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  • Writer's pictureAlixandra Johnson

Is Your Marketing Accessible?

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

The Numbers

Did you know that people with disabilities make up 15% of the global population? Worldwide over 450 million people have severe hearing loss, 300 million people are visually impaired, 200 million people have a cognitive disability, and 18.5 million people have a language disorder. Together those people have $8 trillion of buying power. Are you accidentally excluding them from the conversation?

The People

Technology has changed the lives of everyone, regardless of ability or disability. But assistive technology is not a panacea. For example, in our current online world, screen readers decode published information 61.48% less accurately and require 210.96% more time compared to non-screen-reader users.

Understandably, this can negatively impact emotional response about the brands who are publishing inaccessible content. A survey from PR agency Current Global, found that “an overwhelming 81% [of survey participants] have negative emotions towards brands when communications are not accessible.” Those participants reported feeling frustrated, disappointed, ignored, unhappy and isolated.

Conversely, when a brand published accessible content the response is overwhelmingly positive, leading to a significant rise in brand preference, purchase intent and peer recommendations.

The Solutions

With all of that information in mind, how do communication professionals bridge this gap? The good news: it’s easy!


  • Alt text image descriptions allow screen reading software to convey images as speech. Ensure Alt text is included on all meaningful images and is accurate and descriptive.

  • Use contrasting color and avoid using color alone to convey information.

  • Include images of people with disabilities in your communications.


  • Add transcripts to your communication plan. Transcripts are separate documents which include all of the dialogue, audio description, and visual description.

  • Include closed captions on all video. Closed captions should include both dialogue and description of meaningful audio.

  • Audio description is a second audio track which describes what is happening visually throughout the video.


  • Use font that is size 12 or larger.

  • Use highly contrasting colors.

  • Write in an active voice with simple, plain, concise language.

These are just some of the simple changes that can be added to your marketing communications. But accessibility doesn’t need to stop there. Current global is challenging communications professionals to make accessibility a habit with a 21 day challenge. Check it out:

  1. Practice your self-description

  2. Make hashtags accessible

  3. Master alternative text

  4. Avoid acronyms and unnecessary jargon

  5. Meet the Microsoft accessibility checker

  6. Write accessible email communications

  7. Organize documents with headings

  8. Add meaningful hyperlinks

  9. Revisit alternative text

  10. Create accessible PDF's from Word Documents

  11. Use color contrast in PowerPoint

  12. Design slides with accessible reading order

  13. Punctuate to improve PowerPoint readability

  14. Maker PowerPoint charts accessible

  15. Create accessible Excel spreadsheets

  16. Add transcripts to videos

  17. Use closed captions on social media

  18. Add audio description to videos

  19. Create accessible tutorials

  20. Host accessible video calls

  21. Share a fully accessible social post

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