As a business owner, you should strive hard to make sure your content is being exposed to the largest audience possible. And a way to do that is to create accessible content, whether it be online or offline. If you’re not making your content accessible, chances are you’re not able to reach people with disabilities and they don’t have a way to learn about you.
Why is it important?
Ensuring you create accessible content for your audience is crucial. This gives you a chance to cater to members of the community who have certain disabilities, and to provide every single one of your potential audience an equal chance to consume your content and learn about your business in any way they can. Most importantly, this allows you to work your way into becoming an inclusive and progressive establishment.
Apart from that, there’s also the fact that it’s a part of the law. The Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA, demands that state and local governments and any business establishments provide “auxiliary aids” to anyone with a disability. This particularly means that closed captions or transcriptions should be provided for the deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Here are a few ways to easily create accessible content:
Provide transcriptions using an automatic transcription tool
Webinars, seminars, and podcasts are all great content that can help your business gain exposure and leads and help you become a thought leader in the industry. Unfortunately, these kinds of content are not accessible to the deaf community. To be more inclusive, provide transcriptions for every webinar, seminar, or podcast you push out to your audience. You can use a free tool to generate an automated transcript that can be taken advantage of by the deaf or the hard-of-hearing.
Include captions or subtitles
When publishing video content, whether it be ads or informational videos, or short films, make it a habit to include captions or subtitles. Captions are much more detailed than subtitles, providing descriptions of the background noises and music as well. On the other hand, subtitles offer several benefits you shouldn’t ignore especially if you regularly publish videos as part of your business strategy.
Just like transcription, captions and subtitles will make it easier for the deaf or the hard-of-hearing to access and consume your content. They can also be useful for hearing people who are used to have subtitles.
Include image descriptions
It also helps to include image descriptions on your web pages, blog posts, and even social media posts. This is for the benefit of those with visual impairments. Image descriptions can be added to the alt text when you edit your website or your blog posts. Various social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to customize the alt texts of images as well, so make sure you utilize that option.
Use simple language
Sometimes less is more. When creating blog posts and social media posts, it’s better to use simple language. Not only are you connecting better with your audience, but you’ll also be making it a better experience for your audience who are ESL (English as a second language) learners, people with learning disabilities, and more. Using words that are too technical or fancy won’t help your audience consume your content, and it might only be a barrier instead.
At the end of the day, creating accessible content should not be treated as an option, but rather as a responsibility. Not only for the sake of your business but also for the welfare of all communities.