Today I had a column published in Media Post’s Marketing Daily, titled “A Costly Gamble”. I talk about how companies spend heavily on product development and marketing, but fail to consider people with disabilities who might use their products. Here’s an excerpt:
“This oversight seems irresponsible: In the U.S., 54 million adults — or one in five Americans — have a physical or mental disability. People with disabilities have a combined income of more than a trillion dollars — and are willing to spend it on products and technologies that make their lives more productive. Brands that ignore the needs of this group relinquish an opportunity to reach this growing demographic. They also put their business at a higher risk for costly lawsuits, such as the $6 million in damages that Target paid in 2008 for failing to make some of its Web content accessible to blind people.”
Please check it out here and I’d love your comments. Dedicated readers to my blog might notice a discrepancy; I actually give Kudos to Amazon in the Marketing Daily column, but I pan them in my blog. Here’s why: Marketing Daily is a broad marketing publication, and with marketing, perception is often reality. An Amazon marketer probably was able to increase market share for ‘considering’ assistive technology in the Kindle 2. But in the world of AT and universal design –basic text-to-speech isn’t fully solving the problem for people with visual, or even reading, impairments.