Is your business “Inclusive” and does it matter?
Does your business have a mindset of inclusion? What do I mean by that? Well, I’m going to explain to you what inclusion means right now. A policy of inclusion says everybody should have the opportunity to be my client and I should have the opportunity to serve as many people as possible. Of course, we’re known for online marketing and that’s where most people will find you. So, let’s go through some statistics about inclusion and see if it really matters to your business. Websites need to be available to people who are both hearing and visually impaired. It’s under the umbrella of ADA accessibility and sure you think “ADA the Americans with Disabilities Act only applies to how wide your doorway is or is there a ramp”, but it also applies to electronic media such as your website. Can the visually impaired use their screen reader? Is the contrast such that they could read it even unassisted? What about videos; is closed captioning or transcripts available? If not, you’re not really living inclusion.
So let me tell you why it’s so important. 20% of the US population identifies as disabled that can include visually and hearing impaired. 20%! That number explodes to over 58% identifying as disabled from the age of 65 and up. And here’s why that’s so important, the 65 and up demographic in this country 73% of them are active internet users that means like everybody else they’re finding their next vendor through the internet and either they can interact with you once they find your page or find out you don’t live inclusion.
So, if you’ve decided that these numbers are significant, let me give you my three-step action plan for inclusion. Number one decide to be inclusive if it’s your mindset as a company to serve the widest number of people then you’ve got an inclusion mindset. Again, do you want to include that 20% under 65 or exclude 20% of the market? Do you want to only deal with the 42 percent of the market over 65 or a hundred percent of the market over 65 by being inclusive? So, you’ve got to first have the mindset. The second step is to actually find out where you stand. Somebody has got to do an audit or analysis of your current website to find out if it meets ADA standards or not. And if not, what needs to be changed to make it as inclusive as possible. The third step is to come up with an action plan. Do you need to really go through a remediation of your website to bring it up to ADA accessibility standards for the hundred percent of the audience, or is it about time to really do a website refresh and build in that accessibility from the ground up. If your website more than 5 years old, it might be time for a refresh. The good news is whether you choose to do a remediation or a brand-new website. There is a huge tax incentive from the federal government to help offset that cost for you.
If you want to know more about that or get an analysis of your website or get an action plan, you know you can always reach out to me and I am happy to help you. I hope you this year you decide to adopt a mindset of inclusion and I would love to be a partner with you on that helping you live out that policy. Until next time I’m Jon Garber from Flying Chimp.