About Us

The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES) is the leading international organization dedicated to the promotion of accessibility of the built and virtual environments.

Members of GAATES meeting in Doha, Qatar. (From left) Linda Snider, Harold Snider, Betty Dion, Mukhtar AlShibani, Aqeel Qureshi (Seated), Chuck Letourneau, Abdul Kadar

GAATES is working to improve access for the estimated one billion people with disabilities around the world. People are marginalized by the lack of accessibility to the built environment, transportation and related facilities, as well as lack of access to information and communications.

Registered as a non-profit NGO in Canada, GAATES was incorporated in 2007 by an international consortium dedicated to promoting accessibility worldwide, and has an international presence in 6 regions: the Asia-Pacific, Arab, North America, South America, European and African Regions.

GAATES has completed numerous projects for a variety of UN Agencies, Governments and organizations in the private sector. These projects have been in the sectors of Education, ICT, Disaster Risk Reduction & Emergency Preparedness, Codes, Standards and Policy Development, and Accessible Buildings Guidelines Design. Additional major projects have addressed architectural and urban construction and renovations.

GAATES has cooperative agreements with other leading International and National disability organizations, as well as with other leading Universal Design and accessibility related networks, professional associations and organizations.

GAATES obtained consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in 2008. Since that time, GAATES has actively been involved with a number of UN departments and agencies, delivering a number of presentations and undertaking important research projects.

Global Agenda

GAATES membership includes persons with and without a disability, and from diverse cultural, educational and disciplinary backgrounds, including; architects, accessibility consultants, disability experts, advocates, technology experts in accessible ICT.  The majority of our members have personal disability experience and many years of experience as a professional in the accessibility or advocacy field.

Many of our members have technical experience developing a range of national and international Universal Design and accessibility guidelines and standards, others have experience in policymaking activities for both private sector organizations and governments.

Our global reach is reflected in our varied socio-economical and collaborative project approach which enables GAATES to deliver products and services with a true global multicultural perspective.