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Make Your Marketing More Accessible
Kogan Page is committed to being a diverse and inclusive organization for everyone, and this includes those with visual and hearing disabilities.
An estimated 2.2 billion people worldwide have some form of vision impairment, with roughly 253 million experiencing severe vision disability or total blindness and roughly 466 million people globally are deaf or hard of hearing. This population has a right to the same privileges as any reader, so we have adjusted our marketing practices to ensure that all our promotional activities are accessible - and you can do the same.
Here are some tips that you can follow to ensure your marketing is accessible.
Alt text text provides a textual alternative to non-text content
(i.e., images) in web pages, emails and social media posts. The majority of email systems and social media posts allow you to manually add alt text to your images, which includes your email signature too. This serves several functions:
- It is read by screen readers in place of images allowing the content and function of the image to be accessible to those with visual or certain cognitive disabilities.
- It is displayed in place of the image in browsers if the image file is not loaded or when the user has chosen not to view images.
- On your website, it provides better image context/descriptions to search engine crawlers, helping them to index an image properly and contribute to SEO.
Using alt text not only creates a better user experience, but provides the opportunity to include target keywords.
Tips for writing alt text:
- Describe the image as specifically as possible. Prioritize important details and avoid flowery language and acronyms.
- Keep it within 125 characters – many screen readers have a cut off around this limit.
- Do use keywords! (But don’t just pack them in if they don’t add meaning)
- Don’t start with: ‘image of’ or ‘picture of’ etc. Screen readers automatically know your text is referring to an image.
Those who have hearing or cognitive impairments cannot engage with videos if they do not have captions. It is also important that captions have punctuation to help your audience better process and understand the content in the correct context.
Things you can do:
- Add captions to any promotional videos you create. YouTube has an automatic tool that allows you to add captions, but you will need to add punctuation to this and amend some spelling.
- If you’re giving a presentation, turn on your automatic real-time captions in PowerPoint.
- When speaking at online and in-person events, ask the organizers if live captions are available for the audience, and if not request that they add them.
Copy on your website, in emails and for social media posts should be easy to understand and digestible. You can enhance readability by using white space and paragraph breaks to create clear spaces between paragraphs/topics.
Where possible use a minimum font size of 12, refrain from using thin fonts and align text to the left. Additionally, avoid using light coloured text on a white background; ensure there is a high enough colour contrast ratio between text colour and background.
Using effective colour contrasts in your graphics and images can help those with colour blindness. Colour blind audiences might not see the exact colours, but by having accessible colour contrasts they won't miss the content of your message.
This doesn't mean your design needs to be black and white, but it's a good idea to stick to one text colour and one contrasting background colour. You can check the colour contrasts here:
For those with visual impairments and epileptic patients, it can also help to limit the use of gifs/flashing images as it can induce/aggravate a photo-sensitive seizure.
Emojis have unique descriptions assigned to them, including skin tones. Screen readers use these to accurately describe emojis aloud. You can check what the emoji descriptions are on Emojipedia.
If you are going to use emojis, always put them at the end of the post. Don’t put them in the middle of posts or as bullet points, as it will disrupt your message if it is read via a screen reader.
Put multi-word hashtags in Camel Case to help readers differentiate between words. For example, we use #KoganPage not #koganpage.