The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was implemented in 1990 as a means of addressing the needs of folks living with disabilities. In terms of marketing, ADA compliance is most frequently connected to widgets on websites and closed captioning of video spots. Those are important tools, but they just scratch the surface. There is so much opportunity for inclusivity in marketing.
To be truly inclusive, we must go beyond compliance – treating accessibility not as an afterthought or add-on, but as part of the process of development from start to finish. We have a lot of work to do in order to incorporate this ground-up approach into all of our projects, but it is a priority for the agency and one that we are excited to continue to strive forward by listening and learning in hope of leading and innovating.
The ultimate goal is making the work we do on behalf of our clients both accessible and reflective, so that all populations can engage with the content and be reflected within it.
We have long been invested in websites that are accessible, through alt-tagging imagery, using live text, utilizing high-contrast colors and adjusting for slow internet connections or mobile-only access. Additionally, our video content is provided with closed captioning. We are working toward improvements in social media access. You can experience those changes now as we beta-test adding text-based descriptions of animated imagery to Güd’s organic social media posts (think of this as the alt-tag equivalent for moving images). Other features we are exploring are audio descriptions for video content – a way for folks with a vision impairment to experience video beyond a simple transcription of audio.
Media shapes culture, and we create media. The work we do has the power to shift cultural norms, make societal change and allow all people to be reflected in the media they consume. We’re going to keep listening, learning and improving and invite you to nudge us forward too.
What features do you feel are most important for accessibility in marketing?
Amy Bond-Nelson Moore
The kids come first, listen, lead by example, social justice, LGBTQ+