Digital Accessibility Index: Learn where the world’s leading brands fall short on accessibility.

See Report

Don't Let Your Branding Hurt Your Accessibility Strategy

Aug 25, 2023

 

Your organization’s brand should work for everyone — but the decisions you make when building your brand may lock some potential customers out of the conversation. 

An estimated 25% of U.S. adults live with at least one disability. Depending on your target audience, that number may be low: Among people aged 75 and over, 46% report having a disability, per Pew Research.

To craft an accessible brand, you’ll need to start thinking about all of your users. That means taking steps to deliver the same experience to every part of your audience, including:

 

  • People who use screen readers (software that outputs text as audio or braille) and other assistive technologies (AT).
  • People with color vision deficiencies (also called color blindness). 
  • People who cannot (or choose not to) perceive audio content.
  • People with disabilities that affect their mobility or cognition.

 

Needless to say, creating content for all of these users requires some finesse. Fortunately, there’s a guidebook: The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), widely considered to be the international standards for digital accessibility.

By referencing WCAG, you can prioritize accessibility when making key decisions about your brand. Here are a few tips to help you get started. 

 

Brand accessibility starts with use of color

 

Color can be a powerful tool for creating emotional connections with your customers. Ideally, you’ll be able to communicate your brand with your palette alone — but that won’t work for every customer.

Obviously, color is a visual signal. About 8% of men have some type of color vision deficiency, and globally, vision disabilities impact an estimated 2.2 billion people

Those people are part of your audience. You shouldn’t rely wholly on a single type of sensory perception to communicate ideas, and you should recognize that your customers have different visual capabilities. 

WCAG includes two key requirements for using color: 

 

 

When you’re designing your logo or choosing a color scheme for your website, test your color choices with the Bureau of Internet Accessibility’s a11y® Color Contrast Accessibility Validator

Related: Easy Guide to Accessible Colors

 

Marketing plans should consider accessibility from day one

 

Digital accessibility must be a consistent priority. If you ignore your customers with disabilities, your accessibility debt grows, and establishing an accessible brand will become more difficult (and expensive).

To keep your accessibility debt small, get into the habit of asking questions. Let’s say you’re planning a series of social media posts to promote a new product via a landing page. You’re supporting your campaign with an email blast.

Consider the following:

 

 

When you get into the habit of asking questions about accessibility, you can avoid many common issues that frustrate users with disabilities. You’ll also create clear messages that appeal to every type of customer — as we’ve discussed in other articles, digital accessibility benefits everyone, not just people with sensory limitations.

Related: Brands Are Losing Billions by Not Being Digitally Accessible

 

Build a brand that doesn’t make assumptions about its audience

 

Remember, accessible branding is good for business. An inclusive approach helps your brand deliver a consistent, clear message, which improves key marketing metrics while leaving people with a better impression of your business.

To learn more ways to enhance your brand’s accessibility, send us a message or download our free eBook: Developing the Accessibility Mindset.

Use our free Website Accessibility Checker to scan your site for ADA and WCAG compliance.

Powered By

Recent posts

Best Practices for Accessible Transcripts

Jun 11, 2024

How Information Security and Digital Accessibility Can Coexist

Jun 10, 2024

WCAG Conformance and Third-Party Web Content

Jun 6, 2024

Not sure where to start?

Start with a free analysis of your website's accessibility.

GET STARTED