#CleanUpTheWeb Challenge: GAAD 2022

Let’s catch some accessibility bugs and reduce the number of barriers across the web together.

A young kid with a backwards hat, a bag and a net chasing accessibility bugs

How does the #CleanUpTheWeb Challenge work?

May 19th is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). This worldwide celebration brings increased attention to digital accessibility. For the over 1 Billion people around the world with a disability, creating an accessible web is critical for the independence of many and digital equality for all.

We’re asking you to help close this digital equality gap. By following the directions below, you can bring critical accessibility issues to the brands you love in a helpful and actionable way.

GAAD logo

Getting started

First, some guidance on how we recommend tackling this problem. We’re here to be helpful and drive results. There is a high likelihood that the developers and designers who build the app or website behind your favorite brand didn’t make it inaccessible on purpose. For this reason, “naming and shaming” isn’t in the spirit of this challenge.

Step 1

Download and install the free Chrome or Edge browser extension axe DevTools.

Step 2

Find the site you want to test and open the axe DevTools browser extension.

Open a new browser tab and enter the url of the site you’d like to test. Then, open the axe DevTools browser extension by right-clicking on the page and choosing “Inspect”. On Windows, ctrl+shift+i or Mac command+option+i will also open DevTools. In the Developer Tools window, click on the double carrot icon and choose axe DevTools.

Step 3

Sign up for a free trial of axe DevTools Pro

By signing up for a free trial of axe DevTools Pro you’ll get access to a feature we’ll need to share the issues you find. It doesn’t require a credit card to sign up and you have no obligation to continue beyond your trial. You can get started and sign up directly in the browser extension once installed.

If you already started a free trial in the past and let it expire, we’re automatically reactivated it from May 18th through 20th, 2022 in support of this challenge.

Find the Sign-up link at the top of the extension first, then follow the signup modal to select your login of choice. Google, Github and email signup are available options.

Artboard 65

Step 4

Scan ALL of the page

Click on the “Scan ALL of my page” button to automatically scan the page for accessibility issues.Within the extension and under the heading "Let's get started," select the Scan All of my page button


Step 5

Find the most impactful issues

Look for Critical or Serious issues. These are the most significant barriers in place and are what we want to share.

First select the Critical or Serious category next to Total Issues. Then, fine the specific issue you'd like to select under "All Issues."

Step 6

Use the Share issue feature

For the issues you want fixed, click “Share issue”. This will copy an issue link to your clipboard with the exact issue data that developers will need to fix this. Insert these issue links into the template below.

Within the issue detail section, find the "share issue" link which will trigger a "this issue has been copied to your clipboard" success message.

The Final Step - Sharing

Using the “Share issue” feature in the axe DevTools browser extension, you can provide the exact accessibility issue along with directions for fixing it, by sharing a simple series of links.

Screenshot of "share issue" feature

Try copy/pasting the message template provided into Contact Us and Helpdesk forms of the website you want to help make more accessible. Remember, the intent here is not to share this information publicly, but instead, directly with those who can address the issues.

Thanks so much for passing this to dev and product teams to help get these bugs fixed.

Message template:
As a fan and a regular user of your organization, I’m reaching out because I care about your brand and because I care about the experience you’re offering to people with disabilities. You may not be aware, but your website has these accessibility issues that are impacting people with disabilities.

Your dev and product teams should be able to address these issues. This series of links includes specific issue details, the severity and help documentation for the issues I’d like to bring to your attention.

-(Replace this with your own Sample issue #1 - Images must have alternate text)
-(Replace this with your own Sample issue #2 - Elements must have sufficient color contrast)

Looking for an awesome accessibility-themed T-shirt?

By participating in this challenge and posting on social media with the hashtag #CleanUpTheWeb, you will automatically be entered for a chance to win a free “Friends don’t let friends ship inaccessible code” t-shirt. The Deque team will be monitoring this hashtag and will reach out to the lucky winners after May 19th.

Navy t-shirt with the text "friends don't let friends ship inaccessible code"

What if the sites I love are already accessible?

Publicly congratulate accessible sites!

While digital accessibility is a requirement and not just “nice to have,” it’s still motivating to provide praise to those committed to the work. If the site you scanned has minimal critical/serious issues or no issues – this is a great time to publicly praise them. As a community, we should celebrate the accessibility wins – this is also an important part of ongoing awareness that drives accessibility.

The recognition you provide may help accessibility champions get more attention and resources they need to sustain this important work.

Go to Twitter and/or LinkedIn and screenshot the scan results – you can use the template below:

In celebration of @gbla11yday, I tested my favorite websites to start the #a11y conversation. [Organization’s Twitter Handle] provides a commendable experience for people with disabilities and I’d like to thank them for their efforts on this day. #CleanUpTheWeb #GAAD

Share Your Efforts and the Challenge to the Community

To help spread the word about the challenge, you can also share a summary of how many sites you scanned to help clean up the web – you can use the template below:

In celebration of @gbla11yday, I tested my [Number of] favorite websites to start the #a11y conversation and bring #a11y awareness to my favorite brands. You can take part in the challenge too - the more that participate, the more influence this grassroots activity will have [Link to Challenge Landing Page]. #CleanUpTheWeb #GAAD