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Return on Investment for making your products & services accessible for the deaf!

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, the concept of accessibility has transcended mere compliance and has become a strategic imperative for companies aiming to build customer loyalty, expand their markets, and foster inclusivity. One crucial aspect of accessibility is catering to the needs of the deaf community, a demographic that has a substantial purchasing power and whose influence cannot be ignored. In this blog, we’ll explore the cost and return on investment (ROI) for companies that make their products and services accessible for the deaf, supported by real-world examples and research articles.


Costs Involved:

While investing in accessibility may seem daunting, the costs are often outweighed by the numerous benefits it brings. Companies need to consider factors like website and app redesign, developing accessible communication channels, and training employees. However, these costs can be minimized through careful planning and phased implementation.


Return on Investment:

Research consistently shows that the ROI for investing in accessibility can be significant. Let’s delve into a few examples:

1. Microsoft’s Inclusive Design Efforts:

Microsoft embraced inclusive design principles to make their products accessible. The company invested in features like real-time captions and subtitles for Skype calls and PowerPoint presentations. The result? An increase in user satisfaction and engagement. Their inclusive design approach has resulted in a 40% increase in daily active users on Microsoft Teams.

 
2. Uber’s Partnership with the National Association of the Deaf:

Uber has been committed to enhancing accessibility for the deaf community. Their partnership with the National Association of the Deaf led to the introduction of features like flashing lights for incoming ride requests, and drivers receiving text messages instead of phone calls. This investment not only improved the user experience for the deaf but also attracted new riders and drivers who value inclusive services.

 
3. Walmart’s Accessible Website Redesign:

Walmart’s redesign of its website to be more accessible to individuals with disabilities, including the deaf, resulted in a remarkable increase in online sales. Their efforts led to an ROI of 150% within the first year of implementation.

 

Research Support:

Several studies corroborate the positive financial impact of accessibility initiatives:


• A survey conducted by the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access found that accessible design can lead to increased sales for businesses, citing an average increase of 20% in sales from inclusive design projects.

• A Deafness Forum of Australia report states that businesses that cater to the needs of the deaf community can benefit from improved customer loyalty, ultimately leading to increased profitability.


The cost of making products and services accessible for the deaf community is a worthwhile investment that can yield substantial returns. Companies that prioritize inclusivity are not only meeting ethical obligations but are also positioning themselves as forward-thinking, customer-centric organizations. With real-world examples and research backing the financial benefits, it’s evident that accessibility isn’t just a moral imperative – it’s a sound business decision.


By embracing accessibility, companies are not just improving their bottom line; they’re also creating a more inclusive world where everyone can participate fully. In an increasingly interconnected marketplace, catering to the needs of the deaf community is a strategic move that resonates positively with customers and sets companies on a path toward sustained success.

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