By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

Creating content that solves problems instead of hyping solutions is the most effective kind of marketing we know. When it comes to solving problems for persons with disabilities, that also encompasses the creation of accessible content.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination based on disability. The law imposes accessibility requirements on public organizations. But with the 30th anniversary of the ADA coming up in July, I am seeing more large private sector companies pause and consider what accessibility means for the content on their websites.

In 2017, the National Federation of the Blind filed a lawsuit against Target, arguing that the retail chain’s website was not accessible to people with low or no vision. Target settled the lawsuit and created a site that was accessible using screen reading—a technology that converts images to text and synthesizes the text into speech.

Accessible content is not only a compliance issue—it’s good business. Wouldn’t you want to make it easier for individuals with visual or hearing disabilities to be able to access your content, particularly when there are 7.6 million Americans with a visual disability, more than 10 million Americans with impaired hearing, and 1 million who are functionally deaf?

So, if you want to make your content accessible, it’s a lot easier to build accessibility into the initial design than retrofitting that design. And it’s a lot smarter to create workflows now that incorporate the development of accessible file formats, whether it’s text, images or video, than later.

Companies like Apple developed Siri to help make the iPhone accessible. It’s opened a whole world of content to my friends with visual disabilities, and it has created loyal customers for companies that work hard to provide accessible content.

What do you need to do to help solve problems for your disabled customers and prospects?

Image: Getty Images

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