Accessibility Tip of the Week

The change you wish to see.

  • Summary: Include images of people with disabilities in your visual content.
  • Who it helps: People with disabilities and caretakers benefit by seeing themselves represented.
  • Additional benefits: It conveys that your organization values people with disabilities.

One in four people have a disability , but images that we see around us rarely represent these individuals. This unintentional habit of excluding people with disability from our visual awareness makes it seem like disabilities are far less common than they are. Many cultures are changing this and you are more likely in the past year to see people with disabilities in fashion magazines and on popular TV shows. Similarly, new repositories of images with disabilities are available for use.

A man in a motorized chair and a woman with a cane walking down a sidewalk.
Include images of people with disabilities in your organization’s content.

You likely use images in web pages, social media, marketing materials, posters around the office, and other content. When you are creating that visual content or hiring for it, be deliberate about including some images of people with disabilities.

Not everyone has a visible disability and not every image needs to have a person with a disability in it. However, including individuals with visible disabilities in some of your visual content acknowledges their presence and helps show that your organization values them.

What can I do?

Review your web page, social media posts, and other visual content. How many of your organization’s images include people with disabilities?

  • If there are only a couple, consider replacing some images with alternatives that include people with disabilities. You can find sources for images for disability inclusion on our tool, tally.org .
  • There is no perfect number. But, consider having about 10-20% of your images include people with disabilities. That percentage is similar to the overall percent of the population with visible disabilities.

And remember to include alternative text on your images!

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If you are promoting accessibility within your organization or community, sending out easy-to-understand tips can be a helpful addition to your strategy. You are welcome to share the tips here under the mentioned Creative Commons license, as long as you cite Accessible Community as your source.