Small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) have the opportunity to make a positive social impact on the world by empowering as many people as possible. While many SMBs care deeply about improving the world, they fail to create marketing and media materials that are accessible to people living with disabilities.
Accessible Marketing is the practice of helping as many people as possible receive your marketing and media communications, including people with disabilities. This practice helps your SMB empower more people and make the world a better place.
Accessibility is a human right
Inviting people with disabilities to participate and interact with your business is the right thing to do. Everyone deserves the ability to access the same goods and services. That is why the United States passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities.
By helping people with disabilities receive your marketing and media, you are empowering them to improve their lives through the benefits that your business offers. When you create messaging that they cannot receive, you are cutting them off and disempowering them.
When you use Accessible Marketing practices for your SMB, you help people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy participation in the marketplace.
Accessible Marketing helps you reach more people
According the World Health Organization’s world report on disability
, there are about one billion people living with a disability worldwide, which is 15% of the world’s population. Many of these disabilities are not outwardly visible and affect the way people receive digital communications, such as vision or hearing loss.
In America, the number is even larger. According the CDC
, 22% of the United States population is living with a disability. Many of these disabilities affect people’s ability to see, hear, or understand digital marketing messages as 10.6% of the population are living with a cognitive disability and 4.6% with a vision disability.
Accessible Marketing allows your small business to reach many more potential customers simply by making your message easier to receive and understand. Not only are you reaching more people, but you are empowering them by granting them their human right to receive your message.
Microsoft has created many free accessibility resources to help your SMB reach and empower more people.
Microsoft Advertising has Accessible Marketing resources for you
Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. Because of that, both Microsoft and Microsoft Advertising are proud to offer resources on your path towards using Accessible Marketing to reach and empower more people.
There is a lot to consider with Accessible Marketing (font types, headings, audio and visual elements, text elements, colors and much more), which is why Microsoft Advertising created a free guide to help you along the way. In our eBook, Accessible Marketing for small businesses: A how-to guide to help you reach and connect with more customers
, you’ll learn what it takes to get started by learning and applying the 10 principles of Accessible Marketing.
These principles teach you the do’s and don’ts of Accessible Marketing. For example, using words like ‘click here’ or ‘read more’ before linking to another page make it harder for people using vision-assistive screen readers to know where to click. Also, call-to-action buttons aren’t always clearly marked on screen readers, but when you include additional descriptive information in the ‘aria-label’ attribute, you make the buttons more accessible. The eBook is full of detailed principles and tips to help your SMB reach more people with disabilities.
In addition to the eBook, Microsoft provides hundreds of built-in accessibility features in Office 365 such as the accessibility checker for documents, vision-related tools, hearing-assistive tools and more. Microsoft also offers webinars and trainings for these features and other accessibility related topics. Links to these and other additional resources can be found at the end of the eBook.
We invite you to begin your journey towards reaching and empowering more people with our Accessible Marketing eBook