On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, P&G is celebrating the power of our differences, and the strength of our togetherness. This is part of our broader Equality & Inclusion strategy to create an environment where equal access and opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed is available to every employee.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is an important day to reflect on how we’re working to create a more inclusive world – both inside and outside our company. At P&G, we aspire to create a company and a world where equality and inclusion is achievable for all; where respect and inclusion are the cornerstones of our culture; where equal access and opportunity to learn, grow, succeed and thrive are available to everyone. We are committed to honoring the individuality and unique contributions of our people and ensuring that every single employee shows up to work as their whole, authentic self. It is only then that we can unlock the real potential of our teams: the power of our differences, and the strength of our togetherness.
We know that individual backgrounds, experiences and ideas are the positive force behind the great products that resonate with and serve the needs of billions of lives every day. It’s our P&G team’s unique perspectives and passion that enable us to continue to step up for a more inclusive and accessible world for everyone.
Through necessity, people with disabilities have to think differently to solve everyday challenges. This out-of-the box thinking helps us to create innovations that we can all enjoy every day. P&G is including consumers and employees with disabilities in the design of our products, packaging, advertising and facilities to create superior experiences for everyone. Some recent examples include the innovative tactile marking on Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner bottles to help people experiencing sight loss to differentiate between products in the shower and modification of the Olay jar discs designed to be more inclusive among consumers with low dexterity and/or low vision.
Phil Duncan, our Chief Design Officer ponders that “while many people might see disability as an unfortunate aspect of life, I have often witnessed how a disability in one area, can bring out amazing abilities in others. I have had the privilege to meet some amazing individuals and witness the power of how people with limited or no sight, bring incredible insight, empathy and passion to the design of our products. And that by designing for someone with special needs, we can actually make our products that much more delightful for every person.”
Adding audio description to our ads is another innovative approach and step towards a more equitable society. Audio description is a separate audio track which includes a description of the visual aspects of a video to enable a blind person to ‘see’ the information being displayed. It’s visually identical to the ad a sighted person would view – the difference lies in the track that is played behind it, with the original audio dipped while the narrator describes the action which can’t be communicated by sounds and speech. The Olay ad on the right (below) has the audio description.
We have introduced audio description across the majority of our ads in the UK, US and Spain - opening them up to some 30 million blind or visually impaired people. We’re leading the conversations and encouraging major players to take necessary actions to be able to provide the same access to video content as everyone else.
We recognize our immense responsibility to drive change for our employees, with our brands, through our partners, and in our communities. We recognize the business building opportunity we have if we make both our company and products more accessible to everyone. We’re making progress each day, and recognize we have a long way to go to make our company even more inclusive for people with disabilities and to make superior products that create a great experience for all.
Check out how we Celebrated Disability Together last year and turned our buildings and our social sites purple in honor or International Day of Persons with Disabilities.