What Vogue is doing about inclusion and what other companies can learn from it

16 August 2023  
Illustration, woman sits on a throne, above her head floats a crown.

Online accessibility is very important; digitization is increasingly gaining the upper hand. Where it is now only the (semi-)government institutions that must make their website accessible to all groups, such as people with a visual or hearing impairment, this will also be mandatory for commercial companies in the Netherlands in 2025. There are already a number of companies that are setting a good example in this regard, such as the British fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue.

Vogue works hard to increase the diversity of the fashion models in their publications and on their websites. The May issue of British Vogue focuses on people with disabilities: from England's first blind lawyer to actress Selma Blair, who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS). The studio where the photo shoots took place was specially adapted for this. Among other things, make-up chairs were made adjustable and clothing racks were made movable. Vogue wants to make it clear that representation within the fashion and magazine world is still far from where it should be.

The issue is not limited to photographing people with a disability: for the first time, Vogue is now also publishing a magazine in braille and in audio form. The May issue was created in collaboration with Tilting the Lens, an accessibility and inclusion consultancy. The magazine features nineteen people from fashion, athletics, art and activists. All these people have a (physical) disability. Each of the five covers features a well-known campaigner or activist. On the British Vogue website, the models are presented in a video, which also includes subtitles, audio description and a transcript. By adding these elements to videos, the content also becomes accessible to people with disabilities. It is precisely these accessibility features that Scribit.Pro also adds to video content. Scribit.Pro's software makes it possible to customize videos so that they become barrier-free and comply with WCAG 2.1 guidelines.

The importance of inclusion

It is not surprising that Vogue decides to publish an issue in which people with disabilities are central. More and more value is being placed on inclusivity. This ensures that the visibility and representation of different communities is increased, making everyone feel accepted as much as possible. For companies involved in this, inclusive marketing can lead to (more) business success. By addressing a larger audience, a broader target group is reached. This can, for example, lead to better (online) findability, more awareness, more visitors to the website and more turnover.

This way content becomes barrier-free

There are plenty of options to ensure that online content becomes more accessible to a wider audience. Scribit.Pro's easy-to-use editor makes it easy to add subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, audio description, and transcription to videos. A sign translation, which plays next to the source video, is also possible. These supporting files make online video (more) accessible for people with a physical and/or mental disability. But it also means that the video can be followed by anyone at times when the sound cannot be heard, such as in a public space. This way everyone can follow the videos and the message always gets through.

The readability of textual content can be improved by ensuring sufficient (color) contrast between the text and the background. This makes it easier for people with a visual impairment to perceive the content. Online content also becomes more accessible when the website in question responds to different devices and screen sizes. This way the target group can view and use the content on different browsers, such as a laptop, tablet, and smartphone.

The font size and adaptability are also important for barrier-free content. Allow users to adjust the font size so they can enlarge the text for better readability. When writing texts, pay attention to clear and understandable content as much as possible. Try to avoid jargon and technical terms. Write clear texts that are easy to understand for different audiences.

Although it is (almost) impossible to make online content accessible to all target groups at once, small steps can make all the difference. It is important to continue to improve and to make websites increasingly accessible to everyone. Companies that want to take the first step with barrier-free video content have come to the right place at Scribit.Pro.

Start making your content accessible right away

Sign up to our newsletter