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

New College Durham enhances their commitment to inclusion with accessibility support online

27 Jan 2020 | news

To support everyone who visits their website, regardless of their differing abilities or spoken first language New College Durham now offers accessibility and language support online. New College Durham is rated in the top 10% of colleges in the UK for achievement in Further Education and apprenticeships, whilst their Higher Education students rate it in the top 10% for student satisfaction. As New College Durham grows and attracts a wider range of students not only from the North East but from around the UK and the world, their website needed to accessible to all. To make sure that their organisation was totally inclusive and to reduce any barriers to accessing their content online, New College Durham has installed Recite Me assistive technology on to their website. This accessibility and language translation support toolbar offers all website visitors a range of accessibility options to suit their needs. Working seamlessly across all devices the toolbar will allow people to change font type, size and colour as well as background and link colours to fully customise the styling of the website. To aid reading the toolbar offers a full dictionary, thesaurus, and translation tools, as well as a text to speech function. This unique combination of features makes Recite Me a great accessibility tool for people with disabilities or for people who speak English as a second language. Francesca Smith, Head of Marketing and Student Recruitment, New College Durham said, "New College Durham is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, an essential aspect in our commitment to inclusion. Having Recite Me on our website provides a set of easy to use tools that improve accessibility and enhance the website experience. It was quick and easy to implement, and we have immediately seen visitors to our site using the toolbar.”

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Just4Children enhance accessibility options online

16 Jan 2020 | news

Just4Children launches website accessibility technology on its website to promote inclusion and to support everyone to use their website barrier-free. As a forward-thinking charity that is passionate about supporting all children, Just4Children are breaking down barriers online by introducing Recite Me accessibility software on to their website. Every day, millions of people search the internet and encounter challenges when facing inaccessible websites. Just4Children is a charity organisation that is inclusive in everything that they do, from their support work with children to what they offer online. Regardless of people's disabilities, learning difficulties and if they speak English as a second language, Just4Children believe that everyone has the right to the same user experiences. In this case that is to use their website with ease. Jeremy Marris, the CEO of Just4Children commented, “Just4Children is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience.” Recite Me is a cloud-based web accessibility tool that allows website visitors to customise the Just4Children website in a way that works best for them. Making it easier for everyone to be able to access charity news, support & information easily and kindly donate hassle-free. The Recite Me accessibility toolbar offers a unique range of features including, text to speech functionality, fully customisable styling features, reading aids and a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices and many other features. Jeremy added, "Recite Me provides a range of accessibility options on our website to allow everyone to read and understand our content in a way that works best for them. Recite Me was easy to implement and was able to be customised to suit our branding. " Implementing this ground-breaking technology has allowed Just4Children to support more people to use their website without any barriers and deliver a more inclusive experience online.

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Worlds 3rd largest ticket sales venue increasing online inclusion

16 Jan 2020 | news

To allow everyone to discover events and book tickets online with ease the Scottish Event Campus has implemented assistive technology on their websites. The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) features the SEC Centre– five interconnected exhibition and meeting spaces, the iconic 3,000 seat SEC Armadillo and the SSE Hydro – a 13,000 capacity concert, sporting and special events arena. Attracting an audience of more than a million visitors each year, the venue is consistently ranked by Pollstar in the top 10 arenas globally, alongside iconic venues like Madison Square Garden and The O2. SEC venues are very much easily accessible for visitors with mobility difficulties and accessibility needs. SEC currently holds an ‘Attitude is Everything’ Gold Award and are committed to continually improving their venues in order to maintain this gold accessibility level. To continue their mission to make their venues as accessible as possible they wanted to address not only physical accessibility but also online inclusion. To support everyone online SEC needed to make their websites accessible. Ross Dempsey, Digital Marketing Manager, Scottish Event Campus commented, "We are committed to making a visit to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) an enjoyable experience for everyone and that includes using our websites.” To make The Scottish Event Campus website and the SSE Hydro website fully accessible and usable they launched Recite Me. The Recite Me accessibility assistive toolbar will support people with a wide range of disabilities, learning difficulties and for people who speak English as a second language. Ross added, “We recently launched the ability for users to purchase accessible tickets to our events online and once we discovered Recite Me, we felt it was a great addition to improve the functionality of our websites.” Accessibility and language support will allow everyone to customise the SEC and SSE Hydro websites in a way that works best for them to understand and read website content easily. The accessibility toolbar provides website visitors with, text to speech functionality, fully customisable styling options, reading aids and a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices and many other features. Ross added, “We were very impressed with the Recite Me software and as well as accessibility tools, the language switcher allows our conference visitors from around the world to find the information they need.”

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Scottish Event Campus

15 Jan 2020 | case-study

The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) features the SEC Centre– five interconnected exhibition and meeting spaces, the iconic 3,000 seat SEC Armadillo The SSE Hydro – a 13,000 capacity concert, sporting and special events arena. The SSE Hydro augments the SEC’s existing facilities and stages 140+ events annually. Attracting an audience of more than a million visitors each year, the venue is consistently ranked by Pollstar in the top 10 arenas globally, alongside iconic venues like Madison Square Garden and The O2. Since opening in September 2013, The SSE Hydro has staged the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards, the Ryder Cup Gala Concert and the 2014 BBC Sports Personality of the Year. It was also a venue for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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Just4Children

15 Jan 2020 | case-study

Just4Children provides support for families to help their children with disabilities and sickness. Helping children and young people under the age of 25 years in the United Kingdom and Ireland is passionate about the relief of sickness and preservation of good physical and mental health. Just4Children’s vision is a world where all children’s needs are met and where children with disabilities and sickness and their families have the right to choose, opportunity, dignity and understanding.

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New College Durham

13 Jan 2020 | case-study

New College Durham was formed in 1977 and has grown to become one of the North East’s leading educational organisations. The College offers a wide range of vocational, A-level, apprenticeships and university level programme for students aged 16 and above. New College Durham is rated in the top 10% of colleges in the UK for achievement in Further Education and apprenticeships, whilst their Higher Education students rate it in the top 10% for student satisfaction.

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2020 Accessibility Trends

11 Jan 2020 | download

Download the Recite Me 2020 Accessibility Trends Report to discover the finding of how assistive technology has support people in 2020 online.

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US businesses need to ramp up web accessibility

09 Jan 2020 | news

Businesses are slowly becoming aware of the huge market that consumers with disabilities in the US represent and are starting to take steps to ensure that their online content is accessible. At present 70% of websites in the USA have critical accessibility issues and businesses with inaccessible websites are missing out on total a disposable income for US working-age persons with disabilities of $490 billion. Making businesses accessible online and in-person increases profits and brand attraction. Assistive technology is the ramp online that allows people to use websites in a way that works best for them. Web accessibility in the U.S. is covered by various federal laws including The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA requires businesses to make accommodations for people with disabilities, including making websites accessible. Businesses that fall under ADA Title 1 or ADA Title 3 must have a website that gives ‘reasonable accessibility’ to people with disabilities. Under Title III, businesses that are classed as ‘public accommodation’, like hotels, banks, and public transport providers, are also required to make both physical and digital accommodations. To make your website and other digital content accessible it’s essential to understand the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. The guidelines are produced by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web, and define how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. To take full advantage of a WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) compliant website companies need to provide assistive technology to make those websites usable in the way that it was intended for all. Recite Me is a cloud-based web accessibility assistive toolbar solution that allows website visitors to customize a site in a way that works best for them. Recite Me’s innovative assistive technology makes websites accessible and inclusive through a unique range of features. This easy to use, award-winning software includes text to speech functionality, fully customizable styling features, reading aids and a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices and many other features. Being able to translate a website live, on-demand at a click of a button opens up US organizations to a wider multicultural audience. In 2019 Recite Me supported over 9 million website translations in over 100 languages. This innovative software benefits millions of people who currently miss out on online and mobile content; Recite works across all devices, giving everyone the opportunity to use the internet in the way that it is intended. In a further testament to Recite Me’s impact, Recite Me continue to rapidly grow throughout the US. Located in Washington DC puts Recite Me in the heart of the DC Metro area close to many tech giants such as Microsoft and Amazon. Matt Cox, US Country Manager is leading the team to expand the company’s portfolio, supporting companies with their accessibility concerns and needs. Recite work closely with The United States Disability Chamber of Commerce, National Disability Rights Network, and many other Governmental organizations to support people online. Advising companies on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Thanks to WCAG, increasing strict law and assistive technology, the internet is slowly starting to become a more accessible place for people with disabilities, but all businesses need to be aware of the right thing to do, the smart thing to and the must thing to do, to support people and increase business growth.

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Why web accessibility should be at the top of your agenda in 2020

08 Jan 2020 | news

Each New Year offers a new start. A fresh chance to think, plan then act based on our priorities. That’s why we make New Year’s Resolutions, both for our private and professional lives. For those who work in marketing and communications, deciding which parts of your organisation’s digital communications to focus on this year will likely be high on your agenda. Whether it’s ensuring your organisation’s website cybersecurity is up to scratch, or developing your digital user experience and conversion rate optimisation (CRO), digital is likely to dominate. This makes it the ideal time to put digital accessibility and inclusion at the top of your agenda in 2020. Because the evidence shows it’s a massive area of potential growth for private and public sector organisations in the UK. Too many inaccessible websites The Click-Away Pound Survey found that more than six million people with disabilities in the UK had difficulty using online shops and services in 2016. 71% of those people simply left a site that they found hard to use, which equates to 4.2 million lost customers. For 81% of this group, ease of use was more important than price. Overall, £11.75 billion was spent by consumers in 2016 on websites that were easier to use. The results of the Click-Away Pound Survey 2019 are due out any day. According to the authors of the study, early analysis shows little change in the accessibility of digital media. In the public sector, a web accessibility study in 2018 found that only 60% of UK local authority website home pages are accessible to people with disabilities. And, as we’ve previously blogged about, The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 came into force for UK public sector bodies in September 2018. The regulations set new website and mobile app accessibility standards that public sector bodies including local authorities, universities, NHS bodies and housing associations must follow. This means that these public sector bodies must now ensure all their new websites and apps follow the principles of the of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 accessibility Level AA They must also ensure existing websites (published before the regulations came into force in September 2018) must meet the new accessibility standards by 23 September 2020. Build it and they will come The demand for accessible and inclusive websites has never been greater. In the UK around one in five people have a disability and this number is rising because the UK has an aging population, and most disabilities are acquired as we grow older. Also, around one in ten people in the UK don’t speak English as their first language. This number is set to rise as net international migration will account for almost three-quarters of UK population growth over the next 25 years. This means you should think about accessibility and language as a top priority for your digital marketing and communications in 2020. Resolving to ensure your website is accessible and inclusive can drive new customers/users and new sales, increase customer loyalty and improve your organisation’s reputation. It’s a massive opportunity for private and public sector organisations in 2020. 1000’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible for online visitors. To find out more or to book your free trial please contact the team.

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Recite Me assistive technology supports 4.5m people online

08 Jan 2020 | news

2019 was not only an amazing year for Recite Me but also for the awareness and actions of supporting people online. Approximately one billion people globally have a disability and they can often face barriers when visiting inaccessible websites that prevent them from taking an active part in life. Companies from across all industries from around the world, are starting to come together to tackle digital inclusion head-on, with the support of Recite Me assistive technology. Recite Me’s innovative assistive technology makes websites accessible and inclusive through a unique range of features. This easy to use, award-winning software includes text to speech functionality, fully customisable styling features, reading aids and a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices and many other features. Discover our 2019 highlights in numbers… Over 4.5m launches of the Recite Me toolbar – our assistive toolbar was used over 4.5 million times in total to help people access our clients’ web content. Over 21.5m accessibility toolbar features used – there is a broad range of different accessibility features in our assistive toolbar. They were used more than 21.5 million times this year. Over 9m website translations – the translation feature on our assistive toolbar was used to help our clients’ web visitors translate web content to a language of their choice over 9 million times. Nearly 10m pieces of content read aloud in 35 languages – thanks to the screen reader feature (aka text to speech) in our assistive toolbar, nearly 10 million pieces of web content have been read aloud to our clients’ website users. Over 1.4m styling customisations – the styling options on our assistive toolbar (such as the text and background colour contrast tool) have been used over 1.4 million times. 2,600 audio files downloaded – the option on our assistive toolbar to convert content into an MP3 audio file was used over 2500 times to help our clients’ website users. This helps people access and digest web content in a way that suits them best offline. Recite Me look forward to partnering with many more companies around the world in 2020 to enable everyone to use the internet in the way that it is intended. 1000’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible for online visitors. To find out more or to book your free trial please contact the team.

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Autism Plus

18 Dec 2019 | case-study

Autism Plus was formed in 1986 by a group of passionate parents. Since then they have supported thousands of people on their journeys to more independence. Autism Plus support adults and young people with autism, learning disabilities, mental health conditions and complex needs.

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EqualEngineers

18 Dec 2019 | case-study

EqualEngineers was founded by Dr Mark McBride-Wright with the aim of making the UK’s engineering and technology sectors more diverse and inclusive of all people. As traditionally white, middle class, male dominated sectors, EqualEngineers believe that the inclusion of under-represented groups not only bring benefits for businesses but dramatically improves health, safety and wellbeing for its employees. The organisation works alongside the sectors to achieve this through training, recruitment, media campaigns and events.

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Kent Union

16 Dec 2019 | case-study

Kent Union was established in 1965 and is the voice of all students who study at the University of Kent. They represent all 20,000 students to help them have the best student experience. As a registered charity all donations are reinvested which helps fund all the services, they offer including their Advice Centre and Job Shop.

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Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

12 Dec 2019 | case-study

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) is an acute teaching hospital working across two main sites, Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. BSUH provide district general hospital services to people in and around the Brighton and Hove, Mid Sussex and the western part of East Sussex and more specialised and tertiary services for patients across Sussex and the south east of England.

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Internet access is a Human Right

11 Dec 2019 | news

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document declaring the unchallengeable rights that everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. We now live in a world that has become increasingly digital-first – access to digital devices and the internet is a key requirement in almost every part of our lives, everywhere we go. For example, if you need to pay your taxes, you need to go online to do so; if you want to register to vote, check a train time table, or buy gifts this Christmas, you often need to be able to access the internet. Internet access is a human right UHDR reminds us that access to the internet is a human right according to the UN. And the idea that everyone should be able to access the web, regardless of any personal circumstances, like having a disability, is not something new. When Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web, he believed that it could help to empower all members of society and democratise media by making information accessible to everyone, everywhere. “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect…The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, location, or ability. “When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability. Thus the impact of disability is radically changed on the Web because the Web removes barriers to communication and interaction that many people face in the physical world. “However, when web sites, applications, technologies, or tools are badly designed, they can create barriers that exclude people from using the Web,” said Sir Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. Using Tech for Good to increase internet access Recite Me is proud to sponsor the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards and we also donate the Recite Me assistive toolbar to the awards website free of charge. To celebrates Human Rights, we think it’s a great moment to look at some of the Tech4Good Award winners, and how they are helping other people to access the internet to transform lives. Jangala, which won the 2019 Tech4Good for Africa Award, was developed as an internet solution to help refugees living in the Jungle refugee camp in Calais. Since this first implementation, it has developed into a social enterprise to connect the most vulnerable in the world in order to reduce isolation, promote human rights, deliver education and improve life chances. Praekelt.org, which won the 2017 Tech4Good for Africa Award, designs and develops mobile technologies to deliver essential information and vital services to more than 100 million people in over 60 countries. Over 1.3 million South African mothers are currently registered on a mobile platform it created called MomConnect, which is designed to share health information with expectant and new mothers to stop mothers and babies dying needlessly. Chatterbox, which won the 2017 Community Impact Award, is an online and in-person language tutoring service, delivered and developed by refugees. It brings together refugee talent with people and organisations who need people with excellent language skills. Ultimately, each of the Tech4Good Award winners above highlights how internet access is about humanity and how using the internet to access information, goods, and services can transform people’s lives. They are part of efforts across the globe to make a more inclusive and connected world, which Recite Me is proud to be part of. 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible for website visitors. To find out more or to book your free trial please contact the team.

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