[Mdabs] FW: [nabs-l] Global Accessibility Awareness Day is Wednesday, Preach Beyond the Choir, Don't Shrug off that Inaccessible Coffee Maker, #gaad

Chris Nusbaum dotkid.nusbaum at gmail.com
Mon May 7 22:28:41 UTC 2012

I encourage all of you to take this opportunity to advocate for
accessibility!! I'm emailing Sirius XM!

-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of Mika Pyyhkala
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2012 12:46 PM
To: nfbcs; nabs-l at nfbnet.org
Cc: CDanielsen
Subject: [nabs-l] Global Accessibility Awareness Day is Wednesday, Preach
Beyond the Choir, Don't Shrug off that Inaccessible Coffee Maker, #gaad

Web: http://bit.ly/gaad2012
Twitter Hashtag: #gaad
Facebook: http://facebook.com/GlobalAccessibilityAwarenessDay
Get Automated Background by Email: gaadpromo at gmail.com


I wanted to write and make sure that #gaad was on your radar.  I had heard
of the event before at CSUN 12, but I only really got engaged and excited
about the event on Sunday night, yesterday!

Global Accessibility Awareness Day will feature real world and virtual
events on Wednesday May 9th.

What makes #gaad different?

In many if not all accessibility or disability events, we are largely
preaching to the choir.  In other words, at a major trade show like CSUN,
your talking to people who largely on some level already know about and
perhaps believe in accessibility or universal design.  After all, they had
to spend time and resources to attend an event like CSUN or an NFB

With #gaad we are trying to reach people, eg most people, who don't know
much if anything about accessibility, or how or if a blind person can use a
computer or moble device.  Global Accessibility Awareness Day is flexible in
that there are a number of ways you can

I'm going to give you a list here in how I have and plan so far to
participate.  You can do the same things, or come up with your own ideas
once you read the list:

Facebook: Like it and post about it
On Facebook I liked the page
by the way its also available on the mobile site
I have already posted on my time line about it.  It would also be good to
refer to the page on the profile of a company or organization that either
needs to do more about accessibility, or where you want to say job well
done.  You can now use the at sign @ with the main Facebook site to link to
people and organizations, tag, similar to Twitter.
Takeaway: If blind people don't speak up ourselves in social media, who will
speak up for us?

Twitter: Tweet about and to people and organizations with the #gaad hashtag.
I have tweeted to several brands as well as product managers with in brands
asking them to incorporate #gaad in to their teams activitys on Wednesday.
There are also some organizations where I needed to check on the status of
an accessibility related support request, so I tweeted those organizations
to check and also referred to #gaad as well as the web site shortcut which
is easy to remember
I just heard back from the vp of engineering @nestmatt at Nest Labs, maker
of the Nest thermostat which you can control with your iPhone, that he would
check out #gaad I also mentioned that Victor from Yahoo
@vick08 was a nearby local resource to the Nest corporate office.
BTW, Victor will be speaking at a Los Angeles based #gaad event at Yahoo.
Takeaway: If your not on Twitter please join as it is a way for us to
collectively influence organizations, and if your already on twitter tweet
with #gaad over the next few days, and support NFB members and initiatives
via Twitter going in to the future.  Twitter is so much easier than some of
the communication tools we had to use in the past, and facilitates a 1 to
many conversation.  How can you beat that?

Email: I've sent a customnized email to several organizations, including
product managers and disability policy evangelists at several of the
airlines, encouraging them to Preach Beyond the choir in their organizations
and incorporate #gaad in their day on Wednesday.  I've listed specific
accessibility challenges and accomplishments that are specific to and
customized  for each airlines own accessibility situation.  A similar
approach could be taken with any product or service category.
Takeaway: You can use email, but don't just blast out generic forwards.
Customize and personalize parts of the message and the ask for the recipient
and their respective organization.  Make sure the person knows you thought
about this, and didn't just spend 2 seconds pressing the forward button.
#gaad also has a neat autoresponder set up if you email gaadpromo at gmail.com
you'll get an automated message about the event.  I usually include this
information at the bottom of my customized emails.  It may help to tell
people to email that address in some cases especially in person or over the

Attend an Event: The #gaad web page has details about in person events
around the world, as well as web events:
My understanding is that events may be added over the next 24 hours as well.
Tweet, post on Facebook, etc. about attending the event or any accessibility
stories you have in the course of attending.  Again, these could be
accessibility triumphs or failures.  The http://audioboo.fm service and
associated app is excellent for recording from the field, and may be easier
than typing posts longer than a tweet from a mobile device.  You can link
your Audioboo account with Facebook and Twitter and post with the, you
guessed it, #gaad hashtag.  #gaad is also looking for people to post what it
was like to learn about or use accessibility for the first time.
Takeaway: Events will be both fun and informative & reading the #gaad day in
the life stories will be interesting.

I also just learned that one of our members bought an inaccessible coffee
maker with touch screen only controls, so once I find the companys social
media and executive contacts, I will incorporate #gaad in to the question
about the inaccessible appliance.  Especially with large companys, its often
best to find both key executive decision makers in addition to  front line
gatekeepers who often just want to and can only briefly and politely thank
you for your suggestion.  You can find information about executives at
companys through google, investor information, investor conference calls,
linkedin, media contacts, as well as college alumni forums.

You can also meet company executives if you attend product launches, etc.

But don't just shrug off that inaccessible coffee maker, literally or
figuratively.  If you shrug it off, how will things like new coffee makers
ever become accessible?  If the blind do not pressure industry to make
current and future coffee makers accessible, who will do that for us?

Mika Pyyhkala

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