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Robert Pearson

  Accessible Media

08/21/2014

Defining Inclusive Needs for Specific Audiences

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When implementing accessibility solutions across a wide spectrum of audience, focus on getting the needs met of a small target segment, writes Robert Pearson. 

Meeting the inclusive needs of a small audience segment

Image: For business, it could be about defining responses to requests from clientele who are blind, partially sighted, deaf, hard of hearing, or who have a mobility or cognitive impairment.

Over the course of the next few years, Canada will cease home delivery of physical postal mail to all residences across the country. Seen as a drastic measure, it comes as a result of efforts to save our national postal service from financial failure. The solution to the removal of home delivery will come in the form of community mailboxes at central locations within a community. They will be designed to meet the needs of those using them, including persons with disabilities. Research and work will be conducted to ensure that the needs of the community are met from an inclusive standpoint.

It is a formidable model to uphold, one which has long been sought in a digital sense. When we reference the widest possible audience and the need to strive for universal inclusion for all, it can be seen as a daunting task. We need to focus on defining the inclusive needs for a smaller cohort of an audience in a step-by-step manner to ensure that some element of inclusion is achieved, with more and more accomplished as work progresses.

The extent of this concept could be applicable in many forms. On the Web, it's about ensuring that one website or even one page within a site is accessible before moving on to the next one. In broadcast media, it's about ensuring that one video or one season of a television show is captioned and described. For business, it could be about defining responses to requests from clientele who are blind, partially sighted, deaf, hard of hearing, or who have a mobility or cognitive impairment.

It is a rough concept, but one which may be more palatable for individuals and organizations embarking upon an understanding and implementation of accessibility for the first time. By narrowing the scope, the task may become more achievable. One thing that accessibility should never be seen as is the “wrong” approach. That idea can be avoided by presenting a reasonable option, one that can completed with the resources that may be available.

The Golden Age of Accessibility becomes the perfect medium by which reasonable accessibility options may be defined. Given the experiences of those well positioned to provide experience and insight to those who may follow them, it may become a straightforward activity to define who the "community" is and how their inclusive needs may be met.

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Related Resources

Blog: The Intersection of Access and Ability | Read Robert Pearson's Blog.

Publication: Developing e-Accessibility as a Professional Skill | Download Free PDF.

Event: 9th Annual Internet Governance Forum 2014 - Istanbul, Turkey | September 2-5, 2014 | View Event Details.