Monday, February 03, 2014

Reaching Out to Customers with Disabilities

The disability community comprises nearly one-fifth of the American population and constitutes an untapped consumer market worth over $220 billion in discretionary spending. Further enlarging this market are families, friends, communities, employers, and service providers of people with disabilities. Like other niche markets, the disability community responds positively to companies whose marketing approaches are empowering and address their needs and interests. NOD offers consultations and training for businesses and marketers who wish to tap into this increasingly powerful consumer sector.

More from The National Organization on Disability.

Many companies ignore this growing demographic in their promotional events or ad campaigns, often because they’re worried they’ll do it wrong and offend someone in the process.

That’s a mistake, Nadine Vogel says, as people with disabilities – and especially parents of special-needs kids – would appreciate the attention. Vogel, who has two special-needs children herself, told a story to an audience of about 100 ... that her 17-year-old daughter once left a department store in tears after trying to buy make-up for her prom. The sales people, Vogel explained, weren’t trained about how to talk to or help a customer with disabilities.

More from Business Week.

As a business owner or operator, or someone thinking about opening a business, you may have wondered what you have to do to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This course explains how the ADA applies to businesses in ten short lessons. Putting these lessons into practice will allow you to comply with the ADA and welcome a whole new group of customers to purchase your goods, products, and services. And you may find that making your business more accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities is not as difficult as you thought.

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