Getting Accessible Marketing Right

Getting Accessible Marketing Right

Inclusive Design and New Tech Remove Barriers and Increase Reach

Accessible and Inclusive Marketing

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A Two-Report Collection Detailing How Marketers Can Embrace Real-World Diversity, Remove Barriers, and Increase Reach

Executive Summary

People with disabilities make up more than one-quarter of the US population, yet they are routinely excluded, underrepresented, and stereotypically portrayed by marketers. Despite legal requirements, a large percentage of digital content is still inaccessible to them. But as the pandemic forces more people to work, study, shop, and conduct other business online, brands can use new tech and inclusive design to better connect with this community.

Why should marketers pay attention to consumers with disabilities?

The disability community represents a large and diverse segment of the US population. People with disabilities—together with their relatives, caregivers, friends, and allies—have significant buying power and are loyal to brands that value and include them. They may also be facing higher risks to their safety and wellbeing during the pandemic and need access to information and resources that help them make informed decisions.

Are companies really required to provide accessibility, even for digital content?

Yes, it’s required under the ADA. However, because the law was written before the internet became integral to everyday life, digital requirements are vague, inconsistently enforced, and leave brands open to lawsuits. A recent bipartisan bill proposed in the US House of Representatives, the Online Accessibility Act, would provide more specific guidance to help businesses comply with the ADA.

Can AI help marketers improve their accessibility?

Yes. New technology, including AI, is helping make products and experiences more accessible, though it may also inadvertently cause exclusion and exacerbate inequality and bias.

How can companies better meet accessibility requirements?

After completing an accessibility audit, they can use inclusive design, which considers accessibility and inclusion from the very beginning of a project. This process can help marketers understand diversity and create products, services, and experiences for the widest number of people.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report discusses the current state of marketing accessibility and outlines the opportunities and challenges brands face in removing barriers for people with disabilities and broadening their campaign reach to other audiences.

KEY STAT: More than one-quarter of US adults have at least one type of disability, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This makes people with disabilities the largest minority group in the country.

Here’s what’s in the full report

2files

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8charts

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12expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. People with Disabilities: Underrepresented and Underserved, but with Money to Spend
  3. Why Accessible Marketing Is Important
  4. New Tech Enhances Accessibility
  1. Inclusive Design: A Win-Win Approach
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Elan Carter
audiate.me
Co-Founder and CEO
Interviewed June 29, 2020
Naomi Clare
Storycraft Lab
Founder and Chief Strategy Officer
Interviewed July 8, 2020
Elizabeth Ellis
International Development Enterprises (iDE)
CEO
Interviewed July 16, 2020
Michael Janger
Gallaudet University
Assistant Professor, Marketing
Interviewed July 8, 2020
Khee Lee
Kiswe
CMO
Interviewed July 24, 2020
Gavriel Legynd
Visioneer IT
Founder and CEO
Interviewed July 30, 2020
KR Liu
Google
Head of Brand Accessibility, Brand Studio
Interviewed June 26, 2020
Allie Magyar
Hubb
Founder and CEO
Interviewed June 19, 2020
Christina Mallon
Wunderman Thompson
Global Head of Inclusive Design and Digital Accessibility
Interviewed June 26, 2020
Craig Radford
Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD)
Vice President, Strategy and Business Development
Interviewed July 7, 2020
Mike Schabel
Kiswe
CEO
Interviewed July 24, 2020
Christian Vogler
Gallaudet University
Director, Technology Access Program
Interviewed July 8, 2020

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authors

Victoria Petrock

Contributors

Mark Dolliver
Principal Analyst
Chris Keating
Research Director
Lucy Koch
Junior Analyst
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst
Jennifer Pearson
VP, Research
Lauren Ruhlen
Researcher
Jillian Ryan
Principal Analyst