Disability is a market you do not want to miss!

July 3, 2024

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In the following article, Signe Hartvig Daugaard shares three tips to help companies become relevant to people with disabilities.

When I lost my hearing at the age of 12, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that my hearing loss would become the foundation of the business I live by today. In the time after I became deaf, I grasped for a new identity and tried hard to find reference points and role models that would convince me that life as a deaf person also had something to offer. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anyone I could see myself in – at least not in the media.

 

 

Maybe you think that’s not the case today. Now, themes such as diversity and minorities are higher on the agenda than ever before. But try to think back… How many times in the past week have you seen someone with a visible disability appear in the media? On SoMe? In the fashion magazines? In an advertisement?

If you don’t immediately remember coming across examples, it’s not that you haven’t been aware of what information you’ve been bombarded with. No, despite the fact that there are 1.3 billion people with disabilities worldwide, the representation of that same group only takes up 1 percent of advertising in primetime. Thought-provoking when this particular group has a purchasing power of about $ 13 trillion.

 

 

Nevertheless, few companies know how to exploit the huge business potential of these consumers – the world’s largest minority group.

If you as a company make an active choice that your company should be inclusive of this minority, you will create impact among both current and potential customers. In addition, you will have access to a loyal customer group that will reward you for meeting their product and service needs and show the outside world that your company is inclusive and provides space for diversity.

If you would like to know more, here is my top-3 list that can help you become a relevant company for people with disabilities:

1. Show the person – then the disability

 

Two women having a drink in a pub, on woman sits in a wheelchair

 

There are very few people with a disability who want the focus to be solely on that. First and foremost, focus on similarities, what we share and what binds us together, let the disability be secondary.

2. Style and tone are important

Disability is, as a starting point, nothing to laugh at, but therefore the mood can be lightened with a little humor. However, it requires that it comes from the characters themselves, and that it may be implied humor. So, get help from your target audience, because it is crucial that you get your style and tone right.

3. Pay attention to accessibility in your service, your communication, and your branding

Do you also lose patience when you have to buy a product online, and it turns out to be difficult because the website is not user-friendly? Do you stop the purchase? A lot of people with disabilities do! If you as a company understand to work with digital accessibility, which makes it easier for blind, deaf and people with cognitive impairments to find their way around, then you create a revolution – Then do the same in your customer service, be patient in your meeting with people with disabilities, familiarize yourself with their needs and they will love you and come again, simply because they have learned that you can give them a uniquely good experience.

About the author

Signe Hartvig Daugaard is Founder & CEO of Great Minority – a media company which works for a better and wider representation of minorities. Last year she founded the first Entrepreneur Bootcamp for young adults with disabilities in Denmark. Signe won the Sustainable Development Goal prize 2022.

Signe Daugaard

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