Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Disability viewed as an aspect of multiculturalism

There’s an interesting post about people with disabilities on a blog targeting multicultural marketing and advertising titled,
Is the disabled market the next multicultural opportunity?

The post begins by discussing basic aspects of web accessibility with regards to Section 508 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, then goes on to support that explanation with information that should make every marketer, pollster, and politician take notice. Those paying attention should include our candidates for the upcoming presidential election.

The pure logistics echo what most in the disabilities service field know:

“So how big is this market? According to the aforementioned Census report - 51.2 million people (18.1% of the population) had some level of disability and 32.5 million (11.5% of the population) had a severe disability - About 10.7 million people ages 6 and over needed personal assistance with one or more activities of daily living (ADL) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADL)”
“- Among the population 15 and older, 2.7 million used a wheelchair. Another 9.1 million used an ambulatory aid such as a cane, crutches, or walker.”
“- Approximately 7.9 million people 15 and older had difficulty seeing words and letters in ordinary newspaper print, including 1.8 million people who reported being unable to see .”

For anybody whose profession is in marketing and advertising, they should consider:
“The next question is whether this is a lucrative market for companies to consider. DiversityInc.com put out an article in 2002 that people with disabilities maintain an aggregate income that exceeds $1 trillion, with $220 billion in discretionary spending power. “

And, finally, the piece offers up a good perspective of the scope and strength of the population of people with disabilities—
“To put all of this data in perspective, the disabled market is larger than the 44 million+ Hispanic population that spends $575 billion (according to Synovate’s 2004 U.S. Hispanic Market Report).”

Given the attention that the presidential candidates, especially those from the Democratic party, have been paying to the population of Hispanic voters, that last paragraph should resonate very loudly for politicians, as well as voters with disabilities. This group of individuals have the power of a very sizable voting block. It is up to you to use that power.

If you are not registered to vote, do it. When any runoff elections take place, vote. And, finally, hit the polls in November and make your vote count.

After you are registered to vote, there is one more thing to consider. The strength of the larger population relies on acting as a group in a unified manner. Become active in disability rights organizations. Read up and understand the issues that are going to impact your life. Write to your senators and representatives to let them know which way you want them to represent you. If they don’t vote to support your interests, get active in supporting a candidate who will support what is important to you.

1 comment:

Jose Villa said...


Thanks for the reference and support on our recent blog post regarding the disability market. I agree with you 100% that this market place not only represents a powerful economic sector, but potentially a powerhouse political force. I look forward to continuing this very interesting dialogue.


Jose Villa