visual impairment marketing
Category: Insight

Marketing to the Visually Impaired: Do’s and Don’ts

With 20.6 million people in the US alone experiencing vision loss, brands and marketing agencies cannot afford to ignore this demographic in consumer advertising. While many company websites are accessible to the vision impaired, most marketing and branding efforts are not. A number of tech advancements throughout the years have helped millions of visually impaired people around the country navigate the internet, but those people  still face plenty of challenges. Fortunately, there are some relatively easy ways that brands and corporations can accommodate this big and important demographic in a time when most marketing efforts largely rely on visual content.

How Can Brands Be Aware and Inclusive

8% of men and 1 in 200 women are thought to be color blind. While it would be impossible to account for every type of color blindness, companies should take measures that help them become aware and inclusive in their marketing. For example, the most common form of color blindness affects the colors red and green. So to make the messaging more clear, avoid marketing images and logos that rely on only those colors. Additionally, phrasing for various CTAs (Calls to Action) should also be sensitive for a color-blind audience, especially when companies decide to use colorful boxes in their promotional efforts.

Using Inclusive and Clear Language Goes a Long Way

Another way to practice sensitivity towards the visually imparied is to avoud language that can be confusing if a certain color is a struggle for the consumer. Phrasing like “Fill in the red fields to enter to win” when there are 4 or 5 possible fields to enter data into, can be confusing and alienating for a person with color blindness.

Alt Text is Your Friend

Screen readers don’t describe images that show up on a screen. However, by including alt text (or alternative texts) embedded into the webpage, the assistive reading devices can read the description you’ve put in, creating an image in the consumer’s head. Alt text should be concise and accurate. Even the most popular visual platform in the world right now– Instagram– allows users to manually input descriptions for their images and videos so that users can get more information from this type of content on the platform.

Include Links to Original Sources

When using embedded content from sites like Youtube or SlideShare, always include a link back to the original content source. Sometimes content from these sites can be inaccessible to assistive technology.

Include Blind Actors and Models in Campaigns

Using able bodied actors to advertise a wheelchair is wrong, and  hopefully as practicing marketing specialists we know that it’s a no no. Using visually able actors pretending to be blind in advertising campaigns is just as big a no no. It’s insulting to the community and it takes jobs that provide representation away from people who are actually visually impaired. Viewers will always appreciate authentic representation over a false attempt for the purpose of turning a profit.

With 20.6 million people in the US alone experiencing vision loss, brands and marketing agencies cannot afford to ignore this demographic in consumer advertising. While many company websites are accessible to the vision impaired, most marketing and branding efforts are not. A number of tech advancements throughout the years have helped millions of visually impaired people around the country navigate the internet, but those people  still face plenty of challenges. Fortunately, there are some relatively easy ways that brands and corporations can accommodate this big and important demographic in…