Everyone deserves to feel represented.
by Danielle Sinay
Accessibility isn’t an option, and too many brands operate under the assumption that it is. Because when you exclusively cater products to those who are able-bodied, it blatantly, and unfairly, excludes those who are not.
That’s why we’re so glad to see that brands like Apple are striving to make products more accessible for all users, including those who are differently abled.
Last week, Apple has unveiled their new site dedicated to accessibility, hoping to promote inclusivity across the brand.
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the site in an announcement called “Hello Again,” telling the audience, “it’s all about the accessibility features that we’ve designed and built into our products. We believe that technology should be accessible to everyone, and we hope this website becomes a great resource that people can use all around the world.”
Apple has also released a video as a part of the presentation, featuring lots of different people with disabilities using Apple products.
“People think that having a disability is a barrier, but that’s not the way I see it,” a woman in the video explains. ”You can catch up with friends, you can capture a moment with your family, and you can start the day bright and early.”
Examples of Apple’s accessible products include Work-Out options for people who use wheelchairs, audible assistance to help people who are blind take pictures, iPhones that connect to, and can help control, hearing aids, and many more.
“When technology is designed for everyone, it lets anyone do what they love,” the woman in the video continued. “Including me.”
Apple’s new site is the perfect example of how to promote accessibility and inclusivity – and that it’s not hard. All we need to do is remember that everyone is differently abled, and that no one is more deserving of a product or its features than another.
Brands like Kmart have expanded their advertisements’ inclusivity as well, featuring people with different disabilities – something we don’t see enough of. Because there’s a difference between accessibility and inclusivity — just because a brand is accessible to those who are differently abled, doesn’t mean they are fairly representing what their audience may live and look like, especially in the media.
In short: we need more ads Kmart’s, and organizations like Changing the Face of Beauty.
Changing the Face of Beauty is dedicated to ending exclusivity in advertising, hoping to “encourage the integration of individuals with disabilities into general advertising and the media.”
Some examples of campaigns Changing the Face of Beauty has spearheaded are #BridgeTheGap, a “call to action” for brands to rethink their campaigns and feature models of all shapes, sizes, and abilities, because everyone deserves to feel represented.
Another is #ImGoingBackToSchoolToo, in which they partnered with company Livie & Luca to include children with disabilities in their back to school advertising campaigns. They have also worked with Tori Spelling’s Little Maven and Matilda Jane, and are currently partnered with Nordstrom’s.
We’re hoping that Apple’s recent announcement, and organizations like Changing the Face of Beauty, will inspire other brands to expand their products’ accessibility and inclusivity. Because everyone deserves the right to enjoy all products, and to see themselves represented in media, too.
Remember, you are perfect and beautiful just the way you are.
You don’t have to change, they do.