A diverse group of people taking part in a focus group representing accessibility issues in research.

4 big accessibility issues in research (and how they’re being managed) in 2022

Awareness of accessibility and inclusivity has grown hugely in recent years.

Thanks to scientific research, medical advancements and growing opportunities for people to express their thoughts and opinions (for example, through social media platforms) awareness of accessibility needs are increasingly on people’s radars – including in the world of market research! 

While there are still a few big accessibility issues in research that need to be addressed for it to become fully inclusive (some of which we’ve shared below), there’s lots being done in 2022 to address them. Read on to find out more… 

A young man with Downs syndrome taking park in an online community representing accessibility issues in market research

4 accessibility issues in market research – and how they’re being managed

1. Not enough market research teams employ those with accessibility needs.

Lots of current research has found that people with disabilities and accessibility needs are underrepresented, and even undervalued, within the market research sector itself. 

For example, Versiti found that disabled market researchers report earning less money than their other colleagues, and over four in 10 market researchers feel that their leadership team isn’t diverse enough. 

Of course, if market research teams aren’t representative of those with accessibility needs, then the groups of research participants that they recruit aren’t likely to be either! 

Thankfully, lots is now being done to raise awareness of this issue; for example, the Market Research Society (MRS) recently held their annual Impact conference, where a talk was held on “The state of DE&I in market research and the way forward.” In it, presenters shared tips and ideas on how to increase diversity and inclusion within market research teams! 

2. Non-representative/non-inclusive participant recruitment 

Sadly, only 23% of disabled people and 21% of those with physical or mental health conditions/neurodiversity conditions feel they have the same opportunities as everybody else in the market industry.  

What’s more, research by Lloyds Bank found only 0.06% of UK adverts feature individuals with disabilities, despite them making up 20% of the population.  

The main reason for these accessibility issues in research seems to be due to brand’s anxieties around causing offence, or being worried about looking inauthentic, and this unfortunately extends to recruitment in market research. 

However, more guidelines and best practices for market research teams are being published to follow to make it easier for them to conduct market research and include those with disabilities and accessibility needs, which is slowly but surely helping to address the problem. 

It’s why we always include questions about accessibility needs for when we check participants’ eligibility to take part in research projects at Angelfish, and offer the opportunity for members of our community to declare any on their profile (more on that below)! 

A group of diverse individuals with hands together representing accessibility issues in research.

3. Limited knowledge of different accessibility needs

As mentioned in this sociability article, many people typically associate the word “accessibility” with physical conditions, namely around mobility. 

However, accessibility needs also extend to those with neurological, cognitive, learning, medical and psychological impairments – all of which need to be catered for in market research projects, too! 

This is now being managed by lots of market research recruitment companies in the initial stages of recruitment; for example, when you sign up to take part in projects with Angelfish Opinions, you’ll have the opportunity to let us know about any accessibility needs you have on your profile. 

The MRS is also combatting this limited awareness within the sector through their MRS Unlimited campaign, which aspires to “create a difference to the opportunities and inclusion of those with disabilities, seen and unseen.” 

4. Little awareness of accessibility needs and challenges

Unfortunately, there have been situations in the past where, on the day of a project, people with accessibility needs haven’t been able to take part because their needs haven’t been catered for properly; for example, because research venues have been in buildings without wheelchair access, or online community platforms haven’t been optimised for people with visual impairments.  

This is one of the biggest accessibility issues in research, as it means that individuals with access requirements are not getting their voices heard by the brands they care about.  

This is where having a good chat with you prior to you taking part in projects comes in! When we call you up about an opportunity you might be eligible for, we’ll ask if you have any needs that we should be aware of, so we can let our brand clients know and ensure that these are catered for if you’re selected to take part.  

We’re proud to have a fully inclusive community of research participants here at Angelfish Opinions.

Whatever your requirements, there’ll be a place for you on one of our projects; just be sure to let us know what your needs are when you sign up and fill out your profile!

Simply follow the link below and check out the current projects we have available to get started…