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Stay up to date with the latest client news, industry updates and events from Recite Me

Aanchal Women's Aid Provide Vital Support to all Women Online

25 Nov 2021 | news

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2021, we are proud to be joining together with amazing inclusive organisations that provide emotional and practical support to all individuals affected by violence. Aanchal Women’s Aid does just this. As a family and community support network, Aanchal provides a safe place where people find hope so they can believe and say, ‘I matter’. To offer this opportunity to all, Aanchal grants all website users access to information and services with Recite Me accessibility and language tools. The assistive technology on Aanchal Women’s Aid website provides support to those with disabilities, learning difficulties, visual impairments, cognitive or neurological disorders, and those who speak English as a second language. Su Bhuhi, CEO at Aanchal Women’s Aid commented… The accessibility and language toolbar on Aanchal Women’s Aid website provides features such as, screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids, customisable styling options, and an on-demand live translation feature that boasts over 100 languages including 35 text-to-speech options. According to the Office for National Statistics the police recorded 259,324 offenses flagged as domestic abuse-related in the period March to June 2020. This represents a 7% increase from 242,413 in the same period in 2019. Everyone was affected by the COVID-19 lockdown in some way or another, but for those who experienced violence during this hard time, this was amplified and needs to change. Aanchal Women’s Aid works towards making change, alleviating the suffering of individuals from domestic abuse, and supporting them to rebuild positive healthy lives. Join us to raise awareness for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2021 by using the hashtags #WhiteRibbonDay and #AllMenCan. For more information on how your organisation can provide an inclusive online experience by utilising assistive technology, contact our team or book a real-time demonstration of our toolbar.

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Emphasizing the Importance of Online Accessibility on The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

24 Nov 2021 | news

November 25th, 2021 marks the 21st International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Together with people from around the world, we are taking action and raising awareness for the eradication of violence. Alongside ‘White Ribbon Day’ and ‘All Men Can’ we are encouraging people to change behaviors towards gender-based violence individually and collectively. Recite Me is proud to carry the torch for the cause and support the 1 in 3 women around the world who have been a victim of physical or sexual violence. A Widespread but Preventable Problem Despite years of lawmaking, conventions, acts, and resolutions, violence against women and girls continues to be a pervasive problem across the globe, and the data suggests an even more dire situation for those with disabilities. 70% of people with disabilities have experienced some type of domestic abuse. 53% of cases of domestic violence or intimate partner violence were not reported to the police. 26 percent (1 in 4) of adults in the United States have some type of disability. People with disabilities are three times as likely to be sexually assaulted as their peers without disabilities. Violence against women is preventable. The health sector has an important role to play to provide comprehensive health care to women subjected to violence, and as an entry point for referring women to other support services they may need. We Can Help Recite Me assistive technology helps over 25 domestic violence support organizations across the country provide online access to vital information by creating an inclusive, barrier-free user experience on their websites. Our assistive technology toolbar is designed to make websites as accessible as possible, providing equal access to information, some of which may be critical or even life-saving. Domestic violence organizations leading the way for inclusion Recite Me assistive Technology is used by a wide variety of state, regional, and local domestic violence organizations to provide a barrier-free experience for all visitors. Our partners include: Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Violence Free Colorado DC SAFE The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence Esperanza Shelter The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence Jane Doe - The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence Domestic and Sexual Abuse Crisis Center of Warren County Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence Domestic Violence Intervention Program The New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence Aanchal Women’s Aid Providing Support for Those Who Need it Most Survivors of domestic violence may be less likely to reach out for help for several reasons, so providing accessible information online is crucial in providing support for this vulnerable population. Websites equipped with the Recite Me toolbar provide users with many customization options ranging from font type and background colors to line spacing and reading tools. The toolbar also offers translation functionality for over 100 languages, 35 of which can be read aloud. This is especially helpful for users who experience low vision or speak English as a second language. Over the past year, Recite me has helped thousands of users access hundreds of websites, barrier-free. 205,047 Unique Users 568,023 Pages viewed Screen Reader: 882,082 Translation: 169,259 Styling Options: 67,918 Reading Aids: 16,263 *Last 12 Months, nonprofit sector data Client Feedback Marcos Zubia, Director of Development, Esperanza Shelter, Inc. Partnering with Recite Me was one of the best decisions our agency has made. It aligns with our accessibility policy and provides, clients information that is life-saving with no limitations, and ensures that we meet our clients where they are. Having accessibility is key to saving lives and aligns with our mission. Jennifer Wesberry, DC SAFE Survivors need access to accurate and timely information. Without it, decision-making can be hampered or dramatically limited and subsequently restrict full participation in the services available in their community. Recite Me helps us to meet this head-on, to ensure that individuals with disability and language access needs have options. Join us in taking a stand While a great amount of progress has been made, violence against women continues to be a problem all over the world. Recite Me provides assistive technology which helps make support organizations’ websites equally accessible to all, regardless of disabilities or spoken language. Please join us in taking a stand in the fight for the elimination of violence against women.

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Charity Online Accessibility Guide

24 Nov 2021 | download

By their very nature, charities actively work towards equality and inclusion, so right from the very start, we have a clear shared goal. At Recite Me, our focus is always on the benefits to the end-user and how web accessibility technology can bring people together. Download our Charity Online Accessibility Guide to find out the benefits of an inclusive charity website, organisations we already support, and our charity data from the past year.

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Pony Power Therapies Enhances the Well-Being of Children and Adults with Online Accessibility Tools

23 Nov 2021 | news

Pony Power Therapies now provide online assistive technology to support a diverse range of adults and children to book therapeutic horse-riding lessons online. Pony Power Therapies is a non-profit organisation in the Ramapo Mountains in Mahwah, NJ, USA, that uses horses and other farm animals to enhance the physical, social, and emotional well-being of those with developmental difficulties, physical disabilities, learning difficulties, and mental health issues. 61 million adults in the US live with a disability (26%) that may prevent access to online resources and services. To continue to enhance the lives of those who face accessibility barriers, Pony Power Therapies believed it was essential to continue to extend their values to the digital world. With the introduction of Recite Me assistive technology on the Pony Power Therapies website, those who encounter barriers are able to customise their experience to suit their own specific needs. Kerry Barrett, Development Director at Pony Power Therapies "We are so happy to be able to offer the Recite Me assistive toolbar on our website. Inclusivity and accessibility are at the core of our mission, as we are a non-profit organization that uses horses and an accessible farm to serve anyone who needs extra support. It makes sense to extend those same values to our website." The Recite Me innovative toolbar has transferable features such as translation, read-aloud, and styling assistance. This includes adjustments to colour font type and size. To find out more about the Recite Me toolbar and how you can make a difference for those who face online barriers explore the support features here.

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Why Utility Companies Need to Provide an Inclusive Online Experience

17 Nov 2021 | download

Utility services are not readily available to all because many of our most vulnerable citizens face significant barriers when accessing information online. Download our guide for utility companies to start your accessibility journey.

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Family Law in Partnership Meet the Demand for Digital Accessibility

17 Nov 2021 | news

As insurance and law organisations across the country have adapted their approach to providing legal expertise to help slow the spread of COVID-19, more content than ever has migrated online. Family Law in Partnership (FLiP), a leading family law firm in London, provides online access tools to enable everyone to access exceptional legal expertise with care and compassion barrier-free. FLIP has implemented Recite Me assistive technology to provide support to those with disabilities, learning difficulties, visual impairments, cognitive or neurological disorders, and those who speak English as a second language. Divorce and separation can be a distressing and difficult time, to make this slightly easier, FLiP has developed a unique hub of emotional and practical support to enhance the wellbeing of clients all of which can be accessed using the Recite Me toolbar. Matilda Pigneguy, Legal and Marketing Assistant at Family Law in Partnership commented, “At Flip equality and diversity is at the heart of our firm. We are committed to treating all our clients, and all of those working with our firm, equally. With the addition of Recite Me’s accessibility tool, our website users are now able to access our website in the way that best suits them.” The accessibility and language toolbar on the Family Law in Partnership website provides features such as, screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids, customisable styling options, and an on-demand live translation feature that boasts over 100 languages including 35 text-to-speech and styling options. If you would like more information on how your organisation can provide an inclusive online experience by using assistive technology, contact our team or book a real-time demonstration of our toolbar.

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Recite Me Pledge to Support Australian Businesses with a Free Accessible COVID-19 Landing Page

16 Nov 2021 | news

As we continue to provide free accessible COVID-19 landing pages to businesses, we have extended our offering to Australian organisations to ensure everyone can be kept up to date with the latest COVID-19 information and how it will impact them. Following the uncertainty of COVID-19 in Australia, Recite Me believes in barrier-free and inclusive access to vital information, granting companies the ability to share their messages with all staff and customers. Your free inclusive landing page will automatically launch the Recite Me accessibility and language toolbar, which can be customised by the user to suit their specific needs. Features include text-to-speech functionality, styling options, reading aids, and an on-demand live translation feature that boasts over 100 languages, including 35 text-to-speech and styling options. To create your free accessible landing page, contact the Recite Me team with the page you would like to make accessible and we will guide you through the process. Support thousands of people to access vital COVID-19 information In March 2020, when the UK faced a national lockdown, Recite Me launched our free accessible landing page that has helped over 86,000 people read and understand digital Coronavirus messages. Recite Me CEO, Ross Linnett commented, “Recite Me was a dream to drive change, to be inclusive, and to enable everyone to explore and share our online world freely. During these uncertain times Recite Me is here to support businesses across the world to create an accessible message to everyone surrounding Coronavirus. No cost, no agenda, just accessibility for all.” 20% of the global population is living with some form of disability, which can make accessing online information challenging. The Recite Me assistive toolbar removes online barriers enabling those with a disability, learning difficulty, visual impairment, cognitive or neurological disorder, and those who speak English as a second language to thoroughly understand the messages being conveyed. Since we first launched, our accessibility pledge has helped hundreds of businesses across a range of sectors to share COVID-19 related information and updates. This includes Volkswagen, Virgin Money, and Network Rail. If you think your business needs support to make your online COVID-19 related information inclusive to all, please contact us now, or visit the Recite Me website to find out more about how our accessible landing pages work and how to create your own.

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Prioritising Web Accessibility in the Law and Insurance Sectors

15 Nov 2021 | news

If you work for a law firm or insurance company, managing risk is part of your job. But, what if we told you that you might already be taking an unnecessary risk? By not making your website accessible, you risk missing out on 25% of your target market. On average, 1 in 5 people has a disability that can prevent them from accessing information online. Inequality in accessing information leads to inequality in access to products and services, creating even more disparity for people who already feel marginalised and vulnerable. We’ve chosen to discuss insurance and legal firms together because of the many synergies between the two sectors: Both services involve complex language that can be challenging for anyone to read, let alone vulnerable customers facing online access barriers. Both services are typically required in times of immense stress or hardship. Choosing the right policy or service is an emotional purchase because customers are looking to protect their lives, livelihoods, homes, health, and family. Vulnerable Customers Explained “Nobody should be at a disadvantage just because they read and understand information differently.” Ross Linnett, Recite Me Founder and CEO There is a general expectation that buying insurance or legal cover can be done in seconds within just a few clicks. But for those who face online access barriers, it’s not that straightforward. People with disabilities have to spend way more time, effort, and energy purchasing cover or getting an accurate quote. Why? Because the way many websites are designed and presented makes them inaccessible. It’s worth remembering that not all disabilities are physical. Many hidden and temporary disabilities also affect website accessibility. Here are just a few examples of conditions that can make accessing information online challenging: Visual impairments Deafblindness Colour blindness Dyslexia Hyperlexia Dyspraxia ADHD Epilepsy Autism Temporary or permanent physical impairments Speaking and reading English as a second language It’s incredibly difficult for these customers to feel that they’re in control and getting the best advice and deals because it’s so much harder to access and absorb information when they are researching their options. Online Access Barriers By excluding vulnerable customers from accessing the information on your website, you are doing them an injustice. You’re also actively blocking up to 20% of the population from accessing your services. Here’s how: Some website functions are unavailable to customers using screen readers to compensate for vision deficits Those with hearing loss cannot follow demonstration or explainer videos. Colourblind people cannot read text on websites with poor colour contrasts between the background and foreground. Websites using certain fonts and pages with lots of underlining or italics are impossible for people with dyslexia to read. Flashing content and distracting image carousels are not welcoming to people with epilepsy or cognitive/neurological disabilities. People with mobility issues rely on keyboard navigation as they are unable to use a tablet or mouse. Those not confident reading in English are afraid to make purchases because they don’t understand the long sentences and complicated terminology. In many cases where insurance and legal assistance is required, customers are already under significant pressure. For example, in stressful situations such as bereavement or divorce, people become overwhelmed and struggle to understand information - regardless of whether they have a pre-existing condition or not. So, the clearer and easier your information is to access, the better it is for everyone. “Failure to communicate with vulnerable consumers in ways they can understand may result in an increased risk. Consumers may not be able to understand the information they are sent or may struggle to communicate their needs.” The Financial Conduct Authority Report, July 2020 Equal Support for Everyone Everybody should have the right to protect their loved ones and belongings and access legal advice and support when they need it. Yet, we continue to see access barriers across the legal, insurance, and finance sectors. Research by QA Vector revealed that: Only 35% say accessibility is among their top strategic concerns. Only 25% embed accessibility testing into software development. Over 70% indicate no clear ownership of digital accessibility within corporate governance. Less than 30% have reliable or meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs) for accessibility. Attention to accessibility is usually only driven by legal action or complaints. That last point is particularly disheartening. There are several reasons why making your website accessible is the right thing to do, and - spoiler alert - the law is one of them! It’s pretty crazy to think that so many firms don’t make reasonable adjustments themselves when so much of their core daily business revolves around handling legalities on behalf of other entities. Companies Leading the Way We are delighted to welcome firms committed to providing inclusive online journeys and we’re proud to work with several organisations in the law and insurance sectors already. Our current client list includes: Cura Cura offers accessible insurance services to people who have difficulty buying policies that cover life insurance, critical illness, and income protection. With diversity and inclusion as a focal point, the team at Cura is passionate about driving inclusive insurance forward to help as many people as possible. “Improving accessibility to your organisation shouldn’t be a side project or something that you’ll eventually get around to. It is simply the right thing to do.” Kathryn Knowles, Founder Keystone Law Keystone Law brings a particularly modern attitude to the legal marketplace. Their motto is “Where innovation delivers results”, and the firm prides itself on doing things differently. Their unique approach includes using bespoke technology and contemporary working practices to revolutionise the industry. “There’s a real element of loyalty and trust that comes with making content more accessible. We don’t want clients to visit our website for 30 seconds and not get what they need. We want them to be engaged and genuinely read what’s available.” Georgiana Foster, PR and Communications Manager Lindsays Lindsays is a Scottish law firm with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dundee. They offer advice and guidance to businesses and individuals, and have already been listed in The Legal 500 and Chambers UK guides to the best law firms for 2022. “Given that a large majority of legal services are often of a sensitive or personal nature, it’s important for clients to feel that Lindsays is approachable and accessible. 11% of the people who opened the launch email for our latest online publication used the Recite Me assistive toolbar to view it. This reinforces the importance of making it as easy as possible for everyone to access information that they want.” FLiP FLiP is a London-based law firm specialising in family law. They promise exceptional legal expertise, integrity, and specialist emotional and practical support. FLiP was named as a leader for client service by Legal Business in 2020 and was ranked as one of the best law firms by The Times in 2019, 2020, and 2021. “The Recite Me toolbar reinforces both our commitment to diversity and inclusion in all its forms, and our commitment to ensuring that we deliver the very best service to our clients.” How Does Recite Me Help? Once the Recite Me assistive toolbar is installed on a website, access barriers can be broken down. By making single or multiple adjustments to create a uniquely customised experience, users can: Personalise font size, type, and colour options to make each web page easier to read. Download content as an audio file as an alternative to reading. Access text to speak functions in 35 different languages. Have text read aloud at varying speeds. Utilise a screen mask and ruler for better focus. Convert text into over 100 different on-screen languages. Make use of the toolbar’s built-in dictionary and thesaurus. Switch to “text-only” mode to strip away graphics and page clutter. Recite Me Data Recite me is now installed on over 3,500 websites, and over the last 12 months, our data shows that: The Recite Me assistive toolbar was launched over 3 million times Over 16.5 million web pages were viewed using the toolbar Over 4.1 million individual styling changes were made 12.3 million pieces of content were translated into different languages 31 million pieces of content were read aloud 4 Steps to an Inclusive Online World If you’re an insurance broker or law firm looking to make your website more inclusive, these are the recommended steps to follow: Test your website against Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These are internationally recognised and are required by law for certain sectors and public-facing entities. Rectify any site errors that are not level A or AA compliant. Update your website build to meet best practices for an inclusive experience. Invest in assistive technology to provide a truly customisable and inclusive online journey. Recite Me is quick and easy to implement on your website and can usually be installed in under an hour. If you’d like to know more or join the hundreds of companies that have already adopted our inclusive, please contact our team or request a demonstration.

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Accessibility and Inclusion Guide

11 Nov 2021 | download

Download our Accessibility and Inclusion Guide that is packed full of facts and information to understand the world of online accessibility and kick start your journey.

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How do you create an inclusive candidate experience?

10 Nov 2021 | download

Recite Me’s accessibility and language options help organizations to attract and support a diverse range of candidates throughout the online recruitment journey.

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Providing barrier-free access to domestic violence support

10 Nov 2021 | download

Recite Me assistive technology helps organizations support vulnerable populations with access to vital information by providing an inclusive barrier-free user experience on their websites.

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How do you create an inclusive passenger experience?

09 Nov 2021 | download

Recite Me assistive technology supports travel organizations to provide an inclusive and easy-to-use experience on their websites for a diverse range of international visitors.

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How can utility providers help customers who face online barriers?

09 Nov 2021 | download

Every home needs access to gas, water and electricity. Yet, utility services are not always readily available to all. Throughout the last year, many customers have been homebound due to COVID-19 restrictions and unable to access services and information easily online. One of the easiest ways to ensure information is accessible to all is to utilize assistive technology.

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How do you create an inclusive not-for-profit website?

09 Nov 2021 | download

The not-for-profit sector is well known for supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our society. So it makes sense that many charities and not-for-profit organizations are taking the lead in tackling web accessibility as a way of championing their causes as efficiently as possible. Recite Me assistive technology supports many charities and not-for-profit organizations to engage with their audience.

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Supporting Disabled Shoppers Online

02 Nov 2021 | news

Today marks Purple Tuesday, an international initiative that celebrates diversity and creates awareness about the spending power of those with disabilities. Commonly known as ‘the purple pound’, the e-commerce spending power of this consumer group is all the more important this year, as during 2021 our society has been pushed online on a daily basis much more than ever before. Of course, physical accessibility factors are still an important consideration, but as the largest minority group in the world, it is important to remember that the disability market covers much more than physical disabilities alone. So businesses must consider digital accessibility in their long-term strategies and ensure the inclusion of those who struggle with cognitive, learning, and neurological disorders, have visual impairments, poor literacy, or read in English as a second language, as well as those who are physically disabled. The Disability Market Spending Power Approximately 20% of people in the UK and 25% of people in the USA sit in the disability market. The sheer size of this market demonstrates why it is vital that website content is accessible and inclusive for everyone. In the UK alone, the #PurplePound – the spending power of disabled people and their families – is worth a staggering £274 billion and is estimated to be rising by 14% per year, yet less than 10% of organisations have a targeted plan to access the disability market. “Ensuring that disabled people are able to access shops, restaurants and clubs isn’t just the right thing to do - it makes business sense too. By failing to cater to their disabled customers, many businesses are missing out on the spending power of disabled people and are denying them the opportunity to enjoy something which many people take for granted. There is still time to get involved in this important initiative and I encourage businesses across the country to do just that - and reap the rewards.” Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work The Click Away Pound Click-Away Pound is a research survey that analyses the online shopping habits and experiences of people with disabilities. The latest survey in 2019 demonstrates in relatable terms exactly how important it is for retailers to provide digital accessibility on their websites and apps: 70% of online consumers surveyed will click away from websites that they find difficult to use. 83% of participants limit their shopping to sites that they know are accessible. 86% of respondents choose to pay more for products from accessible websites rather than purchase the same products for less on websites that are harder to use. 35% of users with access needs use a smartphone as their preferred device for online shopping. Only 8% of users with access needs will contact the site owner about any accessibility barriers they experience. At Recite Me, we believe that online shops and services should be open to everyone. But despite these overwhelming statistics, many retailers still don't design and build their websites and apps to include everyone, turning away millions of customers and billions in revenue in the process. E-Commerce Trends Internet service providers like BT's Openreach reported a surge in internet use during the pandemic. But even before the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers were already seeing a significant shift towards online shopping year on year: According to a study by Invesp, the USA and the UK are the countries with the highest average e-commerce revenue per shopper, at $1,804 and £1,629 per person per annum respectively. The British Retail Consortium expects that over half of all UK retail sales will be online by 2030. The USA is expected to have 300 million online shoppers by 2023. That’s 91% of the entire population! We are living in a time where more and more daily tasks and transactions are taking place on the internet, so these statistics highlight the need for imminent action in order to meet the demand for more accessible online products and services. The Disability Market & E-Commerce Trends The spending power of disabled people and their families is rising by 14% per year on year, yet less than 10% of businesses have a plan in place to target the disability market, and over 98% of homepages across 1 million popular websites failed to meet legal accessibility standards in 2019. As only a small percentage of consumers contact companies directly when they run into accessibility barriers online, it is possible that most businesses aren’t aware of how inaccessible their websites are. What is clear, however, is that people with disabilities will buy more and are prepared to pay premium prices to businesses that offer them a better and more accessible online service. So businesses that are forward-thinking and progressive would do well to act now to ensure survival and continued success. "Digital communications can influence every stage of the visitor’s decision-making process, and as the first port of call for many people planning a trip, it is important that our website reflects inclusivity and allows people of all abilities to access the information they need.” Emma Burdett, Web & Digital Marketing Manager, Visit Belfast How to Support Disabled Shoppers Online We encourage companies to take the Purple Tuesday pledge and make changes to improve the online experiences of people with disabilities. Making your website welcoming and easy to use for all customers is key. Not just on Purple Tuesday, but every day, 365 days a year. If you think you might be missing out on the Click Away Pound, the Recite Me assistive toolbar is a simple and highly effective solution that can be embedded onto your website in a matter of minutes. Our software allows consumers barrier-free access to explore products and services online. Features include: A screen reader for easy navigation and focus. Styling options to fully customise text style, size, and spacing, and alter colour contrast for ease of use. Reading aids such as an on-screen ruler and text-only mode. A translation tool with over 100 text languages and 35 text-to-speech voices. Make Your Website Accessible Today! Join the thousands of satisfied clients who have already successfully integrated our accessibility software onto their sites and are benefiting from the value it provides. “Diversity and inclusion is not an initiative but core to who we are as a company and how we run our business operations. Recite Me allows us to ensure an inclusive online environment and positive user experience for all of our partners and employees.” Alexandra Forsch, President of Awin To find out more or to book a demo please contact the team.

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