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SSB BART Group Presents: Marketplace of the Future

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SSB BART Group Presents: Marketplace of the Future. Debra Ruh, Chief Marketing Officer Introduction.

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SSB BART Group Presents:

Marketplace of the Future

Debra Ruh, Chief Marketing Officer

  • Founded in 1997, SSB BART Group helps companies implement accessibility throughout their Information Communication Technology (ICT) systems - including Web sites, Web applications, software, hardware, and IT services - making them accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.
  • Our team includes industry leading accessibility experts who have the experience and expertise to provide the guidance necessary to meet organizations Accessibility compliance goals. Our diverse team of engineers, programmers, and consultants, many of whom have disabilities themselves, provide a real edge in identifying needs and issues, and effectively testing and creating products and services with accessibility and usability in mind.
becoming ssb bart group
Becoming SSB BART Group
  • In 2005, SSB Technologies merged with the BART Group to form SSB BART Group combining the strengths and experience of the two organizations in both the public and private sectors. This strategic partnership secured SSB BART Group as a leader in the IT accessibility marketplace.
  • Early in 2011, SSB BART Group SSB developed a strategic partnership with and acquired the right to use certain portions of TecAccess, LLC. This partnership enhances the SSB service offerings to include diversity programs to support organizations enterprise infrastructure and management services. These services focus on three key areas – recruiting, provisioning and community outreach.
    • Recruiting services provide the guidance and program support to finding qualified individuals with disabilities that can perform jobs within a organization.
    • Provisioning services ensure that people with disabilities can succeed in their jobs. This includes SSB’s historic focus – ensuring that IT systems are accessible to people with disabilities.
    • Community outreach ensures that organizations that develop programs to support the hiring of employees with individuals are recognized by regulatory agencies and by advocacy groups in the community – ensuring the market gives credit where credit is due.
our business model
Our Business Model

SSB Bart Group (SSB) and TecAccess employ a diverse and skilled team of professionals from around the world, many of whom have disabilities, to help organizations address the growing disability market.

SSB offers a full suite of accessibility and disability awareness solutions from the top down.

We realistically evaluate accessibility, usability, employment, and marketing from the perspective of people with disabilities.

Our award-winning consultancy helps clients:

meet their immediate and long-term

accessibility goals

increase their profitability and fiscal


widen their customer base to include

people with disabilities, senior citizens, and

the growing “Baby Boomer” population.

  • Rosemary Musachio, TecAccess, SSB Bart Group Team Members
the pwd market
The PwD Market

The Persons with Disability (PwD) community is a viable, growing, emerging market, with hundreds of billions of dollars in disposable income available.

market size
Market Size
  • Over 1 billion people, or about 15% of the world's population, live with some form of disability – that’s one in 7 people.
  • There are 60 million plus persons with disabilities in the U.S., affecting approximately 1 in 2 Americans “living with” or “directly affected by these individuals.
  • AARP (Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons) says 4 million Americans turn 50 each year - at age 50, adults begin experiencing age-related physical changes that affect hearing, vision, cognition and mobility.
  • More people living longer will result in a dramatic increase of people experiencing some form of disability at some point in their lifetime.
spending power
  • $220 billion in discretionary income controlled by people with disabilities in the U.S., and $3 trillion worldwide.
  • Persons with Disabilities in the US have an aggregate income of over $1 Trillion dollars, twice the spending power of teens, and more than 17 times the spending power of tweens (8-12 year-olds), the two demographics sought after the most by business marketing efforts.
  • US research by McKinsey & Company predicts that by 2015, the baby boomer generation will command almost 60 percent of net U.S. wealth and 40 percent of spending.
  • In many categories, like travel, boomers will represent over 50 percent of the consumer market.
global pwd travel
Global PwD Travel
  • The European Tourism 2000 Initiative indicates that out of the 50 million persons with disabilities in Europe, 70% have the means to travel.
  • The New York Times reported that spending by travelers with disabilities exceeds $13.6 billion annually.
  • According to the 2005 study, “Adults with Disabilities: Travel and Hospitality”:
    • 69% of adults with disabilities (or more than 21 million people) from the US have traveled at least once in the past two years.
    • Over the course of two years international travel expenditures for travelers with disabilities exceeded $7 billion.
    • Worldwide travelers with disabilities spent almost $1,600 on each trip.
difficulties in travel

Some Current Challenges:

  • Physical access – mobility, vision, hearing
      • Facilities create barriers to access or enjoyment
      • Accessibility achieved through accommodations and/orretrofitting existing facilities, often poorly done and in a

separate, less convenient location

  • Attitudinal barriers towards PwD
      • PwD don`t want to travel, nor are they able to afford it
      • PwD prefer to travel in groups, and stay close to home
      • Never seen PwD travelling or at resorts, so why bother
      • Fear of what to say to PwD – assumptions that they are

slow or not able to communicate

  • Lack of access to accessible ICT
      • Reservations systems
      • Web sites
      • Kiosks
      • Online Customer Service Centers
travel problems by disability
Travel Problems by Disability

Blind and Vision Impaired

  • Not enough space in common areas to manoeuver with a cane
  • When using a service animal, no place for the animal to relieve itself, or the designated place is in an inconvenient location
  • Print on hotel and emergency information, restaurant menus, directions and maps, remotes and other controls hard to read – font too small, poor color contrast, and Braille rarely available

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

  • No open or closed captioning on televisions
  • Rooms do not have door bells
  • Telephones do not have visual warning when ringing, or regular phones are used instead of a TTY or Video Phone


  • Hallways too narrow and not enough space in common areas to manoeuver with a wheelchair or scooter
  • Inaccessible bathrooms , with limited space to move, no handles for transfer, no roll-in showers
  • Many facilities accessible only by stairs
legal obligations access
Legal Obligations Access
  • ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act
  • U.S. Carrier Access Act
  • HAVA – Help America Vote Act
  • State Legislation (Section 508 “Type”)
  • International Legislation (DDA, EU, Section 508 “Type”)
  • W3C WCAG 2.0 Standards
  • UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities

If Needs were Met?

“24 Million People With Disabilities Would Travel One or Two More Times Per Year, If Their Needs Were Better Met.” Fortune Magazine

  • 39
next steps
Next Steps

Schedule some time to speak with an SSB expert in your industry

Sign-up for a webinar or online training covering further topics on Social Media and Accessibility

Contact the industry expert to setup a free trial of AMP

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In (debraruh, SSBBARTGROUP)

Point of Contact

Debra Ruh


Chief Marketing Officer

(804) 749-3565 (o)

(804) 986-4500 (c)

Next Steps