According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 4 Americans have a disability; 5.7% of U.S. adults have a hearing disability while 4.9% of adults have a vision disability. So why isn’t more accessible content being made?
By not creating content that is accessible, brands are missing out on reaching key members of their audience. “It’s tough to say I’m used to it. It’s been that way for so many years,” said Scarlet May, a deaf content creator. “It is frustrating, and it is annoying,” added Katherine Chavez, a blind content creator.
“We should recognize that social media channels that brands own or are a part of connect to something larger in the digital space,” said Josh Loebner, global head of inclusion at Wunderman Thompson. “We want to make sure that … accessibility is there.”
While brands like Jeep and Microsoft have made great strides over the years in this space, there is still a long way to go. Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram are helping to pave the way in making content accessible, but that’s only part of the solution. It’s up to brands and content creators to truly make sure their content is fully accessible and inclusive, whether that be by adding closed captions and alt text to their videos and photos or including members of the disabled community in their creative.
“It’s really important to step outside of your own lived experience when you create content,” explained Alexa Heinrich, director of Accessible Social, “because your audience doesn’t necessarily look like you or act like you or live like you.”
For more tips and advice, watch the video below.