The C2 Group partnered with Swedish Match to perform an accessibility audit and training. Together, these initiatives have helped elevate Swedish Match's proficiency in accessibility best practices and promote inclusive digital experiences long-term.
As a market-leading brand for smoke-free, cigar, and light products, Swedish Match is committed to encouraging consumers who smoke cigarettes to switch to reduced-risk nicotine and tobacco alternatives. With high standards for its product regulations and dedication to providing transparent information about consumer health impacts, Swedish Match North America wanted help making its websites and product information accessible to everyone.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began and working from home became a norm, Swedish Match realized the need for accessibility within its digital communications. Historically, Swedish Match would handle accessibility issues on a case-by-case basis, but they knew they could take a more proactive approach to ensure its sites were accessible to the masses.
“Where should we start?” and “What do we need?” were questions to actionably answer as they related to their digital accessibility practices. Swedish Match understood that expert education and training would be crucial to continuously prioritize and maintain accessibility as part of all digital initiatives.
In 2021, the Swedish Match web teams made accessibility a top priority and reached out to The C2 Group to help. Swedish Match’s enthusiasm for web accessibility paired with C2’s guidance and expertise would ensure that the quality products Swedish Match is known for are also reflected in its digital presence.
Through a combination of human investigation and automated tools, C2 began with an accessibility audit of seven Swedish Match brand websites for WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliance. To put the audit into context, C2’s Accessibility Scorecard provides an overall compliance grade with a page-by-page analysis of core pages, templates, widgets, and other content prioritized by WCAG violations, categorized as either code or content, and a detailed recommendation for remediation.
Per the audit, C2 provided accessibility training for the Swedish Match team focused on code, content, and document ADA/WCAG compliance. Baseline training for CMS users, digital marketers, and web developers would ensure that as new pages and content are created, accessibility is continuously being cared for throughout Swedish Match’s web publishing process.
Since training, all brand web teams continue to work toward being fully engaged with digital accessibility best practices and evolving requirements. Whether it’s content creation, UX design, or web development, the Swedish Match team is thinking about and testing for people with disabilities. While accessibility is a priority for Swedish Match, it is still an ongoing initiative to implement on all websites. Continuing to educate its team on what accessibility is, why it’s important, and best practices allows Swedish Match to further embed accessibility into their culture and help set the precedent that accessibility is everyone’s responsibility.