About accessibility

Disabled people

According to Government estimates, there are over 10 million disabled people in the UK, and this figure does not include people who may not consider themselves to have a disability.

It is estimated that:

  • Two million people have a visual impairment which cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses
  • Six million people have hearing impairments
  • Two million people have learning disabilities
  • Six million people have dyslexia

In addition to disabled audiences, there are large groups of people who do not have a disability but have problems accessing information:

  • 20% of the population have literacy problems and are challenged by anything but the simplest text
  • With peoples eyesight usually deteriorating in their thirties, there are many million of people who have problems reading inaccessible text

Taking these figures into account a large proportion of any target audience may be excluded from communications because they are inaccessible.

The business case

Because of the size of the audience who have problems accessing information it makes eminent business sense to ensure your communications are as accessible as possible.

Disabled people have a spending power of around £80 billion, and make up a proportion of all target audiences. Failing to ensure your communications are accessible will mean your communications are not as effective as they should be and not reaching their target audience. Unless access is considered by marketers and communicators, disabled peoples engagement – and spending power – is lost.

In addition ensuring your communications are accessible to disabled people will help people who have problems accessing information but may not consider themselves to have a disability.

Legal requirements

There are legal requirements which require communications to be accessible to disabled people.

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against disabled people. This means all service and product providers, whatever their size, have to make reasonable adjustments to their services to ensure they are accessible to disabled people.

This includes all communications. And if they don’t, they could be prosecuted.

Government organisations are also required by the public sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act to address the needs of people with physical, sensory or mental disabilities.

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