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Covid-19 Accessibility Bug Bounty to promote Digital Accessibility – GAAD 2021

15 June, 2021 by Ramya Venkitesh

Do people with disabilities have equal access to information related to COVID-19? #CovidAccessibilityBugBounty, GAAD 2021

#CovidAccessibilityBugBounty community connect initiative by BarrierBreak was launched on GAAD 2021 which had Accessibility Professionals across the globe participate actively to shift the needle on information access.

What is Covid Accessibility Bug Bounty?

Thursday, May 20, 2021, marked the tenth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) with the purpose to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities. Marking this special day, BarrierBreak, a leader in the digital accessibility delivering an offshore solution launched the #CovidAccessibilityBugBounty.  

Why Covid Accessibility Bug Bounty?

Covid-19 made access to information even more critical for people with disabilities globally. The need for digital accessibility is even more heightened today wherein we rely on the web and mobile apps. Digital Accessibility is now a mandate in countries like US, UK, Australia, India and EU but often it is about getting the accessibility standards implemented and monitored so it benefits the people. 

The campaign required people across the globe to put their accessibility skills to use by testing Covid-19 websites or mobile apps in their countries and identifying accessibility bugs. 

“We wanted to bring the disability and the community together to crowdsource accessibility bugs on websites and mobile apps across the world. It isn’t a problem in just India or UK. It is a problem that is affecting the 1 billion plus people with disabilities across the world. While we can expect government to implement accessibility standards and guidelines, we also need to support them in these challenging times,” says Shilpi Kapoor, CEO – BarrierBreak. 

Supporting Organizations 

The support of #CovidAccessibilityBugBounty came from global organizations who supported by bringing on their local communities to submit bugs. This initiative by BarrierBreak include Ability Net, Access Israel, Billion StrongDavid Berman CommunicationsDisability:InFunkaHearColorsHelm, HilfsgemeinschaftIAAPKnowbilityLinkeniumNCPEDPNewzHookRuh Global Impact  and  247 Accessible Documents. 

The Impact  

On the day of the launch, #CovidAccessibilityBugBounty campaign recorded the following: Bug Bounty - report

  • Bugs reported: 368  
  • Unique website/mobile apps: 89  
  • Accessibility Contributors: 77  
  • Countries: 23 

The #CovidAccessibilityBugBounty campaign also made it to the Diamond Inclusive Digital Agency list along with some other prominent GAAD events by Apple, Facebook, Xbox, United Nations etc.  

Next Steps 

  • A detail Report which includes the bugs submitted, countries and domains list is visible on the website. This will help to build transparency on the state of accessibility on Covid-19 information websites & mobile apps. 
  • Follow #CovidAccessibilityBugBounty on twitter for regular updates. People who submit the bug can tweet about it and tag their fellow testers to continue the momentum. 
  • BarrierBreak has also sent emails to concerned authorities – supporting them to implement accessibility. 
  • Seeing the immense response for the #CovidAccessibilityBugBounty campaign, what started as a campaign is now an on-going initiative by BarrierBreak. The initiative has more than 500 bugs reported with 96 contributors till date. The portal is open for people to continue to submit bugs by testing Covid-19 websites or mobile apps in their countries. 

Support #CovidAccessibilityBugBounty. Get Testing!

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