Accessibility & readability are an absolute must have on your blog.
Adjustments to standard marketing teachings is necessary in order to serve this under served market segment. Accessibility does not always require a wheelchair access.
I am thankful I found an excellent resource on this topic, Glenda Watson Hyatt who posted the following:
“Do you know that people with disabilities account for $175 billion in discretionary spending power in the United States alone? These individuals, a significantly under-tapped market, regularly face barriers preventing them from participating fully online. Join me, increase your readership and pioneer a blogosphere for all!”
Now that’s no small chunk of change to leave on the table.
The differently abled segment may be only 18% of the population but I don’t want to block my fellow disabled friends from reading & receiving benefit from my blog.
My recent market research is helping me to uncover these differences in standard online marketing guidelines. A couple quick, easy tips are;
- Making your links open in a new tab or window is a typical strategy used to keep a visitor on your site but causes problems for our challenged visitors & friends.
- Using CAPTCHA’s prevents the visually compromised visitors from posting comments on blogs.
- However, because CAPTCHAs are typically images of distorted characters, this information is not accessible to screen readers, leaving people who are blind unable to post a comment.
- As Darrell Shandrow, a screen reader user, says “visual CAPTCHAs are “no blind people allowed” signs.
Glenda also added; “CAPTCHAs do not keep out only people who are blind. With the distortion of characters or extraneous markings, people with learning disabilities, particularly dyslexia, can have difficulty deciphering what the actual characters are. Likewise, with poor color contrast, those individuals with color blindness or low vision can also have difficulty getting past the CAPTCHA step.”
Personally, my once perfect vision is nearly fifty-four years old now and those darn things are oftentimes causing me not to bother proceeding. This old grey mare ain’t what she used to be!
Further Glenda states, “One alternative is the combination of visual and audio CAPTCHA, such as the reCAPTCHA or the one on Blogger blogs. But have you ever tried listening to those ones? Totally garbled audio! If you happen to be hearing impaired and sight impaired – because disabilities don’t always come in onesies– you are completely hooped! Sorry, your opinions, ideas, expertise – or purchases! – aren’t welcomed here.”
So it is one thing to use commonly taught techniques to keep visitors on your pages, it is an entirely different matter to discourage & hinder another segment from interacting with your content.
Here’s to your success!