Beyond the ADA: How Accessibility Can Make a Huge Difference to Your Bottom Line

by Nik Wahlberg | November 10 2017

Have you overlooked the opportunity to truly tap into a market segment that is often overlooked by the financial services industry? Chances are, you have. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that American’s with disabilities represent $200 billion in annual discretionary spending. That number does not include their relatives, caregivers, supporters, etc. We are all aware that the ADA has basic website accessibility requirements. While that is a step in the right direction, it is significantly different to be compliant than it is to actually cater and market to this segment of the population.

The 2017 World Banking Report highlights that increasingly, technology is being relied upon. In order to stay ahead, and remain competitive you should consider upgrading technology in a way that enhances the lives of those with disabilities. Doing so in a way that enables people with disabilities to do business with you without the need for assistance, or to go to a branch could open a large, underserved segment of our population.

There are a few ways you can invest in technology and market to customers with disabilities in a way that can make a difference to your goals and your bottom line. Here are four actions you can take to incorporate people with disabilities into your overall marketing and sales plans:

  1. Go the extra mile: Instead of just adopting the baseline digital requirements for ADA, ensure that your websites and applications are all exceptionally user friendly for people with disabilities. Instead of focusing on being baseline compliant, be THE accessibility gold standard.
  2. Keep people with disabilities in mind when adopting, implementing, or upgrading technology solutions: While like the first recommendation, this one is slightly different. Take into consideration, “How does this solution help remove barriers to those who have a disability?” With that mindset, you are on the right path for this audience with all your technology initiatives.
  3. Support the community: This goes beyond digital. Get involved with local organizations, events, publications and more to show more than lip service to this unique group of individuals. This support can and should take include sponsorships, volunteering and hiring initiatives that are inclusive of those with disabilities.
  4. Create a marketing and branch engagement plans: To go along with the first three, you promote what you are doing, how you are different and how all your work makes a different to this market segment. You should include people with disabilities in your marketing materials, market in publications and on websites targeted to those with disabilities.

Going beyond what you must do for this market segment can make the difference to your financial institution and help you achieve your growth goals while doing the right thing all at the same time.

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