Global Accessibility Awareness 2023

Today on 18th May, we join forces with millions around the world to observe Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a day dedicated to digital access and inclusion for the more than one billion people with disabilities and impairments worldwide.

At the core of every successful DEI strategy is the belief that everyone should have equal access to information and opportunities. In today’s increasingly digital age, ensuring our online platforms are accessible to all is a critical aspect of achieving this mission. It’s not just about checking a compliance box; it’s about creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and able to fully participate.

As we focus on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, it’s also crucial to remember that accessibility extends beyond digital platforms and includes embracing and supporting all individuals within our diverse global community. It serves as a bridge that leads us to the wider scope of inclusivity and understanding.

Today, we also want to shine a light on another essential facet of DEI – supporting our transgender and non-binary community. The diversity of human experiences and identities is what enriches our society and our workplaces, and this certainly includes our trans colleagues. Let’s continue to educate ourselves, foster acceptance, and build environments that not only accommodate but celebrate these unique identities.

We stand with the trans community. We see how legislation, rhetoric, and other systemic issues affect you. We see the need to act to protect, reinstate, and formalise trans rights. Trans rights are human rights. Trans people are people. We are with you.

For those who are not aware of the current fight for trans rights, you can read more by using the resources below. In short, trans rights are being repealed, undermined, and ignored across the globe. Trans, non-binary, and gender expansive people are being discriminated against and actively harmed. We see these behaviours play out across history to oppress marginalised communities, and this is an all-too-familiar slippery slope. We’ve seen familiar rhetoric to justify the limitation of trans people’s freedoms to those used to limit the freedom of gay and lesbian people.

We see that trans people are more likely to be victims of violent crimes, more likely to seriously consider suicide, are being excluded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and receive unequal support in healthcare, and that transphobia is increasing in the UK. We also acknowledge that the most common public opinion is that trans men are men, and trans women are women, and that there should be a ‘live and let live’ approach to trans rights.

We encourage everyone to stand up for your trans colleagues, friends, family members, neighbours, and strangers. Start by keeping up to date with what the community is facing, without relying on their emotional labour. Then, check in and ask how you can support them. Give suggestions – use the resources below.

We take this moment to remind you, and ourselves, that all fights for equality are our fights. Whether we feel directly affected or not. Everything is connected.

If you’d like to learn more about the discrimination trans people are facing, and what we can do, you can do so using these resources:

A list of common misconceptions around trans people and their history and experiences.

Information on the changes to protections and rights of trans people in the US.

The legislative changes around trans rights this week (6th-12th May) in the US.

An outline of the LGBTQ+ rights in the UK and other European countries.

A list of ways to support trans people.

Here is a key voice we’d recommend you follow – Alok Vaid-Menon – find them on LinkedIn, Instagram, and we particularly recommend this episode of the Man Enough podcast

If we are working with you this month, feel free to ask us directly about these topics, and if you have a story to share please get in touch via email at [email protected]. By valuing and supporting individuals, your organisation can better your people’s experiences at work and unlock the full potential of your workforce.