Are Digital Marketing Agencies and Communication Managers Key Players in Accessibility?
Companies can come into design and content meetings with ideas of grandeur. At the end of the day, they rely on the expertise of marketing agencies and managers to make the right decisions for their entire customer base. Within that customer base are folks who are blind, have vision loss, or are deaf-blind who need braille, large print, audio, and PDF’s that can be read by a computer screen-reading program. The “Effective Communication Rule” in Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disability Act, makes it mandatory for public and private businesses to provide equal access to all communication.You can be an ally for all customers, meet the needs of your clients, and build your client’s database. It’s not only the law, but it also serves your best interest.
You have two customers –- the company and the consumer
Don’t be the marketing agency that fails to account for consumers with visual impairments. Primarily because for every business, online store, and agency that is inaccessible, there is one that is accessible. Think about it, every time you have a poor customer experience you vow never to return. Then you warn the people in your community, and seek out a company that is willing to meet your needs. As marketers, any inability to access information from the website you created, or fill out the form that you built, qualifies as a poor customer experience.
Consider accessibility in every email campaign, newsletter, white page, brochure, business card, and all other branding opportunities. This ensures that people with visual disabilities don’t miss out on key communications. Consumers with blindness and visual impairment have tools, and adaptive measures to read emails aloud and describe photos. Consumers with visual disabilities shouldn’t have to worry about creating ways to maneuver barriers to communicate with a client’s brand.
Don’t put make it or break it information in images
With security being a major concern for most businesses, many people opt out of viewing graphics. In fact, almost 50% of Gmail users block images on their accounts; that includes Braille Works.
When you put content or promotions in an image instead of text, many will miss critical information. If you’re going to make images a key part of a campaign, familiarize yourself with alternative text. Alternative text displays the description of an image when viewers cannot see the image or opts out of images altogether.
Pro Tip: The option of a plain text version is always nice. Your end user might miss out on images and hyperlinks, but they’ll get the information.
Accessibility Never Goes out of Style
We have seen excellent, dynamic sites that were compliant. We say that to say this: There’s a wide range of aesthetic tastes, but you don’t have to sacrifice web accessibility to have all of the cool functions, sleek designs, and “new feels”. Marketers are always up for the challenge, and we assure you web accessibility doesn’t have to be your biggest hurdle– it can be an opportunity to wow your client.
Marketers play a key role in meeting the digital demands of businesses and consumers. While you’re leveraging social media, video, email marketing, and blogs, think of the millions of internet users with visual impairment or blindness.
Do you have any questions about why the content you’ve created is not being downloaded or read? Check out our blog “Don’t Lose Out on Readers Because of Poor Website Accessibility”
This post was written by Clerise Phillip Samuel
Originally published at brailleworks.com on April 25, 2018.