focus groups

What do access and inclusion focus groups do and how can you get involved?

In today’s world, there’s simply no excuse for not being accessible.

However, sadly, about 33% of people with physical and mental health conditions or impairments feel that there is a lot of disability prejudice and that they are excluded from society – but thankfully, market research is here to change that!

An increased focus on accessibility and inclusion in market research means that brands are aware of the importance of knowing how their products and services are used and perceived by people across society.

So, what do access and inclusion groups do?

Accessibility market research gives people with impairments and accessibility needs a voice by participating in paid market research projects, such as focus groups. As such, accessibility and inclusion groups may want to hear from individuals with the following (although, this is of course not an exhaustive list!):

  • Mobility impairments (e.g., multiple sclerosis, paralysis, arthritis)
  • Cognitive impairments (e.g., dementia and Alzheimer’s)
  • Neurological impairments (e.g., Autism, epilepsy, and seizures)
  • Visual impairments (e.g., glaucoma, cataracts, blurred vision, vision loss)
  • Hearing impairments (e.g., tinnitus)
  • Speech impairment (e.g., stuttering, tongue-tie)
  • Learning impairments (e.g., dyslexia, ADHD, ADD)
  • Psychological impairments (e.g., depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, PTSD)

Making focus groups accessible for everyone

If you are going to conduct accessibility research, you will need to accommodate a wide variety of disabilities. When recruiting participants for paid market research for people with disabilities, we strive to ensure you’re comfortable, that our clients meet your needs, and that you have a great time participating.

So, whether you have hearing, visual, learning, and cognitive difficulties, mobility issues, or psychological impairments, our projects are open to all. We also ensure all your needs during the project are met by ensuring that the focus groups take place at venues which are easy to travel to with accessible parking and suitable facilities, such as ground floor rooms and wheelchair access.

In addition, when conducting online research, we also strive to ensure that all our projects are accessible to everyone and highlight to our clients the importance of providing:

  • Zoom up to 200%
  • Contrasting colours for text and non-text
  • Alt text
  • Text transcripts for audio and video
  • Audio descriptions for media content
  • The ability to adjust time limits on time sensitive tasks

Whether conducting focus groups online or in person, we also ensure that we check in with you in the lead up to the research taking place to ensure that you have everything you need to comfortably take part. What’s more, we always touch base again afterwards to make sure that everything went smoothly and see what improvements we could make in the future to make market research even more accessible for everyone.

Why should brands conduct access and inclusion focus groups?

1. They enable brands to be inclusive of people with accessibility needs

More and more brands are now working towards being intentional about authentic representation of people with accessibility. As such, they need people with accessibility needs to share their thoughts and opinions about their products and services so they can find out whether they are delivering the accessibility required.

Access and inclusion focus groups bring people with accessibility needs together where they can discuss and voice their opinions, enabling brands to make these products more inclusive for all. For example, M&S conducted a 2-year survey with 200 parents for their Easy Dressing Kidswear range for children with disabilities.

“Offering great value was a key consideration throughout the development, so our Easy Dressing products are priced in line with the rest of our kidswear range. One thing we’re very proud of on this range is the imagery we’ve used online, it was absolutely vital for us that the range was inclusively modelled.” Rebecca Garner, M&S Kidswear Designer.

ASOS, another brand championing inclusion, developed a wheelchair-friendly jumpsuit in partnership with a British Paralympian, Chloe Ball-Hopkins.

“Over the last several months I have been working with @ASOS to create a fashionable, yet practical waterproof all in one! Not just for people like me in a chair but for anyone. It’s about making fashion accessible!” Chloe Ball-Hopkins

2. They can ensure their products and services meet expectations

The only way a brand can know whether its accessibility-designed products meet expectations and deliver value is by engaging people who use them.

Access and inclusion focus groups explore these products and how they can be improved. For instance, if you have a learning disability and are using an online tool, you can take part in a focus group to share your experience using the tool, what you like about it, and what can be improved to serve you better.

Alternatively, you could be asked to try out a retail website and subsequently join a focus group to share your thoughts and ideas about it so that the website can be improved to ensure that it is accessible for everyone.

3. They can explore how to be more inclusive of people with disabilities

More brands are now working towards disability inclusion for both employees and customers – which means that engaging people with disabilities in inclusion focus groups is essential if they are going to understand how to be more inclusive.

For example, you may be asked to participate in a focus group investigating how brands can employ more people with accessibility needs.

A good example is a Starbucks sign language store that employs workers with hearing impairments who wear a pin to indicate they can sign British Sign Language. Customers open to learning the language can then communicate with the staff using digital devices.

Want to get involved with paid market research?

The best way to get involved is by joining a paid market research panel. At Angelfish, we are proud to have a fully inclusive community of research participants, including those with accessibility needs, so you’ll be part of a community that embraces people from different backgrounds.

Since we aim to ensure that our market research projects are as inclusive as possible, you can apply to participate in any of our current projects of your choice – and be paid to share your thoughts! Just let us know your needs when you fill out your profile.

Sign up here and get started on our current projects.

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