Jun 28, 2023 |

Thomson Reuters Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2023

Philip Springall, Senior Accessibility Specialist

On May 18th, 2023, the Thomson Reuters Accessibility team hosted its annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day event, dedicated to raising awareness about digital accessibility and promoting inclusive design. This year’s event featured multiple guest speakers, a hackathon, and a fun trivia game, with the theme being Accessibility for All. This reflects Thomson Reuters’ commitment to making its products and services accessible to everyone, regardless of ability.

Thomson Reuters Director of Accessibility Rachel Braaten opened the day of events with a keynote speech, sharing her insights on our accessibility policy and where we stand in our efforts to create more accessible products and services. Throughout the day, we held a combination of virtual, hybrid, and in-person events for teammates covering everything from mobile accessibility testing to absentee voting for blind and low-vision voters.

This year’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day events did not only focus on the products we create at Thomson Reuters, but the people who create them. In May, we opened a cutting-edge AI innovation hub in downtown Toronto with dedicated spaces for team collaboration. Teammates spent time touring the new center, examining the accessibility features, and learning about Thomson Reuters’ inclusive workplace design guidelines.

We also had the opportunity to hear from a panel of teammates with disabilities on what it’s like to work at Thomson Reuters and as part of this session, we examined our learning platforms, ensuring that the content is inclusive and accessible for everyone. Ensuring that our internal facing products and processes are accessible only helps to strengthen the accessibility of the products we create.

This year’s event also featured several guest speakers outside of Thomson Reuters, including informative sessions on the accessibility features in Microsoft 365 and Windows 11 and an inside look at the accessibility of Grapecity’s Wijmo grids, a common third-party component we use in many of our products. Accessibility doesn’t begin and end with the products we create at Thomson Reuters; we rely on our partners to understand the importance of accessibility and work with us to champion inclusivity.

Finally, this Global Accessibility Awareness Day marked our first-ever Hackathon, where teammates from across the organization dedicated time to developing solutions that help break down barriers for individuals with disabilities. The winning team – Breaking Barriers – created a model that uses AI to analyze images, icons, and other visual elements, generate solutions, and inform backlog prioritization. We’re excited to see how we might be able to incorporate this tool into our work in the future and continue to prioritize accessibility every day.