Accessible Marketing – Are You Missing 38 Million Americans?

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“Approximately 38 million Americans have a visual impairment or are blind. It has been predicted that in the United States, these numbers will raise to 75 million blind and 200 million visually impaired by the year 2020 (WHO, 2010).”

Accessible Marketing Opportunities That Can Bring Your Business To The Next Level

With so many affected by visual impairments, today’s blog post is all about how to better include everyone in your marketing efforts through accessible marketing. The Americans Disability Act (ADA) requires all businesses to comply with accessibility for the visually impaired. Did you know many financial institutions are only interested in being compliant once they have obtained a customer with a visual impairment? Imagine expanding your marketing base, just by providing accessible alternative formats.

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Over 285 million people in the world are visually impaired, of whom 39 million are blind and 246 million have moderate to severe visual impairment (WHO, 2011). Imagine capturing 38 million Americans and 285 million people worldwide just by offering alternative formats to your current print marketing and having an accessible web site. Don’t shut the door on millions of clients. Studies show that people with disabilities have a consumer loyalty to businesses that are accessible and supportive of persons with disabilities. It is estimated that over 50 million Americans, 18 and over, are living with a disability of some kind.

Make a statement with alternative formats and capture clients that are often overlooked and become seen by consumers who cannot access your business. Accessibility is a cost effective way of expanding your client-base and bringing awareness to your company. Businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways of standing out. Traditional formats like Braille, large print, audio as well as accessible PDF’s and website marketing will bring your company to the next level.

What is a visual impairment? Total blindness is the inability to tell light from dark. Low vision is a severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses. Legal blindness is central vision corrected at 20/200 or worse or a visual field that is not greater than 20% (known as tunnel vision or peripheral vision). However, many people have difficulty reading standard print and are reporting their vision worsening to the point of requiring audio or large print.

So what are alternative formats anyway?

Accessible Electronic Documents

There are components that must be addressed in every public-facing PDF document.  The categories include: master requirements for all documents, general layout and formatting requirements, accessibility tagging and reading order, document images requirement, lists and tables and form fields certification. Certification is available for documents that have been assessed and remediated to meet Section 508 compliance standards by the Braille Works Accessibility Team.
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Accessible 508 Compliant Documents

Fast and Accurate 508 Remediation of Online Documents – Braille Works is your solution for repair or remediation of public-facing documents.

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Braille

Braille Works transcribes materials in many languages including English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German. Our braille transcription process meets or exceeds the standards set forth by the Braille Authority of North America (BANA).

There are two types of commonly used braille; Grade 1 and Grade 2. Grade 1: This is the most basic form of braille and more of an instructional level than a functional level.  Every letter is transcribed making the braille document longer.  Grade 2: This form of braille uses contractions; or combinations of letters as a single character, and takes up less space on the page.  It is the most widely accepted form of braille and is easier for experienced braille readers.

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Braille

Making the Text-to-Braille Process Easy for You with Custom Braille Transcription & Embossing – We transcribe materials in many languages including English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German.

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Large Print

At Braille Works, we realize that creating Large Print documents is much more than simply increasing the font size.  Our Large Print transcription process has been tested by people with visual impairments and developed to provide the best possible structure for ease of reading.  It’s important to know that changes in format like BOLD, ITALICS and COLOR can make a document difficult to read for a person with low vision. Fully Compliant Large Print Documents Require Proper Formatting of: Document layout, contrast and color, pagination, tables and charts, font size, headers and footers, table of contents, text emphasis, index of references and application of styles. We don’t rely solely on automatic conversion software.  Our transcriptionists carefully analyze the structure of your document and every detail to create a Large Print version that is easily readable and aesthetically pleasing for visually impaired individuals.

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Large Print

Fully Compliant Large Print Documents – Our large print transcription process has been tested by people with visual impairments and developed to provide the best possible structure for ease of reading.

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Audio

Audio documents for the blind and visually impaired. We offer two types of audio recording:

  1. Text-to-Speech (TTS) Audio: The visually impaired community has become accustomed to synthesized voice-recordings. Braille Works uses our proprietary script to create your audio document using state-of-the-art synthesized voice patterns. This is the most cost effective way to create your audio document. Final audio documents are delivered as an Audio CD, MP3, or on a flash drive.
  2. Live Reader: With live reader, we have an individual read the proprietary script, and record the actual document in our production studio. Completed audio documents can be delivered as an Audio CD, MP3, or on a flash drive.

Foreign Language Support

Live Reader Foreign Language Support: We offer the option of recording in English and Spanish. This option is not available on TTS Audio at this time.

Audio Scripting

Most companies simply read the document in its original form.  At Braille Works, our experience tells us that audio documents must be properly formatted and scripted to recreate the intent of the visual document.  For all audio transcriptions, we use a proprietary scripting process that assembles your documents into logical segments.  Now your customers will have audio documents that are easy to navigate and understand.

Virtually any document can be converted to audio. Whether your company needs a single audio document, or multiple audio documents, Braille Works is the partner you’ve been looking for.
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Audio

Live Reader and Text-to-Speech (TTS) Audio Documents for Your Customers with Low Vision or Blindness.

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Providing the Highest Compliance Standards for Accessibility

  • Data Security: PCI 2 compliant, ISO 27002 compliant, data encryption and 24/7 secure electronic file transfer.
  • Disaster Recovery: Agility recovery subscriber, Iron Mountain off-site data backup and continuity of operations plan.
  • Accessibility: Section 508 compliant, ADA compliant and BANA Standards.

Don’t miss out on clients because of not being accessible. We can help open the door to over 38 million Americans and more worldwide. Contact our Financial Services Team today to discuss your project or give us a call at 1-800-258-7544 anytime. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your specific marketing needs and the quality solutions we provide.

Additional Resources:

Braille Authority of North America
Download the latest version of Adobe Reader to view the following PDF file. World Health Organization’s Vision 20/20 Report.

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This post was written by Braille Works

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