Because information that is not accessible is simply completely useless.
Not only for the consumers, but also for all those, who have spent a lot of time and money to create and distribute their information: Companies, politics and administration, all of whom actually want to reach as many people as possible.
Unhindered access to information is a human right.
Therefore, barrier-free information access is also a crucial part of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN DRPD). This means that information must be accessible to everyone, including people with visual impairments, cognitive disabilities or reading difficulties.
In reality, however, barrier-free information access is still a scarce commodity, because we still find:
This is a problem not just for people with disabilities, but also for (functional) illiterates, people with a different mother tongue or the elderly.
The current “European Accessibility Act” states that information is barrier-free in the sense of the UN DRPD if it can be received by more than one sensory channel. This means text AND speech (audio) or text AND sign language. Or additionally in easy language.
But it is about more than just barrier-free information access for supposedly marginal groups. It is about increasing the range! So that information also reaches all people, for whom reading is difficult.
And that concerns almost half of the EU population! More…
First of all, it is necessary to check all information for its “hurdles” and to defuse them:
As an insider, you often don’t even notice that you are using technical terms or abbreviations, that are not known to end consumers and cause confusion. So-called “readability tests” are already mandatory for medicines, but all other information should be checked in this respect as well.
The Flesch-Reading Index assesses a text according to sentence length and structure, use of foreign words, abbreviations, etc. and deduces from this, how easy it is to understand.
And of course there are specialists such as the Loycos agency, for example, who can turn even complex facts into easily understandable words. Of course, you can specify whether small children and people with cognitive disabilities should also be able to understand your information, or whether you are targeting adults with a medium level of education.
For example, the rating for this blog is already “very difficult”. But it aims at B2B customers with a higher level of education anyway.
Often space conditions or the visual appearance decide on font, font size and color. Readability then falls by the wayside.
Especially the hotly courted and very large target group of the 65+ generation is regularly annoyed by menus, package inserts and food, whose small print information is difficult or impossible to decipher.
Adding audio format by means of a Speech Code can help here.