News & Media
Investigo is a global recruitment firm with offices in the UK and one in New York, recruiting across a number of different sectors that includes accountancy, finance, procurement, technology, and many more. Recruitment websites are notoriously difficult to navigate, however, Investigo has been taking active measures to improve its accessibility and reduce candidates’ barriers of entry within the job market.
Social media already plays a huge role in our daily lives. How many of us wake up every morning and the first thing we do is turn on our phones and have a quick scroll through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram? If you’re nodding your head in agreement, you’re probably not alone! One of the beauties of social media is the quick-burst nature of getting information. New stories, photos, blogs and videos are all within easy reach and easily digestible for our fast-paced lives. Video, in particular, is a social media trend which seems to be here to stay. Currently, online users view more than 500 million hours of video each day on YouTube. According to Cisco, by 2020, online video will make up more than 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. So what is it about video that appeals to online audiences so much? Well, as previously mentioned, we’re all living fact-paced, busy lives, and video plays a crucial role in that. Instagram engagement rates are currently their highest on weekdays between 9-5. Most people, you’ve guessed it, are at work or school during those hours where phones are typically required to be on silent. Haven’t we all once been caught out looking at an Instagram story, a funny Snapchat, or worse, another cat video on Facebook, during an important class or meeting? Businesses should understandably start making video content a priority moving forward. The statistics don’t lie and consumers are also more likely to retain information they’ve heard in a video rather than reading it. But, the power of video content can all be wasted if you’re not captioning your content properly. Here are a few more important reasons you should be captioning your content: 1. Auto-play sounds on videos can be disruptive and jarring for viewers - especially users with anxiety or nervousness. 2. Accessibility! About one in eight people in the United States identify as having some form of hearing loss. That’s even higher than dyslexia figures. 3. International viewers may not understand spoken English but have better reading comprehension. This is especially important in countries where a lot of households do not speak English as their first language. 4. The fact-paced nature of social media, particularly scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, means we don’t all have the time to focus on a video, but we do have the time to read a quick quote or caption. To get you started with captioning, there’s a range of options becoming available now through apps and add-ons. Additionally, Recite Me’s software also includes Read Aloud and DocReader features that will add audio description to your website. Ultimately, captioning your content needn’t be a hassle or overwhelming process, but these simple additions can make the world of difference to your audience.
Purple Tuesday, the UK’s first accessible shopping day, will take place on Tuesday 13th November 2018 to coincide with the run up to the peak Christmas period. It aims to raise awareness of the value and needs of disabled consumers and encourage sustainable changes in business practices that improve customer experience over the long term. Purple Tuesday has been created and coordinated by disability organisation Purple. But it would not be possible without the endorsement of the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, and the support of some of the UK’s biggest retailers and retail property groups, including Argos, Asda, and Marks & Spencer. It’s great to see Purple Tuesday taking place because many people with disabilities still face barriers that stop them doing everyday things like shopping and spending time on leisure activities. How to get involved Retailers are now being asked to sign-up to Purple Tuesday and take some simple steps: 1. Support and promote Purple Tuesday before and during the day itself 2. Consider the steps they can take to improve their accessibility over the long-term 3. Make a minimum of one pledge aimed at improving the experience for disabled customers going forward (see the Introducing Purple Tuesday document on the Purple website for more details) Retailers who sign up are also being encouraged to: Go Purple for the day – whether it’s posters, bunting, shop windows, t-shirts, your social media, and website, or even your products (who could say no to purple cakes?!). Purple Tuesday’s branding pack is freely available for you to use. Get social – share your support for the day, your commitments and what you’re up to. Don’t forget to tag @purpletuesdayuk and #PurpleTuesday Educate your staff and customers – take a minute to explain why you’re participating and why it’s important You can sign up for Purple Tuesday using a simple online form, which only takes a few minutes to complete: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/purpletuesday Consider physical AND digital accessibility Purple Tuesday reminds us it’s important for retailers to think about physical accessibility (e.g. adequate access to buildings, fully-working and accessible disabled toilets, audio induction loop systems etc) as well as digital accessibility. For example, one of the pledges retailers can make for Purple Tuesday is to improve the accessibility of websites and apps. The findings of The Click-Away Pound Survey in 2016 show how important it is for retailers to change their approach to disabled customers and improve the digital accessibility of websites and apps. According to the results: 71% of disabled customers with access needs will click away from a website that they find difficult to use. Those customers who click away have an estimated spending power of £11.75 billion in the UK alone, around 10% of the total UK online spend in 2016. 82% of customers with access needs would spend more if websites were more accessible. A wonderful chance to make shopping more accessible So here’s to a great first-ever Purple Tuesday, which retailers can use to improve the physical and digital accessibility of shopping for customers with disabilities across the UK. It’s a wonderful chance for retailers to give people with disabilities the shopping experience they deserve, whilst allowing retailers to tap into a new market that will help them grow their businesses. If you have questions you can check out the Purple Tuesday website or email email@example.com. 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible for people with disabilities – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.
The build and functionality of your website can be as technically accessible as you like, but if your web content is inaccessible the overall effect is still the same, your website users can’t access the information you’d like them to. We think it’s rather like installing an access ramp leading up to your premises, but when the wheelchair user gets there, the door is bolted shut – or the only option for getting inside is a revolving door that wheelchair can’t fit through! Good news is on hand though, for everyone. Your annual report, product price list or promotional flyer have just become more accessible to a large chunk of your digital audience. We’ve just rolled out two new feature enhancements to our software which make your online PDF content more accessible. Now, websites with the Recite Me toolbar can be confident that users with English as a second language, or those with learning difficulties such as dyslexia can more easily access PDF documents online. The translation feature that everyone tells us is so popular on our toolbar is now available on the PDF document reader. Your website visitors will now be able to enjoy the same additional language translation support when they are viewing your PDF-based content online. You’ve got them to the door…we’re now opening it for them to go through…so to speak. We’ve also added in the colour contrast feature to the PDF reader software, so users can select their preferred colour combination for text and background while viewing a PDF file, just as they can on your standard web-pages. We know this is particularly beneficial to people with dyslexia. If you open a PDF document on your website with Recite Me enabled, the language and colour buttons now appear. Users can select from over 100 different language options and the text will translate at a click of the button…and they can change the colour settings. Take a look at our Smart Guide to Accessible PDFs on our website now to see how it works (and pick up a few extra tips on producing accessible content), the more accessible your original content is, the better Recite Me works!
Guidant Global is an award-winning recruitment outsourcing provider and part of Impellam, one of the UK’s largest staffing companies. It offers tailored Managed Service Provider (MSP), Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Statement of Work and Consultancy (SOW) solutions that future-proof its clients’ recruitment and transform their workforce management strategy.
St. Johnstone Football Club is a professional football club in the Scottish Premiership League based in Perth, Scotland. Known to fans as The Saints, the club was founded in 1884 when a group of local cricketers was looking for a winter sport. Now, the team’s home is McDiarmid Park, the UK’s first seated purpose-built football stadium. The Saints are the first professional football club in the UK to adopt Recite Me’s accessibility software.
It’s now almost three years since Recite Me was first listed on the UK Government’s G-Cloud framework, which lets public sector organisations access our products and services quickly and easily through the government’s Digital Marketplace. The G-Cloud framework is one of the procurement agreements between the government and suppliers. It’s faster and cheaper for public sector organisations to buy services through frameworks rather than going through a full tender process. And the G-Cloud was introduced by the government in 2012 in reaction to the growth of the Cloud and the IT capabilities it now offers organisations. Public sector organisations can use the Digital Marketplace to access the G-Cloud framework agreements with a large number of service providers. Organisations can access services from three frameworks for: cloud services; digital specialists and user research services through the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework; and physical datacentre space through the Crown Hosting Data Centres framework. This means central government and wider public sector organisations that procure software as a service (SaaS) like Recite Me can save time and money be easily finding the cloud services they need in one place. Recite Me’s web accessibility software lets organisations meet the needs of people with disabilities and older people by allowing them to customise web content in a way that works for them. Not only does this help organisations to ensure they reach more employees and service users with their online communications, it also helps them to comply with the law. We work with many public sector organisations, from local authorities to utility companies to universities, and we’ve seen the impact the Recite Me has for their employees and service users. That’s why we are proud to be a G-Cloud supplier, as we look forward to helping more public sector organisations ensure their websites are accessible and inclusive to the widest possible audience. 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible and inclusive – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.
We provide Emergency Services, patient Transport Services and the 111 non-emergency service across the North East to 2.7 million people. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion means it is increasingly important for us to ensure people can access and interact with our website.
Today marks the start of Dyslexia Awareness Week (Monday 1st - Sunday 7th October), which aims to get people thinking and talking about dyslexia. It’s an incredibly important conversation to have because around nine million people in the UK (15% of the population) have dyslexia. So around 15% of your customers and staff are likely to have dyslexia and many of them face problems communicating in everyday situations. This means it’s the perfect time to think about accessibility and how you use assistive technology to support your customers and staff. Technology changes everything This year Dyslexia Awareness Week focusses on the twenty-first century technology that can assist people at school and in the workplace, such as Recite Me’s web accessibility software. This is something we will explore at a roundtable event we are running in London on Wednesday in partnership with Guidant Group and the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative to mark Dyslexia Awareness Week. Ross Linnett our founder and CEO will talk about how recruitment websites need to support people with Dyslexia and we’ll hear from Claire Jones, ClearTalents on the technology solutions they provide for candidates with dyslexia. Our event is a great opportunity to celebrate Dyslexia Awareness Week and find out more about the inclusive technology solutions that are available for recruiters. There’s also a load of other events and activities designed to grow peoples’ understanding of dyslexia and help to bring about positive change. Go Green for Dyslexia To start the week schools and organisations including Brunel’s SS Great Britain in Bristol, and Cardiff Bay Barrage, will be lighting up green for Go Green for Dyslexia. Whilst there will be free webinars running during evening’s this week including one entitled Realising Potential Through Enabling Technologies, which will explore why technology can help children and adults with dyslexia through enabling independence. 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites accessible to people with dyslexia – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.
Recite Me recently welcomed law firm Lindsays as our latest client. Lindsays is a 202-year-old legal practice providing a full range of services including family law, executries and Wills, commercial disputes, corporate deals and employment information and advice. Essentially, whatever an individual may come across at different stages in life, Lindsays can provide the appropriate legal support. Yet, undoubtedly, this support is likely to differ, not only for people who experience difficulty reading information due to dyslexia, learning difficulties or visual perceptual disorders but also for clients as they become older. “Many people now tend to search online for queries they have making it important that everyone can easily access the information they need,” said Karen Slaughter, Marketing Communications Manager at Lindsays. Given that a large majority of legal services are often of a sensitive or personal nature, or are sought when facing a difficult issue, either business or family related, it’s important for clients to feel that a law firm is approachable and accessible. That’s where Recite Me came in to partner with Lindsays, providing our accessibility toolbar to Lindsays’ website. The software has already proven to be an easy solution to address a multitude of accessibility needs. As Karen explains, “We weren’t aware that something so easy to use and as flexible as this was available,” adding, “We saw the advantages of it immediately, and there didn’t seem a need to go anywhere else.” Lindsays was keen to look at improving accessibility in this rapidly expanding information age. Karen details, “I think the fact that websites are often the first experience that people have with companies, it’s become increasingly important to focus on not just an eye-catching website, but one that allows them to find information in a way that’s easy for them.” Certainly, accessing the right information as quickly and easily as possible can differ for many, whether it’s through dyslexia, vision loss, or more complex disabilities. The population may be varied, but with Lindsays and Recite Me at the helm, we can all rest assured that our different needs will be taken care of for decades to come. To find out more about Lindsays, visit www.lindsays.co.uk To learn more about Recite Me, including how to book a free demo, visit www.reciteme.com/book-a-demo
Watching a performance at the theatre is often a thrilling and exciting night out. For the disabled population, however, a night at the theatre can take a lot of prior planning and stress. But not at Leeds Playhouse. The theatre, formerly known as West Yorkshire Playhouse, is one of the largest theatres in the country outside of London. For a long time now, Leeds Playhouse has been at the forefront of providing an inclusive, enjoyable theatre experience for everyone. We recently spoke to Nick Hallam, Marketing & Communications Director at Leeds Playhouse, who told us, “Access within the theatre has always been at the heart of what we do. It’s not an add-on or a tick box for us, it’s integral.” About 12% of Leeds Playhouse’s audience identifies as having some form of disability. That’s about average considering 10% of the population identify as disabled. Yet, the theatre’s approach to accessibility is far beyond average. Their efforts go far beyond the typical ramps and audio description that disabled patrons may be used to. In fact, Leeds Playhouse has already created and pioneered dementia-friendly performances, a category you may not immediately consider when thinking of disabilities, but one that is just as significant. In addition, Leeds Playhouse is also part of a consortium of other theaters around the country called Ramps On The Moon (https://www.rampsonthemoon.co.uk), a programme that aims to achieve greater representation in the employment and performance opportunities for disabled individuals. Currently, Leeds Playhouse is undergoing a £15 million redevelopment, which Nick tells us the driving force of which has been looking at how physical access to the theatre can be vastly improved. The new building will include two new disability-friendly entrances as well as larger lifts to accommodate all visitors, no ramps needed. Recite Me has also been a crucial part of this development process. Nick adds, “Recite Me arrived at a very opportune moment as part of the rebrand. It was a no-brainer to add Recite Me to it.” Nick credits the extensive features and the affordable cost as two factors that attracted their team to the software. The theatre added Recite Me’s software to their website earlier this summer. Although still early days, Nick says the software will soon become a “must-have” for every theatre. He adds, “For us, it was one of the easiest decisions that we’ve had to make in terms of accessibility. We’re keeping it on there for a year and seeing how it goes. But if [the solution] is not Recite Me, I don’t know what it would be, because it’s such a useful and easy to use tool.” It’s clear to see that things seem to be moving in the right direction when it comes to theatre accessibility. Technology advancements, along with Leeds Playhouse’s accessibility efforts, mean that there are some exciting things in the pipeline. Nick tells us, “We’re working with The National Theatre who are going to be testing captioning glasses. Currently, we have specific captioned performances or British Sign Language performances for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.” These captioning glasses would mean that every performance could be captioned for deaf or hard of hearing visitors, rather than a few specific ones. “That would be revolutionary going from a one-off run of shows where two or three are captioned or signed, to suddenly every performance having a caption facility. So you’ve got the same choices as every single other person who is coming to the theatre, rather than just specific accessible performances.” Having the same choices available as everyone else is ultimately what accessibility comes down to. It’s what we strive to provide through Recite Me daily, and with organizations like Leeds Playhouse taking such an active role in addressing accessibility, we can be assured that inclusive options will soon become the norm. To find out more about Leeds Playhouse, including upcoming performances and ticket sales, visit www.leedsplayhouse.org.uk To find out more about Recite Me, including how to book your free demo, visit www.reciteme.com
By now, we’re sure you’re aware of the importance of web accessibility. But, until you’ve experienced the Recite Me toolbar in all its glory, you may not realize just how useful our software comes in when used in conjunction with some of our fantastic client’s websites. The following is an example of a day-to-day routine of how someone could access our client’s websites using Recite Me’s software, who otherwise may have struggled as a result of a visual impairment or disability. Morning Let’s face it: weekday mornings can be chaos at the best of times. Most of us are rushing around, hurrying out the door and grabbing our phones or laptops to begin our days. Thanks to Recite Me, users can check the times of their local buses on Arriva’s website, or if you are heading to the Airport, help is available on the Gatwick Express site too. Afternoon Whether you’re in university or work, we provide many options for easily accessing the information you need through various websites. University clients include Northumbria University, Dublin City University and Leeds Trinity University, all of which have e-learning and online library facilities. Prospective students can look up course details and admission criteria, or enrolled students can access their files, upload documents or access their university system from a remote location. For international students, these accessibility features also include multiple languages. Alternatively, if you’re in the corporate work sector, our clients also include Wyvern Business Systems who provide business support and solutions, as well as Keystone Law and Ward Hadaway who can provide users with a plethora of business and employment law information, in addition to up to date legal news. Throughout the day, you may remember you need to pay your rent or council tax, search for a fun evening event to do with the family, renew your library books, or join a local leisure centre to get active. All of which can be done through Gateshead Council’s web portal. Tasks that were once a chore, particularly arranging for bin collection or paying parking fees, are now made much easier with the click of a button. Similarly, users can also pay utility bills online through Welsh Water and South East Water. Evening You’re clocking off work or university for the evening, hurrah! But what if your train home is delayed? No one wants to spend their evening standing in a freezing cold train station, so you better get online and check train times through Go North East or Southeastern Railway to ensure your journey home can be as painless as possible. Perhaps you have an even longer commute that involves flying, not to worry, Gatwick Airport allows visitors to access flight departures and gate information along with audio description in multiple languages. Once you’re home, perhaps you feel like a night on the town soaking up some culture. Our client, Leeds Playhouse, has you covered there. The theatre includes tailor-made accessible performances for a range of different needs, as well as the option to book tickets and see showtimes all from their website. So, a productive day that included accessing multiple sites and getting plenty of things done, all from the convenience of online and with Recite Me’s accessibility software that has been tailor-made to your own preferences. Remember to save your own individual features for next time, so that your days and weeks ahead can go as seamlessly as possible. With the right technology, everyone can be empowered to have their best days, whether at work, home or play.
This week marks the beginning of National Inclusion Week. Created by Inclusive Employers, the annual week-long event is designed to raise awareness of inclusion in the workplace. In keeping with this year’s theme of Everyday Inclusion, we thought we’d share some simple yet valuable ways you can be inclusive in your everyday life, both in and out of the workplace. Support a disability charity These days, we’re lucky to live in a country that boasts hundreds of disability charities. Whether it’s through a fun run, a sports challenge or an online fundraiser, there are dozens of ways to creatively raise money for a worthwhile charity and have fun in the process. Charities also cater to dozens of different disabilities, so whether it’s for vision impairment, mental or physical disabilities, you’re sure to find a charity that is most meaningful to you. Educate your workplace Frankly, it’s in a company’s best interests to make their workplace as inclusive as possible. Diverse offices full of various backgrounds and abilities will ultimately be the most rewarding to work in. Take the time to teach your employees about disability awareness and the steps you can all take to be more inclusive and welcoming. Moreover, foster an environment where no employee feels embarrassed or ashamed to speak up about their individual needs and/or accommodations. Learn some basic visual cues People are who are visually impaired or deaf may feel cut-off from their co-workers or friends in their everyday lives. Learning some basic visual supports can go a long way in making people feel more included and relaxed in any environment. Just learning the basic signs for phrases such as, “nice to meet you”, “welcome” and “thank you” could provide some much-needed comfort in a new environment which may feel daunting or overwhelming to some. Look out for people One of the easiest and most effective ways we can be more inclusive in our everyday lives is to simply look out for others. Whether it’s giving up your seat for someone on the bus or assisting someone who may be in a wheelchair, we can all be a little more mindful in our everyday lives and look out for each other. A small act to you, such as holding the door open to let someone get their equipment through the door, can make all the difference to someone else. Understand that not every disability is visible Many of us may think disabilities only concern individuals in wheelchairs or with special equipment. That’s simply not the case. In fact, a lot of disabilities can be “invisible” ones. Brain injuries, epilepsy, ADHD, dyslexia, and even mental health conditions such as anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression all deserve the same awareness and considerations as more visible conditions. Although someone may look “fine” on the outside, you never really know what someone is experiencing on the inside, so try to be mindful of this and treat everyone with a little more kindness and patience. Provide the right technology It almost goes without saying at this point, but living in today’s expanding digital world means that everyone needs accessible technology to manage their daily lives. Whether it’s important tasks like responding to work emails or paying bills, down to more casual tasks like booking cinema tickets or holidays, providing accessible technology is a crucial factor that allows disabled people to feel included and recognized in their daily lives. So there you have it. Simple steps, many of which cost nothing, that we can all incorporate to be a little kinder to each other. Ultimately, it all comes down to being more mindful and understanding that just because someone is disabled doesn’t mean they are any different from you or me. Have more tips? We’d love to hear them! Tweet us at @reciteme or head to our Facebook page to share your thoughts.
Great Western Railway (GWR) is a leading transport company operated by FirstGroup. It manages over 200 train stations and its trains call at over 270 stations. GWR operates long-distance intercity services along the Great Western main line between London and the South West England and South Wales. It also runs commuter and outer-suburban services from London Paddington to West London and the Thames Valley region plus regional services throughout the West of England to the South coast of England.
Your Homes Newcastle is an arms-length management organisation for Newcastle City Council, which manages 28,000 council homes as well as a further 3,000 leasehold properties bought under the ‘right to buy’ scheme. Its approach ensures that its homes and estates are nice places to live – its houses are safe and modern, and meet the modern homes standards. It promotes community living buy disrupting and preventing anti-social behaviour.