D&ARedefining an activist brand to champion disability, diversity and inclusion

While every company leaves their mark on us, it’s both a privilege and a challenge when you get to work with one that has the power to impact your own business culture. As a social enterprise with a national reach, D&A presented their stall as impassioned advocates supporting neurodiverse and disabled learners in education and the workplace. Which in turn, challenged us to reflect upon our own practices of inclusion.

At the crux of their mission is a belief that employers and education providers shouldn’t simply be ticking boxes when it comes to inclusivity and the needs of neurodiverse employees and students – only responding reactively to their requirements. Instead, D&A champion the idea that difference and diversity are hugely beneficial in work and learning environments and support organisations to create inclusive cultures. Adapting from its original inception in a living room as a company providing assistive technology training and support to the education sector, today D&A have a distributed network of trainers up and down the country with a growing breadth of service offerings. However, as their service expanded they needed a review of their brand identity – what once sufficed, was no longer representative of their current market position and vision. Taking advantage of our experience, we helped D&A explore how they could amplify their message, reach new audiences and build a profile that welcomes others into a new way to think about disability, diversity and inclusivity.

ACTIVISM!

The first thing we discovered about D&A, is that what they were lacking in brand identity, they made up for in activism. The D&A team are passionate advocates who don’t shy away from tackling what others perceive as difficult subjects. While other organisations in the field were unwilling to be as vocal, D&A brought an energy and tone to their work that set them apart as a challenger brand. Both in-person and on LinkedIn this energy is pervasive, but there was a huge disconnect between that experience and the messaging conveyed through their website.

To tackle this disparity we’ve created a new brand identity for D&A that marries service delivery and advocacy – demonstrating how the best service is born out of being at the forefront of the conversations around disability, diversity and inclusion. In a way, it directly echoes the core ethos of the business – to celebrate difference and champion an anticipatory welcome to everyone with diverse needs.

A clearly-defined strategy is helping them communicate that ethos more boldly, ensuring greater clarity in their messages. While a revised strapline and subheading, ‘Celebrate Difference: Championing (neuro)Diversity and (dis)Ability inclusion through technology, training and talent’, highlight D&A’s vision of an inclusive future. When it comes to practising what you preach, we’ve delivered a website with a simplified visual identity, that demonstrates best-practise accessibility standards and shifts the focus to more resource-oriented content.

The D&A brand is one born from a desire to affect change; breaking down the systems that do not work, advocating for the disenfranchised, and rallying others around the vision for what could be. It is not about tearing down everything to bring about radical change. Which is why we delivered D&A with a brand identity that helps them to structure clear arguments, present alternative visions and enable others to live out that new perspective in their own lives – reaching a wider audience than ever before. The embodiment of inclusion.

D&A

Deliverables:

  • Brand strategy
  • Brand visualisation
  • Print collateral
  • Digital guidance
  • Brand guidelines
  • Visual identity
  • Web development
  • Illustration

Sectors:

  • Technology
  • Education

Location:

  • Brighton, UK