Accessibility in the Stock Market
Americas, Assistive Technology, November 26 2018
USA: The past few months, the stock market has seen a slump that has many investors worried about their financial future. Since a slight bounce back after the November midterm elections, the S&P 500 index has seen a slide of 8% since its most recent peak in mid-September. This isn’t to say that all stocks are suffering, however. Many shareholders are still seeing healthy returns in real estate, tech, and other sectors.
Although online platforms making it easier than ever for small-scale investors to take advantage of the market, there’s still much to be desired in the way of accessibility. It can be difficult for those with learning impediments, sight loss, or mobility issues to earn through investing. With the right resources at their fingertips, though, investors with disabilities can participate in the stock market.
Education for All
Before sinking money into any venture, investors should always be well-educated about the potential risks and rewards involved. It can be challenging for the disabled to gain access to education materials, however. It’s important that information about stocks be made widely available to the general public, including resources for those of all reading levels. Fortunately, there are multiple avenues that disabled adults can take when looking to learn about investment strategies. They can search for information online, ask their local library for help, or look into classes and seminars that cover the basics of investing.
Clean-Cut Platform Designs
Online platforms make it easy for small-time shareholders to manage their investments, but they’re not always intuitive. A confusing design can make it especially difficult for the visually challenged to use, and may deter disabled investors from participating in the market. Investment platforms should aim to use a clean, minimalist design to make it easier for disabled visitors to navigate through their website. Using color schemes can help to make text and hyperlinks easier to follow while increasing aesthetic appeal.
Online platforms and apps that can interface with text-to-speech technology can make it easier for users with visual impairments to understand text. This makes it much easier to make smart decisions when investing without having to rely on a second set of eyes. Some programs even feature functions that describe charts and graphs.
Narration software can also be useful when it comes to education. Not only does it make it easier for those with sight problems to gain access to text materials, but it can also help auditory learners to pick up information faster. Those with learning disabilities can often benefit from both reading and hearing information when going over a new topic.
The stock market can be an ideal source of income for adults with disabilities, but it’s not always easily accessible. Even with the advent of the Internet, those with learning disabilities, visual or auditory impairments, and mobility issues may have trouble safely investing their money and earning healthy returns. With access to education materials and the latest technology, however, the stock market can be accessible to investors of all backgrounds, including the differently-abled.
Written by Jane Sandwood, a professional freelance writer and editor.