Is Social Media accessible to all?

This week the Optix team took a morning out of their diaries to brainstorm ideas for two clients, the Exeter Deaf Academy and newly formed CloudED. The brainstorm was filled with the usual energy and enthusiasm, with the team coming up with many innovative ways of achieving the organisation’s goals.

The great thing about these brainstorms is that not only do they generate ideas, but they often raise a number of questions. These brainstorms allow the team to step away from their schedules and really ask the questions how and why? Why are we looking to develop this technology? How are we going to make social media work for that organisation? Why should they be looking to optimise for mobile?

The time away from their desks creates perspective and can often allow for new concepts to be introduced. This week the key question discussed was ‘Is social media accessible to all?‘ This question was raised when the team considered how Exeter Deaf Academy could utilise social media to engage with both the deaf and hearing communities. The Academy faces a difficult job of trying to avoid alienating either group through their social media practice.

Trying to engage with target audiences that don’t necessarily have different preferences but instead have fundamentally different ways of engaging with media, is a complex concept to find appropriate solutions to. The Academy is determined to open up its communications with the wider hearing community but still retain its identity and affinity with the deaf community.

This is a challenge and clearly requires the Academy to introduce a balanced strategy that engages with both key groups. The way it is achieved? Through using a variety of content that aligns with the relative strengths and weaknesses of different levels of sensory perception. It became clear that visual content would not only be important for engaging effectively with the deaf community, but also would present opportunities to introduce the hearing community to the amazing work done at the Academy.

Our work with the Academy will hopefully lead to much wider and deeper appreciation of what is achieved there. We’ll keep you posted with how things progress in the coming months.

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