By Yanell Guillen, Marketing Consultant, Traveler Engagement
In today’s highly digital world, it’s critical to consider whether your traveler-facing communication channels are accessible to everyone in your organization.
Many people face barriers to accessing digital communications, such as people with disabilities, non-native speakers, and those with limited technology skills. However, these accessibility concerns are often overlooked and can lead to lower traveler engagement within your program.
While there isn’t a one size fits all approach, there are many tools available to help overcome these challenges, but it’s up to you to create a foundation that will set your travelers up for success. We’ve developed four key considerations you should focus on to ensure everyone has access to the information they need when they travel. These are:
- Using alternative text
- Providing information in multiple formats
- Considering color usage and contrast
- Adding captions to videos
Let’s dive into each of these strategies!
1. Using alternative text
Ensuring your documents have alternative text (alt text) is a principle of basic accessible design. The main purpose of alt text is to describe images to those unable to see them and those using various assistive technologies.
This can include screen readers and browsers that block images, but it also includes users who are sight-impaired or otherwise unable to visually identify an image. The alt text conveys the content of the image. Including alt text with your images ensures all users, regardless of visual ability, can access the content on your site and in your documents.
2. Providing information in multiple formats
People prefer various formats for receiving information. Some may opt for text-based communications, while others may favor audio or visual content. Providing information in multiple formats can help ensure that everyone can access critical information within your travel program. For example, to teach travelers how to book travel online you could provide written instructions along with an audio recording or a video tutorial.
3. Consider color usage and contrast
To accommodate travelers with visual impairments you need to consider color contrast, such as using black instead of grey for text. This will help ensure that all users can easily view your content on any device. Color contrast can also help your travelers understand your content better, such as highlighting key points in a different color or bolding text to make it stand out.
4. Adding captions to videos
While video content can be a great way to provide instructions or tutorials, especially when informing your employees on how to book their travel, some travelers may be using a device without speakers or have a hearing impairment that prevents them from accessing the audio. Including captions can allow everyone to get the same information. Today, most video editing software can automatically generate captions, making it easier than ever to create accessible video content.
Testing for accessibility
Before sending out internal travel communications, test them for accessibility. Look for each of the considerations mentioned above like ensuring content can be accessed by screen readers, that the color contrast is adequate for people with color blindness or low vision, and that captions are available where needed. Testing for accessibility can help guarantee that everyone has full access to your content.engagement among travelers.
While there are a lot of factors that come together to create an equitable travel program, it’s important to make a commitment to start somewhere. Begin with the materials you already have and assess them through an accessibility lens. Then, identify where there are gaps and build new materials that follow the guidelines mentioned.
Remember, addressing DE&I in your travel program is critical to improving traveler engagement because when employees see themselves reflected and their needs addressed, they feel more connected to your program.