How Accessible Media Inc. uses Fable to reach customers during COVID-19

When Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) could no longer meet their customers in-person during COVID-19, they were glad to have Fable as a partner.

AMI logo
AMI logo

How Accessible Media Inc. uses Fable to reach customers during COVID-19

When Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) could no longer meet their customers in-person during COVID-19, they were glad to have Fable as a partner.

Headshot of Virginia Vuleta, woman with short hair wearing glasses

AMI is a not-for-profit media company that entertains, informs, and empowers Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. At over 130 team members and with offices across the country, AMI is a medium-sized organization with an outsized impact. 

Approximately 500,000 Canadians are blind or partially sighted. AMI seeks to reach them, in both English and French.

Given the immense nature of the task, they aim to stay on the cutting edge of technology and media. 

“We’re a research-focused organization. We constantly look at website optimization and improvements, as well as regularly checking in with our audience on what they are looking for,” said Virginia Vuleta, Director of Digital Strategy at AMI Inc.

“Our market is traditionally not heard,” says Vuleta. “So they respond well to being engaged in this process.”

AMI has typically relied on an extensive consultation strategy. They have close to 1500 people across Canada who are part of the research panel they regularly reach out to. Participants are compensated for their time.

“At the time, we didn’t have an online model. But then we heard of Fable.”

They used to do all of this in person. “We were having difficulties with in-person sessions, which were typically 1:1. We still want to continue to do these (in the future), to experience their in-person reactions,” says Vuleta. These in-person sessions allowed the AMI team to gather high quality, in depth feedback, however the process was long and labour intensive for those involved. 

Two key issues became apparent with their in-person model, even before COVID-19:

  • Time and people restrictions – AMI could not engage with as many people, and it took more time to organize the logistics involved with these in-person sessions
  • Difficulties with access and mobility – it takes time and effort for people to meet in person, particularly if the participant is a person with disabilities who needs to take transit

So, when Vuleta and her team could no longer do research in the way that they needed to, they began to look for other options and to ask their team what was out there. A priority for the AMI team was to maintain the quality of the research they were already doing, while enabling the team to move faster and implement more efficiently. 

Once AMI realized what Fable could do, they knew it would make sense for their research. “First, this can increase our reach, in general, which is very important. But during the COVID-19 period, we couldn’t even reach anyone in-person at all,” said Vuleta. 

“Without Fable, it would have been difficult for us to continue testing, which likely would have meant we would have postponed, or paused, the project,” said Vuleta

By saving the team from having to spend time on things like recruitment and consent, the door opened for major insights. “We made the assumption that a screen magnifier user and a screen reader user are two mutually exclusive things. Going into this, we discovered there was a tool that combines both.”

“That was really illuminating and highlighted that we made an assumption. We shouldn’t do that, we need to test our assumptions and talk to our audience.”

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