Approximately 61 million American adults live with disabilities. Among them, 48 million have
some degree of hearing loss. With this in mind, President George Bush signed into law the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to transform these people’s lives. Specifically, the law
would make it easier for them to access
● Employment opportunities
● Public accommodations
● Government services
● Commercial facilities
Similarly, businesses must consider these factors when marketing to the Deaf community. For
example, their video and social media content should be accessible to the Deaf and
hard-of-hearing (HOH) community.
This post is your guide to the things to do regarding the ADA rules when marketing to the Deaf
community. Remember that the law requires websites and businesses to be ADA-compliant.
Non-compliance can attract a fine of up to $75,000 for a single ADA violation and $150,000 for
additional ones. Markedly, the effects of the penalties can be devastating. Therefore, use these
tips to be on the safe side.
1. Leverage Digital Signage Advertising
Recently, L.B. Foster launched a new service to provide sign language accessibility to its Deaf
and hard-of-hearing community. Its mobile and fixed media digital display units are operational
in rail and transits and air travel systems. The company provides crucial information on travel,
disruption, and onward journey through these innovative wireless, mobile, and battery-powered
digital display totems.
L.B. Foster’s Senior Vice President, Greg Lippard, noted that the digital signage display
technology provides accessibility and total inclusivity in customer support, especially for the
Deaf consumers. The system provides visualized route maps, enhanced wayfinding, and
translation by experienced sign interpreters to communicate with the Deaf community. Your
business can borrow a leaf from this example.
2. Avail Multiple Contact Options
The Deaf and HOH customers want to get in touch with your business as much as your hearing
audience. Unfortunately, many small businesses prefer to use the phone to connect with their
customers. Worse still, they may fail to commit to social media engagement with their customers.
Most of them don’t even realize they’re committing such a big mistake.
Individuals with hearing difficulties are among the people living with disabilities with the most
significant amount of discretionary income. If they can’t get in touch with your company, they
can’t bring this money to your business.
Consider providing additional contact options like Facebook Messenger or email. These will
enhance communication, but remember to stay on top of notifications.
3. Use Closed Captions
Closed captions refer to dialogue displayed at the bottom of a video. Luckily, most television and
print ads are accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing people. On the contrary, most social
media and Facebook video ads lack this element.
With Facebook ads, you can opt to have the platform automatically create captions and check
them for accuracy. Alternatively, you can upload SubRip Subtitle (SRT) to create captions in
multiple languages in real-time.
4. Share Transcripts
Providing transcripts for your video wall ads or audio content is an excellent way to connect with
your Deaf and hard-of-hearing customers. However, transcripts work best for videos less than an
hour long. Besides, they must have a good sound quality and clear speech.
Notably, podcasts have started using transcripts to include their HOH and Deaf audiences.
Transcripts increase inbound traffic from organic search, engage users in alternate ways, and
make content accessible to the HOH and Deaf population. All these factors are good for SEO.
5. Provide an ASL Interpreter
Having an American Sign Language interpreter on your marketing videos is an easy way to
connect with the Deaf and HOH community. At the same time, it would also help to have a
British Language Sign (BSL) interpreter to reach a wider audience. If you’re holding a
conference, product launch, or any other promotional event, ASL and BSL interpreting service
providers can ensure you effectively communicate to the Deaf community from diverse
While at it, consider providing Deaf awareness training for your marketing team. Doing so will
open the teams’ minds to effectively communicating with Deaf customers more authentically. As
such, it enhances their efforts while marketing to the Deaf community.
Creating Accessible Marketing Content for the Deaf Community
Making your marketing strategy more accommodating of the Deaf and HOH community will
bring long-term benefits. For example, you’ll realize improved customer retention and loyalty,
increased sales, better service delivery, and more significant social impact. More importantly,
using friendly marketing methods for the Deaf people shows that your business is inclusive and
accepting. So, when it comes to marketing to the Deaf community, consider incorporating the