There are over 50 millions of deaf and hard of hearing people in USA and about 700 millions of them worldwide – which would make about 20% of the total population. You may ignore that important market segment if your aural information is not accessible to them via quality captioning, transcriptions, and other types of visual access.
Aural information includes but not limited to:
- TV news, shows, ads;
- Events and conferences;
- Audio files & podcasts;
- Online videos;
- Classes, workshops, trainings;
- Work meetings;
- Emergency announcements;
- Movies & plays.
Why do we need captions?
While captions provide audio accessibility mainly to deaf and hard of hearing people, there are additional benefits for ALL people:
- Those with limited literacy skills by receiving information both aurally and visually;
- Those having difficulties understanding information aurally even with perfect hearing;
- Those speaking other languages than through which they receive information aurally;
- Anyone trying to access the content in a “restrictive” environment;
- Users having difficulties understanding foreign or colloquial/heavy accents;
- The website owners themselves – captions allow for better indexing and searching of multimedia, eventually improving their ROI.
The potential demographic in USA:
- 20% of people in USA (or more than 48 million) with hearing loss,
- 20% of people in USA whose English is a second language,
- 43% of people in USA with low literacy.
There are additional benefits of captioned videos:
- Plymedia reported that subtitles video viewership by almost 40%.
- AST reported that CNET-captioned video drove 30% increase in Google hits.
- In terms of multimodal learning, based on Dale’s Cone of Experience: “People retain about 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, and 50% of what they hear and see.”
Economic Model of Disability
People with disabilities make the largest minority group which is too significant to be ignored. They:
- Make over $1 trillion market in USA: “This includes $220 billion in discretionary income, which is more than twice the spending power of American teenagers and almost 18 times the spending power of the American pre-teen market.”
- Control over $4 trillion annually in the world – this market is about the size of China.
If your products and services are not accessible to people with disabilities, your businesses lose not only them as valuable customers, but also additional customers such as their family members, friends, coworkers:
“Stakeholders in disability, friends and family, represent an additional 2 billion people with a disposable income of $8 trillion.”
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