Words, words, words, art.

The Blatherings Of A Blitherer

Defining Your Audience and Customer Base


I was watching ABC news this morning and crying at the weather report when they did a feature on the Special Olympics. The host was an older Deaf woman who spoke verbally and used ASL. A bunch of Special Olympics participants where shown, they answered some question. The entire segment was captioned, although it took a while to kick in. As soon as the segment ended the closed captioning also ended. It made it really clear who ABC considers their target audience: people who don’t need captioning. It felt like there was an assumption that someone who was Deaf/Hard Of Hearing would zip in solely for the segment, then bop back out again.

It reminded me of retailers who balk at ADA compliance and complain that they shouldn’t have to drop a bunch of cash on making their places of business accessible since they don’t HAVE any customers who use wheelchairs/assistive devices.

Which kind of proves the point, you know?

Disabled people exist. They consume media and eat at restaurants and take vacations and stay in hotels and use sidewalks and public transit and drive and buy clothing and books and groceries… or they try to. And most able bodied people give pretty much zero thought to making things… media, locations, businesses, tax-funded public streets and schools, hotels, etc… accessible to disabled people. And then they are shocked!! and surprised!! that disabled people exist. And meanwhile, they’re missing out on the money that disabled people have to spend on goods and services because they’re using businesses/locations/media providers that serve their needs.

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