Report: Digital content accessibility has big impact on brand reputation

A lack of inclusivity might be leaving large groups of consumers out of the conversation.

Is your online content truly inclusive of the wide range of experiences and needs of consumers?

Despite the promise of a more inclusive digital world for people with disabilities, thoughtlessness and inaction can still prevent some demographics from getting the full experience of your content.

According to research from Current Global and Magna, 15% of the world has a disability, with 285 million people of all ages being visually impaired and 466 million people living with some form of hearing loss. What’s more, the rate of disability might grow higher as populations age (85% of all blind people are older than 50.)

Yet, people with disabilities are regular consumers of online content—and failures to offer accessibility tools can leave large groups out of the conversation.

(Image via Current Global)

One area in particular where accessibility lags for digital content is on social media platforms. Twenty percent of respondents with disabilities said that social media was difficult to use—particularly non-visual platforms such as Reddit, LinkedIn and Twitter.

(Image via Current Global)

Social media poses challenges for people with disabilities—regardless of what kind of accessibility issue they face. Social media is particularly difficult for users with a speech disability, but it also presents obstacles for those with visual and hearing impairments and cognitive disabilities.

Even when users with disabilities have access to assistive tools, the design of content can still pose problems and be either confusing or inaccessible.

(Image via Current Global)

Current Global’s report also warns brands against reading too much into scorecards that show organizations are bettering expectations when it comes to content accessibility. Simply, those expectations might be pretty low.

And there are real risks for brands that don’t embrace accessibility, particularly with younger consumers when it comes to brand reputation.

(Image via Current Global)

You can read the full report and download other assets here.

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