When it comes to ability, diversity does not mean deficiency. But while 90% of organizations claim to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusivity, only 4% provide offerings inclusive of people with disabilities.

Rebecca Roussell, Senior Vice President of DE&I Communications at Current Global, Danielle Cornejo Calhoun, Vice President of Inclusive Practices at Weber Shandwick, and Freddie Sheffield, Research Executive at Truth Central, McCann Worldgroup’s Global Intelligence Unit, join CI Conversations host Jennifer Sain to discuss what it means to challenge our preconceptions of disability and take steps toward inclusivity.

Perceptions of disability are often vastly different from reality. Individuals with disabilities are multifaceted, whole people, and yet disability is one area of DE&I where a focus on intersectionality is lagging. Globally, the disabled community has a collective buying power of 13 trillion dollars, and research shows that brands not seen as accessible are not favorable within the disability community. There is demand from individuals with disabilities for products beyond just the healthcare space.

Some brands are finding innovative ways to engage with the disabled community. Devices now allow users with limited hand and arm mobility to steadily apply lipstick, and one company has invented playing cards designed for the color blind. The most successful ads are pivoting away from the stereotypical, portraying individuals with disabilities in everyday situations, as parents and people who like to have fun. At its best, inclusive design is less concerned with differences and instead focused on asking: Who else can we bring into the conversation?


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