Accessibility: A 'must', not a 'maybe'
Accessibility is so close to my heart. As much as I love all the wonderful things you can achieve through marketing, accessibility trumps all considerations when I approach my work.
Accessibility is a 'must', not a 'maybe' for me, because if I am going to put passion, time and resources into designing marketing solutions, I want them to be as effective as possible.
Why should accessibility be a 'must'?
Because every time someone doesn't subtitle their video, 11 million people in the UK who are deaf will be unable to engage with it.
Because every time someones uses italics or block capitals, they risk losing the interest of 10 percent of the UK population who live with dyslexia.
Because every time someone squeezes lots of small print into a booklet, they may be making it harder for the nearly 2 million people in the UK with sight problems to read it.
Because every time a campaign doesn't include an easy read version, it neglects to engage with around 1.5 million people in the UK who have a learning disability.
These are all compelling arguments for embracing accessibility in my view, but there are others too, ones which tap into the economic business benefits of accessibility.
8.1 million working age people in the UK live with a disability. That is a lot of people! Why would you want to ignore such a big market?
That market also has considerable spending power - the "purple pound" - which is estimated to be worth around £249 billion to the economy.
So it really does make business sense to be as accessible as possible. And of course it's also the law in the UK!
How to get started with accessibility
It can be daunting approaching accessibility. You don't want to get it 'wrong', you worry about costs with a limited budget, you might be concerned it will actually damage your brand as you consider design changes and different ways of working.
However, there are lots of resources available to help you get started. Here's a roundup of some I really like, which I hope you find useful...
The Perspectives initiative from Sightsavers is fantastic, it has lots of articles about design and communications which are really useful and information - more info on the Sightsavers website
Facebook captions for videos. This automatically adds subtitles to your uploaded Facebook videos - more info on the Facebook help page
The GOV.UK website also has guidance about making websites and apps accessible, as well as publishing an accessibility statement - more info on the GOV.UK website
If you need any help at all, just get in touch.
Sight loss in the UK: https://www.ukaaf.org/ via the RNIB
Learning disability in the UK: https://www.papworthtrust.org.uk/about-us/publications/papworth-trust-disability-facts-and-figures-2018.pdf
UK working age people with a disability: https://disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk/