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

UK football teams attract fans from around the world: does your club's website speak their language?

06 Mar 2019 | news

Professional football is now a truly global game. Top flight teams in the UK recruit their players and coaching staff from across the globe. And teams also attract sponsors from around the world. For example, during the 2013-16 Premiership seasons, then-Premiership side Swansea City was sponsored by Goldenway Global Group, which had its logo on the Swansea shirts. But the language on the logo wasn’t English, it was Cantonese. The Hong Kong-based international finance company used its sponsorship of a UK team to promote Goldenway to an Asian market, as well as to strengthen the brand’s image globally. It’s actually mind boggling! And it shows exactly how globalisation has turned the UK’s football industry into a global market. Diversity and globalisation Not only that, football’s fan-base in the UK is diverse, reflecting Britain’s diverse population. After all, around one in ten people in the UK don’t speak English as their first language. In areas like London this figure rises to around one in five people. Many of the teams in the Premiership also have an international fan-base. That’s why big clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United go on a foreign tour every summer, as they look to target their key international markets. Whether that’s the US, or Asia, or elsewhere. Are you talking to me? But how easy it is to make your football club’s web content accessible to a global audience? As easy as one, two, three. We can quickly add our Recite Me custom language and web accessibility toolbar to your football club’s website. This means fans who visit the website can then opt to have the content instantly translated into over 100 different languages. Quick, easy, hassle-free. Result. Recite Me also has other great features that make your website easier to use, like the option to have content read-aloud in over 30 different languages. A final thought This year’s Emirates FA Cup Final will have an estimated global TV audience of over HALF A BILLION people. If your football club reaches the final can you take advantage of the web-traffic from around the world that is likely to visit you website? 100’s of organisations including St Johnstone Football Club use Recite Me to make their websites accessible for people who don’t speak English as their first language…call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.

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Talking about inclusion in football – what's the score?

27 Feb 2019 | news

Sport can be a used in a way to both divide and unite people. Because whilst rivalries and passions can create divides in society, among families and friends even, sport also has the power to bring people together and make the world more inclusive. For example, the FA recently launched its “We only do positive” strategic campaign, which is encouraging respect throughout football, and is part of The FA’s wider programme called Respect. We only do positive highlights the importance of positive behaviour and environments for young footballers involved in mini-soccer and youth football. In a nutshell, it aims to educate coaches and parents about their roles in creating a fun, safe and inclusive environment, on and off the pitch. We only do inclusion? It’s great to see The FA working hard in this area to use sport as way to make a more inclusive society. And they also run other excellent campaigns as part of the Respect programme, such as those that promote a strict zero tolerance for racism. But wouldn’t it be brilliant if there was a “We only do inclusion” campaign as well? Such a campaign could promote a more inclusive experience for people with disabilities and their families/friends, both at football stadiums and online. And it could also promote a more inclusive experience for fans who don’t speak English as their first language. It’s worth considering that around 20% of people in the UK have a disability, and 10% of people don’t speak English as their first language. So it makes a lot of sense to ensure these groups are fairly included in the world of sport. Digital inclusion matters For an inclusive campaign in football to be effective it must cover the digital world, as well as the physical one. This means ensuring that websites are accessible, so that people with disabilities, and those who speak English as a first language, can do what they need to do online. For example, can they use their favourite football club’s website to: buy a shirt, buy a match-ticket, check the fixture list, read the latest club news, etc? If they can’t, the evidence shows that it’s basically a case of the football club pouring money down the drain. But football clubs can avoid this by adding Recite Me’s accessibility and language toolbar to their website. The toolbar can be added to any website to help people disabilities, and those who don’t speak English as their first language, to use any website the way that suits them best. Ultimately, it’s a simple solution to help fans win and make football more inclusive. 100’s of organisations including St Johnstone Football Club use Recite Me to make their websites accessible for people who have disabilities – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.

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Wrexham AFC leading the way in inclusion at football matches

19 Feb 2019 | news

Life is a team game. Just ask Wrexham AFC. The club is one of the first football clubs in the UK to make its home-ground, known as the Racecourse, an autism friendly stadium. Wrexham AFC has worked closely with the Wrexham-branch of the National Autistic Society to make this happen by making a range of adjustments. It’s a superb example of how a sporting organisation is delivering an inclusive experience for different groups of supporters including people with autism. An autism friendly experience First, Wrexham AFC held a 'Walk About' session at the Racecourse stadium, opening it at a quiet time for fans who have autism so they could see the reserved seating area and the nearby toilet facilities. Familiarity and repetition is very important to people who have autism, so allowing them to have a look around the stadium, including the route to enter and exit, was a great way to put these supporters at ease. There is a quiet area away from the crowd for people to use during matches and ear defenders are available to help cut down the noise level of the crowd. There’s also a food and drink order service, so people can opt to have food and drink delivered directly to their seats, instead of them having to go to a busy and noisy concourse. And supporters who have autism can also choose to arrive at the stadium early when it is much quieter, and stay seated until the stadium has cleared of other fans before they leave. Online and offline accessibility matters This is great work by Wrexham AFC to become more disability confident, and the club has also worked hard to become dementia friendly as well. Here at Recite Me we welcome the move to greater accessibility and creating the right environment for fans in sports stadiums. But we also encourage all football clubs to ensure the whole experience of being a football supporter is inclusive, including online. That’s why Scottish football-club St Johnstone FC has added Recite Me’s accessibility and language toolbar to its website, which helps all supporters do things like read club news, look at fixture lists and buy tickets. Recite Me can help people with a whole range of disabilities, including autism and dementia by letting them use and look at any website the way that suits them best. Ultimately, creating both inclusive online experiences as well as offline experiences is essential to ensure everyone can take an active part in supporting their favourite football team. It’s definitely a case of stronger together for all football clubs and their supporters. 100’s of organisations including St Johnstone Football Club use Recite Me to make their websites accessible for people who have disabilities – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.

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ICYMI: We Won! Technology Company of the Year 2019

15 Feb 2019 | news

We are still buzzing here at Recite Me Towers that we recently won the Technology Company of the Year Award at the National Centre for Diversity (NCFD) Grand Awards in recognition of our innovative service. The award recognises our efforts towards spreading fairness, respect, equality, diversity, inclusion and engagement. And it reflects the fact that Recite Me is a member of the Government’s Disability Confident employer scheme. Our cloud-based web accessibility and language software can work on any website to let people customise the way the website looks and works to suit their needs. It helps the one in five people in the UK who have a disability, plus the ten per cent of people who don’t speak English as their first language, to do what they need to do on a website. We supply our software to customers from a wide range of sectors, including Great Western Railway (GWR), St Johnstone FC, Gatwick Airport, South East Water, Anglian Building Products and Yorkshire Ambulance Service. The National Centre for Diversity aims to advance fairness for all in the workplace by helping organisations to embed best Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) practices. The Grand Awards celebrate the stars who practice the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion, and honour the public and private sector organisations and people who are advancing these principles in the workplace. Ross Linnett, Recite Me CEO and founder, said: “We are thrilled to receive this award as it recognises the work we do to promote and achieve diversity, inclusion and equality. “It’s even more satisfying for us to take over the award from last year’s winner Sage, as like them we started in the North East, and we are a successful growing software company aspiring to emulate their success. “Thank you to all our staff, customers, suppliers and partners for helping us do what we do and win this award.” Solat Chaudhry, CEO of the National Centre for Diversity said: “It is brilliant when a SME’s commits itself to this agenda. “It sets a great example to other SMEs that actually, Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement (FREDIE) are important to all businesses whatever their size and actually, they determine profits levels".

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The first ever virtual football Mascot, AV1

12 Feb 2019 | news

Sometimes you need to move a mountain to do be able to live your life. And if you have a disability or long-term illness, you may have to search for new and innovative ways to do the things many of us take for granted. This includes seeking out and using new technology like the AV1 robot to go places where people can’t. AV1 has been developed to help children who have disabilities and chronic illnesses to remotely attend school, or key life events like their school prom night, from home. It works by sending panoramic live images and sound back to the remote-user’s tablet, wherever they are, and a microphone allows the user to chat with people around the robot. Virtual Everton FC mascot Everton Football Club fan Jack McLinden, 14, who has multiple health conditions that stop him attending live matches, became the first ever virtual football mascot last year thanks to AV1. Jack was mascot for Everton’s Premier League game against Newcastle United at Goodison Park in April. At the game Everton captain Phil Jagielka carried the AV1 robot to give Jack a virtual experience of being a mascot. AV1 helps to overcome the social isolation and lack of opportunities some people with disabilities face, allowing them to enjoy experiences that others can. As Jack’s mother Michelle Wignall told the BBC, it was a "once in a lifetime experience" for him. Finding Friends Other people who use technology including AV1 to overcome social inclusion include Lewis Hine, who won the Tech4Good Special Award last year. Lewis is a disability rights campaigner who was unable to attend school due to receiving hospital treatment for his long-term illness. When he was 14 he discovered there are over one million children in the UK with a long-term illness or disability who don’t attend school regularly. So he founded the charity Friend Finder Official and began to use social media to arrange activities like Christmas parties, discos, wheelchair basketball, gaming sessions, soft play sessions, indoor skiing. These activities help children who have missed many similar activities because they’re unable to attend school to enjoy life experiences, make friends and socialise. Recite Me is a sponsor of the Tech4Good Awards and we were deeply impressed by Lewis and his achievements, which show how brilliant social media platforms can be to connect people. Ultimately, platforms like Friend Finder Official and technology such the AV1 robot are wonderful examples of how technology can make the world a more inclusive place. 100’s of organisations including St Johnstone Football Club use Recite Me to make their websites accessible for people who have disabilities – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.

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Torridge District Council

07 Feb 2019 | case-study

Torridge District Council is located within the north west of Devon and has a population of around 67,000 people. The district is divided into 23 Wards and is predominantly rural. The main towns are Bideford, Holsworthy and Torrington, with almost half of the population living in or close to Bideford/ Northam and the remainder of the area fairly sparsely populated.

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Morson International kick-starts journey to become an accessible recruiter

06 Feb 2019 | news

Great journeys are often made up of many small steps. But if you don’t keep moving forward you’ll never get anywhere. Never is the lesson truer than when it comes to organisations becoming accessible and disability confident. And there’s no industry that needs to do more to become accessible and disability confident than recruitment. As recruiters hold great sway over who gets job interviews, they are vital gatekeepers who can open the door to the world of work for people with disabilities. That’s why Morson International is kick-starting its accessibility journey by adding Recite Me’s web accessibility software to its website to ensure its recruitment process is accessible to everyone. This will make sure that every job candidate gets an equal chance at developing their career through being able to access equal chances to gain and maintain employment. Committed to diversity in the workplace Morson International is the 3rd largest engineering recruitment company in the world (Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) report 2017) Retaining the titles of the UK’s number one technical, rail and aerospace recruiter for a further year in 2017, Morson specialises in the supply of technical engineers and support operatives in the UK and overseas. Operating in sectors hardest hit by imbalances, the company is dedicated to improving diversity within the industries it works with. By educating their clients and providing inclusive candidate journey’s Morson is committed to improving the lives of their contractor base and its own employee’s. Morson works to actively attract talent from untapped pools, including people with disabilities, to guarantee there are no barriers in place to hold talented people back. Morson Equals Opportunities As part of this work the 'Morson Equals Opportunities' campaign is set to be one of the company’s most important projects to date, revolutionising how the business engages with its candidates online. As a disability confident employer, Morson are committed to providing a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process and have now taken this online, adding Recite Me to their website. Recite Me offers a suite of accessibility tools, including solutions for visitors with dyslexia, visual impairment and learning difficulties. This campaign utilises the latest tech to enhance the candidate journey. It will deliver commercial benefits by uncovering a wealth of talent and further position Morson as a leader for accessible recruitment that is changing lives for people with disabilities. A truly marathon effort! Start your journey to becoming an accessible organisation now. It doesn’t matter if it’s a long journey ahead, just get there if you can. Call us now on 0191 4328092 to find out more about Recite Me or book your free demo now.

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Getting to know your customers: Profile of a Generation X

05 Feb 2019 | news

There are more than 65 million people in the UK: that’s a huge market for any business. But it’s crucial to understand who your customers are to successfully anticipate and meet their needs. To succeed you also need to understand how, when and where your customers want to access your products and services. This will help you to reach new customers who previously couldn’t access your products and services online due to barriers like inaccessible websites that don’t work for people who don’t speak English as their first language. Meet Generation X… Aged around 35 – 55 (born between 1965 – 1980), Generation X is the demographic group that came after the Baby Boomers and before the Millennials. They are sometimes known as the ‘MTV Generation’ because they saw the rise of music videos and the MTV channel. Active, happy, and keen to achieve a work–life balance, Generation X are often as tech-savvy as Millennials, having learned to use digital technology to their advantage, from Sat Navs to audio-books. [Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/281174/uk-population-by-age/]. Meet Karen Born 1978 Education: Karen has GCSEs and A Levels, as well as advanced language skills, a BSc (Hons) Marketing degree, plus an MSc Masters degree in Marketing at University of Bristol. Career: Karen is a Marketing Director for a large public sector organisation. She has held various marketing and communications roles at different organisations, and has progressed the career ladder during a long period at her current employer. Leisure: Karen is always active with work, family and social commitments so her leisure activities have to fit into her busy life. Because she’s always on the go she loves tech that works the way that suits her. For example, she’s a big consumer of audio books because she can listen to them whilst she’s doing something else like housework. She loves her mobile and her tablet, TV streaming on demand like Netflix, as well as classic 20th century media like CDs. Personal: Karen lives with her husband and their children, and they own their own home. Personality traits: Independent, flexible, hardworking Meet Jamal Born:1973 Education: Jamal has O Levels and a HND in IT. He also has a BSc (Hons) in IT, which he studied for through the Open University as a mature student. Career: Self-employed IT consultant working for a range of small and large businesses across the UK. Having learned on the job in IT technician roles after he left school, Jamal has built his experience and gained qualifications to successfully work for himself. Leisure: Jamal enjoys spending time with his family and friends, going out for food, watching sport and reading. He’s a very tech-savvy trendsetter who loves everything digital, including buying and trying out all the latest gadgets like Alexa. He’s a big user of his iPhone, iPad and iMac, which he uses in unison to organise his entire life through apps like Evernote. He’s also a big fan social media who is always posting on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, wherever he is. Personal: Jamal lives with his wife and children, and they own their own home. Jamal is colour blind, like approximately one in every 12 men (8%), whic means he looks for tech with accessible features, such as sufficient colour contrast. Personality traits: Industrious, adaptable, entrepreneurial 5 things you need to know about your Generation X customers On average Generation X spend more than three hours online per day. (Source: OFCOM Report, pp68). On average Generation X spend more than two hours online on a smartphone per day. (Source: OFCOM Report, pp67). There are more than 17.5 million people in Generation X, making them the largest generational group of people in the UK. [Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/281174/uk-population-by-age/]. There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK, 19 % of working age adults are disabled (Source: Family Resources Survey 2016/17 – https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/family-resources-survey-financial-year-201617) The spending power of families with at least one person with a disability is estimated to be over £200 billion a year (Source: Department for Work and Pensions – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/high-street-could-be-boosted-by-212-billion-purple-pound-by-attracting-disabled-people-and-their-families) Generation X tend to be busy managing work, children and elderly family commitments, so they need your website content to work for them wherever they are, at whatever time, on any device. They also love digital tech that helps make their life easier, ranging from voice activated tech, to apps that help them organise their entire lives. Recite Me, the web experience your customers want.

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Tell the world about your disability inclusion success in recruitment

30 Jan 2019 | news

The deadline for entries for the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) Awards 2019 has just been extended to Friday 08 February at 6 pm. Kate Headley, spokesperson for the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative said: "Once again we’ve been overwhelmed and inspired by the very high standard of entries for this year's RIDI Awards, and I’d like to thank all those who have already entered.” "Recently, there has been several appeals for an extension to the deadline. The RIDI Executive Committee has considered these requests and unanimously decided to shift the deadline for all entries to Friday the 8th of February. By doing so, we hope that those who felt they didn’t have the capacity to complete an entry in time are given a chance to share their stories.” All employers and recruiters are welcome to enter the awards, which celebrate the progress of organisations that break down the barriers facing people with disabilities in the recruitment industry. The awards are the perfect place for inclusive employers and recruiters to share your stories of success in this area so you can inspire others and gain the recognition you deserve. RIDI is a unique initiative to drive change in recruitment and remove the barriers faced by the millions of people with disabilities who are entering or progressing through the job market. RIDI believes more needs to be done to build disability confidence into recruitment and employment strategies and actively campaigns to achieve this. The RIDI awards are the recruitment industry’s only disability awards and form a key part of RIDI’s work, which is why we are proud to be a supporter of them. The RIDI Awards 2019 categories you can now enter are: 1. Getting Started 2. Individual Choice 3. Extending The Reach 4. Reasonable Adjustments In Recruitment 5. Disability Confident 6. Innovation in Assessment 7. Supply Chain Management 8. Training and Development 9. Disability Specialist We’re encouraging everyone we work with to enter the awards now and share your success in disability confident recruitment and employment. Good luck and we hope to see you at the awards ceremony in April!

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How your website can make your customers happy on Blue Monday

17 Jan 2019 | news

Oh no, it’s Blue Monday again! Yes, today is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Christmas and the New Year holidays are over, we’re all skint and the credit card bills have started arriving, so the thinking goes. There is no strong science to support the third Monday in January being the most depressing day of the year. But there’s no doubt that many people struggle to cope at this time of year due to the holidays as well as a lack of daylight and the bad weather. Digital exclusion magnifies social exclusion For some people with disabilities everyday tasks like getting out and about, going to busy places and having face-to-face contact with people can be a very stressful experience. Even though many of us may take doing these relatively simple things for granted, a lack of physical accessibility (including transport), and people’s own personal circumstances can lead to social exclusion. And digital exclusion magnifies social exclusion and has an adverse effect on people’s health if the websites they need to use are inaccessible. For example, can people with disabilities ranging from sight loss to dyslexia do things like order a take away meal online, order food shopping online, buy a train ticket online, or pay a utility bill, etc? If they can’t it will only make them feel lonelier and more socially isolated. Websites that work make people happy Well-designed websites and apps can help minimise stress and anxiety for people with disabilities by letting them do what they need to do, without any barriers. No fuss or time consuming challenges to do a simple function, which can often be the case for people with disabilities. Not only should every website be designed to follow the WCAG (2.1) web accessibility guidelines. They should also have web accessibility software to ensure people with disabilities can use the website in the way that works best for them. For example, Recite Me’s web accessibility software can work on any website to let people with disabilities customise the way the website looks and works to suit their needs. People with disabilities can use Recite Me to do things like change the font sizes, change the font and background colour scheme, or opt to have the text on a website read-aloud to them. If you make sure your website is accessible for people with disabilities you can make them happy by making their life easier and in turn help minimise their stress and anxiety. Now there’s a happy idea, on Blue Monday… 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites accessible for people who have disabilities – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.

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Why libraries and charities need accessible websites

17 Jan 2019 | news

It’s a legal requirement for all public and private sector organisations in the UK to provide everyone with access to information and services, no matter what any person’s circumstance are. This includes ensuring people who don’t speak English as a first language can access information and services to do what they need to do. But not only is it a legal requirement in the UK and many other countries around the world including the USA, it’s of course the right thing to do morally. And the more every organisation does to provide access to information and services to people who don’t speak English as a first language, the more people the organisation can reach. Make information and services accessible online This is particularly important for organisations like libraries and charities that provide a wide range of services including information, advice, training and education programmes, plus digital resources. As much of their services and information are now provided online it’s essential they ensure that their websites and digital services are accessible. Libraries like Poughkeepsie Public Library District (New York State, USA) have added Recite Me’s language and accessibility toolbar to their website to make their online content more accessible to the area’s large Spanish-speaking population. Remove language and accessibility barriers Recite Me’s toolbar can instantly translate the content of the library’s website into over 100 different languages. This allows the 16% of the City and Town of Poughkeepsie Residents who were born outside of the United States, and are most likely not to speak English as their first language, to access information and services online. And Recite Me also makes the library’s website more accessible for the 14% of people in the area who have a disability. It lets them opt to have the text read-aloud to them as well as adjust colour themes and font sizes, and make other changes to the way they use the website to suit their needs. Cater for the needs of older people Most disabilities are acquired with age as people grow older, so organisations like The Quality of Life Partnership, whose customers are aged over 50, also benefit greatly from web accessibility software like Recite Me. They added Recite Me to their Information Now website, which provides information and advice website for people over 50 in Newcastle, to ensure the website is accessible to people of all ages, including people with a disability. Ultimately, all organisations need to carefully consider who they serve and ensure their websites and digital services are accessible and inclusive to meet those people’s language and disability needs. 100’s of organisations including libraries already use Recite Me to make their websites accessible for people who don’t speak English as their first language – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.

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Discussing Inclusive Recruitment with Investigo

15 Jan 2019 | news

Searching for a new job or switching careers can be a daunting prospect. The stress can be even more compounded if you identify as having some form of a disability. Luckily, there are now inclusive recruitment firms who can help guide you through the process. We recently spoke to Lisa Holberton, Head of Marketing at Investigo Recruitment, to get her thoughts on how employers can become more inclusive to all candidates. Investigo recently implemented Recite Me onto its website with the aim of “making this disabling world accessible to all”. Now, when candidates visit Investigo’s website, they can choose whether to enable the accessibilty options on the website. As a global recruitment firm with offices in the UK and one in New York, Investigo recruits across a number of different industries that includes finance, procurement, strategy, technology and many more. With over 200 employees and rated as one of Glassdoor’s top 20 companies for leadership and culture in the UK, Investigo evidently know a thing or two about retaining the best workforce talent. Nevertheless, even Lisa admits that the recruitment industry still has a way to go to become more inclusive. She explains, “I’ve worked in recruitment for a number of years now and I’ve always been really aware of how inaccessible most recruitment websites are. We shouldn’t be creating barriers for those with disabilities looking for a career; we should be reducing them, and by making a website accessible to all is a great first step to doing this.” Although plenty of accommodations are usually made for people with a physical disability, it seems that these privileges don’t always extend to online, or for those with an “invisible” condition such as dyslexia, vision loss, or a mental disability. In fact, recent statistics from Scope UK estimate that non-disabled people are “twice as likely to be employed as disabled people”, and that “58% of disabled people have felt at risk of losing their job because of their impairment”. Clearly, more progress needs to be made, particularly now that the modern world of work is moving into a more virtual, online environment. Thanks to Recite Me, Lisa and her team managed to forego a timely and expensive website overhaul when she heard about Recite Me through a new colleague who had seen the software in action on another company’s website. Lisa explains, “We’d spoken at length about how we could make our website more accessible. Before I’d heard about Recite Me, to my knowledge the only way to accessibility was to redesign the whole website. We did some research about what else was available on the market but, as soon as we saw what Recite Me could offer, we knew it was the right solution for what we wanted to achieve in a short span of time.” As well as improving online accessibility, Investigo is committed to becoming a Disability Confident employer, an employment scheme set up by the government to promote disabled recruitment and help employers recognise the skills and talent that disabled employees have. As a recruitment firm and also as a business, Lisa explains that Investigo’s goals were twofold: from an internal perspective for bringing talent to work for Investigo, but also on an external basis on how Investigo can support their clients with regards to accessibility as well. When it comes to advice for disability recruitment, Lisa points out, “We need to be more confident [as employers] in how we talk about disability and not shy away from the subject. Through encouraging dialogue within the workplace, it will help to make employees and potential recruits more comfortable in speaking about it. In addition, we also need to think about alternative routes of how to reach out to people, look for job boards or network groups that will encourage a more diverse range of applications, particularly those with disabilities.” To find out more about Investigo, visit https://www.investigo.co.uk/ To learn more about Recite Me, including how to book your free demo, visit www.reciteme.com

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Luton Community Housing

12 Jan 2019 | case-study

Luton Community Housing Ltd (LCH) is a growing not-for-profit housing association that provides homes for people in the community. Tenants are culturally diverse and increasingly have English as an additional language. Luton Community Housing empowers tenants to take control of the management of their homes and participate in the development of their communities so that they can help improve their environment and their quality of life. Working in partnership with many other local agencies, LCH also offers additional help and support to its tenants on financial, employment/training and personal issues.

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How much do inaccessible websites cost the UK's economy?

10 Jan 2019 | news

Guest blog by Rick Williams The results of Click-Away Pound Survey 2016 showed clear evidence that inaccessible websites and apps in the UK stop people with disabilities shopping online, and they deprive businesses with much needed sales. Has much changed since then? Rick Williams, who is a co-author of survey, looks at the current situation and announces the launch of the Click-Away Pound Survey 2019. The news over the last few months has been full of the woes of the High Street. The failing fortunes of Debenhams, House of Fraser, Mothercare, Maplins and other familiar names have been front page news throughout 2018. Meanwhile, the proportion of retail spend online continues to grow. The Black Friday weekend in November provided a microcosm of an accelerating trend, with the in-store frenzy of previous years replaced by the sound of websites crashing under consumer pressure. Springboard, the retail monitor, reported footfall in shopping centres and retail parks down by 6%, while Argos said half of its orders on Friday morning had been made on a handset, up from 40% in 2017. For shoppers, this trend is liberating. There is more choice, just about anything is available online, and increasing online competition means lower prices. All this while avoiding the queues and the dismal weather, with purchases delivered to your door. Truly liberating, but only if you can access the website. Back in 2016, the Click-Away Pound Survey found more than six million disabled people in the UK had difficulty using online shops and services. For a variety of reasons, people may not be able to use a mouse, or read the words, or find their way round a busy screen. 71% of those people simply left a site that they found hard to use - 4.2 million lost customers For 81% of this group, ease of use was more important than price £11.75 billion was spent by consumers in 2016 at sites that were easier to use For business, online is no longer a useful offshoot of traditional sales, or the preserve of the speciality retailer, but has become an essential commercial battleground where every pound counts. At a time of increasing competition and narrowing margins, it’s surprising that businesses still don’t try to accommodate every user by ensuring that their site is accessible. Projected forward, £450 million would have been lost by businesses with hard-to-use websites over the Black Friday weekend unless businesses have got to grips with the accessibility question. So, has the picture changed? Click-Away Pound 2016 showed that failing to address accessibility has a direct impact on the balance sheet. Since then, there have been signs of increasing business engagement with the issue, with many organisations saying they have listened. As the online market becomes steadily more fundamental to the success of businesses, the Click-Away Pound Survey 2019 will tell us whether they have heard the message. Go to www.clickawaypound.com now to take part in the survey and add your voice.

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Charities with accessible websites get more engagement

09 Jan 2019 | news

As we start the New Year many of us will have made resolutions to make changes for the better in 2019. For some people those resolutions will include doing more to support a specific charity, or charities and non-profit organisations in general. To do this the starting point for many people will often be visiting a charity or non-profit organisation’s website to find out how they can get involved. And if a charity or non-profit ensures its website is accessible and inclusive in 2019 the better job the website will do to serve its purpose. Why does web accessibility matter? If someone can’t access and use a website properly then they’re likely to click away and look for an accessible alternative, as the Click Away Pound survey shows. This matters greatly because around one in five people in the UK have a disability or impairment. This number is set to increase, as we have an ageing population, and the older people become the more likely they are to acquire a disability – most disabilities are acquired with age. And research by Charities Aid Foundation shows that in the UK older people, along with women, are the most likely to engage in charitable and social activities. For example, in 2017 only 8% of adults aged 65 and over did nothing to support charities, compared to 16% of people aged 16 to 24. Recite Me increases engagement Ultimately, if a charity or non-profit organisation makes its website more accessible it will generate more engagement. Whether it’s more donations, memberships, volunteer sign-ups, or sign-ups to petitions and mailing lists, greater accessibility will help the website to achieve the key functions it’s built to do. That’s why organisation’s like Amnesty International UK and Prince’s Trust have added Recite Me’s language and accessibility toolbar to their websites. The toolbar lets people with disabilities use any website the way that suits them best by letting them do things like opt to have the text read aloud and change the font and background colour contrast. Recite Me’s toolbar can also translate web content into over 100 languages, which caters for the 10% of people in the UK who don’t speak English as their first language. If your charity or non-profit organisation wants to increase engagement via your website in 2019 now is the ideal time to make sure it’s fully accessible and inclusive for the UK’s diverse population. 100’s of organisations including charities already use Recite Me to make their websites accessible for people who have disabilities – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.

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