Over at Bionic Ear, we often discuss the lack of captions in online videos, which has recently surged due to the writer’s strike. John Erskine of Project readOn pointed to a press release: Study finds companies benefit from removing IT barriers for people with disabilities and boomers.
Since everyone is talking about yesterday’s Super Bowl — one thing disappointed me. Many of the $$$ commercials didn’t have captions. These companies spend ginormous bucks to show their ads during the prime time of commercials and can’t spare a few dollars to add captioning?
The writers’ strike scares deaf people like me. As people tire of reruns, they turn to Web TV shows (might require free login). Should the popularity of Web TV swell and succeed, we fear TV shows will begin to appear online and without captions.
Imagine how much business a company could get with stats like these (from press release article):
There are 54 million people with disabilities in the United States who, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, control over $175 billion in discretionary income. Additionally according to 2003 Census data, of the 76 million U.S. baby boomers, one out of four over the age of 50 and one out of two over the age of 65 have a disability.
Moral: As a result of its never aired ad, Pepsi has garnered a lot of new Pepsi drinkers in the deaf community. What can a business gain if it makes the effort to reach everyone? A lot.