George Brown College recognizes Global Accessibility Awareness Day

May 18 marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day, an annual day highlighting the importance of digital inclusion so that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can fully participate in the digital world.

At George Brown, the commitment to creating and cultivating an accessible and inclusive community, both online and in person, is a shared responsibility across the entire college. Building a community based on a foundation of equity and inclusion is a priority set out in Strategy 2026.

“An important next step for the college is the publication of our multi-year accessibility plan," says Jennifer Grant, AVP of the Office of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights Services. "The plan has been developed through consultation with our community, persons with accessibility needs and subject matter experts. We look forward to its finalization this spring and its ongoing use as a reference point for harmonized accessibility efforts at GBC."

Learn more about Accessibility at George Brown College.

Accessibility services and supports

George Brown is dedicated to providing every student with the tools they need to succeed. For Deaf and hard-of-hearing students, we offer academic support through Accessible Learning Services, including American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, intervenors and computerized notetakers. All media used within the college, such as photos and videos, are captioned for all students and employees.

Throughout the year, continuous training sessions are available for support staff, faculty, and managers, focusing on the creation of accessible documents, such as Microsoft Word or PDF. These training opportunities can be accessed and registered for on My Learning/Cornerstone. All digital documents uploaded to GBC websites are designed with accessibility as a priority.

Educating future communicators

George Brown is proud to educate future communicators within the Deaf and deafblind community.

GBC recently won a national literacy award for our Deaf Learn Now program, a tuition-free, online literacy program for Deaf and hard-of-hearing adults who live in Ontario. Run by the college’s School of Work and College Preparation, Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies, the program is the first of its kind, and recently celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.

Programs designed and developed at the School of Deaf and Deafblind Studies aim to teach students how to facilitate communication to and from members of the Deaf and deafblind community, include the Deafblind & Intervenor Studies program, and the Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (English - American Sign Language) -- a four-year degree program that trains students to interpret between English and American Sign Language (ASL).

About Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) officially launched in May 2012 and has been recognized annually on the third Thursday of May. It was inspired by a November 2011 blog post by Los Angeles-based web developer Joe Devon, which caught the attention of Jennison Asuncion, an accessibility professional from Toronto. When the two met in-person, they decided to create GAAD.

GAAD aims to promote greater understanding of accessibility and to encourage ongoing conversation, learning and thinking about how to keep technology accessible for people with disabilities. Learn more about GAAD here.