Accessibility in the Marketplace

A digital screen displaying various charts and graphs is overlaid with a prominent red warning symbol and the text 'ACCESS DENIED!


In this impactful talk, "Accessibility in the Marketplace," Mike Calvo explores the critical importance of integrating accessibility into business practices from the outset. Drawing from his extensive experience as a blind entrepreneur and business leader, Mike emphasizes the substantial benefits of employing disabled individuals, showcasing their unique skills and valuable perspectives. He underscores the potential backlash companies can face when they neglect accessibility, using real-life examples of businesses that have learned hard lessons from their mistakes. This talk aims to educate and inspire businesses to embrace accessibility, not only to enhance their success and public image but also to create a more inclusive and equitable marketplace.
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Key Takeaways

1. The Importance of Accessibility

Mike discusses why prioritizing accessibility during the development of processes, products, and services is essential for business success and maintaining a positive public image. He provides examples of companies that have faced negative consequences for neglecting accessibility.

2. Employment of Blind Individuals

Emphasizing the value of employing disabled individuals, Mike highlights their unique skills and perspectives. He offers real-life examples of how disabled employees can significantly contribute to a company's success.

3. Business Opportunities in Accessibility

Mike identifies the business opportunities that arise from teaching companies the business case for accessibility. He shares insights on how businesses can leverage accessibility to reach a wider audience and improve customer satisfaction.

4. Learning from Mistakes

Discussing companies like Rabbit Inc., Humane’s AI Pin, and Sonos, Mike illustrates how they suffered backlash from the disability community due to ignoring accessibility in updates and product development. He emphasizes the importance of listening to the needs of disabled consumers, using examples from the visually impaired community.

5. Practical Steps for Accessibility

Mike offers practical advice for businesses to ensure accessibility in their processes, products, and services from the outset. He shares strategies for incorporating accessibility into business practices and creating a more inclusive environment.
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