In a report, published a few weeks ago, research on the size and score of the disability market revealed an unimaginable number. 1,85 billion of Earth population are people with disabilities (PWD). Researchers compare the population of PWD to the Chinese. If to include their families and friends – consumers who make purchasing decisions with emotional connection to PWD - they control 13 trillion US dollar disposable income. In light of this, it is obvious that accessible companies win the market.
Let me illustrate the statement with my personal observation. I visited a small US town with a high number of Deaf people. Due to the opening of a deaf school, many families with deaf members moved there.
Being curious about the flexibility of financial market operators, I decided to visit bank branches – all are offices of well-known banks. In the first 3-4, I was told that not many of their customers are deaf. The staff was rather puzzled by my question, it sounded weird to them. The very last bank’s chapter I visited, turned out to embrace almost all the town’s deaf population, together with their families and social circle. They focused on accessibility and trained ASL to their front-end staff. The Deaf community (as any marginalized commune) maintains tight contacts. Information about accessible products and services spread fast.
Accessibility is not only a buzzword but also an added value to any company’s reputation together with added value to services. In the same report (page 4), 75-80% of respondents with disabilities claim that their market experience is a failure. Therefore, it’s safe to anticipate that accessibility will keep on gaining more focus in the following years.
Zsolt Robotka, CEO SignAll Technologies.