July is Disability Pride Month. It’s also the month that Congress signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law in 1990.
Why it matters: 26% of Americans have a disability, according to the CDC. That’s approximately 61 million, or one in four people. But how to effectively communicate with people with disabilities is often overlooked.
Accessible communications can take many forms, including qualified interpreters, large-print materials, audiotapes, real-time captioning, keyboard navigation, voice control, color modification, and alt-text, which describes a visual for screen-reading tools.
What they’re saying: The ADA was a major step, but “you can’t legislate a culture of inclusion,” Disability:IN CEO Jill Houghton tells Axios.
“70% of [the disabled community] have disabilities that you can’t see. If you don’t include disability in your diversity efforts, then you’re not leading inclusively,” Houghton says.
Between the lines: Most companies are not, according to a piece by the Valuable 500’s Caroline Casey in the Harvard Business Review.
While 90% of companies prioritize diversity, only 4% include disability in those initiatives, she writes.
Disability:IN’s 2022 equality index also shows accessible corporate communications are still lacking. Only 36% of companies audit the accessibility of internal-facing tools, while 40% test external-facing communications.
The bottom line: As communicators, we can do our part by using intentional language that’s often people-first, and creating accessible communications that are easy to find.
“You want to create communications where people feel that they belong. The best way to do that is to engage directly and ask,” Houghton says.
Read the Full Article on Axios