.gov.