News & Media
Today we are celebrating World Braille Day 2019. World Braille Day marks the anniversary of the birthday of Louis Braille, who invented the reading and writing system for people who are blind or visually impaired. After campaigning by the World Blind Union, World Braille Day has been declared as an international day to commemorate the importance of braille by the United Nations. So it gives us all the chance to highlight the rights of people who are blind or visually impaired to have access to braille and to raise awareness about Braille. Braille evolving Braille works by representing letters of the alphabet and numbers in a series of raised dots and symbols that people who are blind or visually impaired can run their fingers over. Braille is now used on everything from signs and lifts to cashpoints and bank notes. As well as printed braille materials like books there are now a range of electronic braille reading devices available, in line with the growth of digital technology, and in particular assistive technology. Electronic braille is produced using an electronic braille display, also known as refreshable braille displays, which work with a screen reader. Devices like Canute 360, a standalone desktop multi-line Braille e-reader, are being developed to make reading digital Braille books affordable and practical. Bristol Braille Technology Canute 360, the world's first multi-line digital Braille e-reader, is currently being developed with, by and for the blind community by Bristol Braille Technology. Canute 360 is compatible with all six-dot Braille codes and it can condense an entire Braille library into one device. And Bristol Braille Technology efforts to build the revolutionary and radically affordable Braille e-reader have already been recognised. We know first-hand because the initiative won the AbilityNet Accessibility Award at the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards 2017, and we are a proud sponsor of the awards. Other devices available include the RNIBs revolutionary Orbit Reader 20, which has been created for people who are blind and offers them an easy and affordable way to read books and take notes. These devices and others are revolutionizing braille and breathing new life into it using twenty-first century technology, which Louis Braille would surely love. On World Braille Day 2019 we are proud to highlight how important developing new braille technology is to help people who are blind and partially sighted to access the world around them. 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible for people who have disabilities like sight loss – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.
A recent report, The Value of Dyslexia, published by Made by Dyslexia and EY, explores the ways in which dyslexia skills can be valuable additions to our changing world of work. In these case studies, we give an overview of each skill and practical ideas on how these skills can be important factors within various career industries. The Communicator A Communicator’s skills include “crafting and conveying clear and engaging messages”. Communicator’s are known to thrive within skills such as oral and written expression, people management and overall creativity. Additionally, strong skills in active listening and learning also make communicators some of the best assets to any workforce. Career Opportunities for Communicators Human Resources - Ability to motivate and identify the best people for a job. Director or Managerial Role - Ability to effectively delegate and communicate, as well as directing job roles to the most suitable team members. Therapist or Counsellor - Skilled in active listening and the ability to tell when something is wrong and recognise the problem. Scientist/Scholar - Ability to visualize projects from the get-go, including how elements will look when parts are moved or arranged. Marketing/Communications - Communicating effectively that is most suitable for the given audience, conveying information effectively and appealing to the right audience.
It’s Christmas Eve (again) – where did the last year go?! Today is the final day of our Digital Inclusion Advent Calendar, which has marked the festive season and told the story of what’s been happening at Recite Me this year. We’ve opened a new box in our digital calendar every day to have some festive fun and celebrate the world of digital inclusion and accessibility. Highlights from our Digital Inclusion Advent Calendar On day one of the calendar we showcased how Scottish football club St Johnstone FC became the first professional football club in the UK to add Recite Me to their website in July. The next day we celebrated the launch of the guide to digital inclusion for recruiters by Recite Me and Guidant Group in February this year. And on 5 December we celebrated Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, who had a vision about the internet being accessible to everyone regardless of disabilities. On 6 December we highlighted how 10 – 15% of the world’s population have a learning disability such as dyslexia, and that Recite Me’s built-in dictionary can help web users with dyslexia to quickly understand unfamiliar words. Some of the other highlights of the calendar include when we celebrated famous dyslexic person Albert Einstein on 13 December. Considered one of the most influential scientists of all time, he made great contributions to the world. We hope that the calendar has made you smile and shown the world how disability doesn’t have to be a barrier if you take digital inclusion seriously and make reasonable adjustments. Thank you and Merry Christmas As we sign-off this year we’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our customers, staff, suppliers and associates, who we depend on to successfully achieve our mission to make websites accessible for everyone. We are extremely grateful for all your help and wish you all the best for a great 2019. Finally, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from our Founder and CEO Ross Linnett and the rest of the team here at Recite Me!
Anglian Building Products, which is the large project division of Anglian Windows, was looking for an accessibility solution that gives much greater flexibility. It operates predominantly in the social housing refurbishment sector installing window, door and external wall insulation solutions and engaging with residents through the journey is a priority
Albert Einstein once said, “The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” Take it from him, he isn’t wrong! Libraries provide a community hub with a wealth of information, knowledge and stories to be uncovered by anyone regardless of background or situation. Located in the Hudson Valley in New York State, the City and Town of Poughkeepsie are home to a population of over 75,000. We were delighted to welcome the Poughkeepsie Public Library District as one of our new clients recently, especially since the town is the county seat of Dutchess County, one of our first clients here in the US. In addition to book lending, the library provides programming such as early literacy programs, adult learning programs, job search assistance, computer classes, and access to online services for free movies, research of databases and more. As part of a website redesign last year, Poughkeepsie Library began looking at different ways to make their site more user-friendly, particularly through translation capabilities. Yvonne Laube, the Public Information Officer for Poughkeepsie Library District, told us why. “We had intentions of looking into translation because in Poughkeepsie, we have a large Spanish-speaking population and we wanted to make our website more inclusive. We were in a holding pattern while we were researching the best options.” The library discovered Recite Me through Dutchess County’s Think Differently website, whom they are partners with through the Dutchess Reads Campaign, an initiative designed to promote reading at all age levels. By now, it’s no secret that the United States is a melting pot of cultures and languages. In fact, in the 2012-2016 American Community Survey report approximately 16.25% of the City and Town of Poughkeepsie Residents were born outside of the United States and are most likely to use a foreign language in their homes. At Recite Me, we’ve promoted the need for web accessibility at length, but the fact is, web accessibility is so much more than bigger font sizes and audio narration. Translation capabilities are especially important as migration increases and foreign countries are now within easy reach thanks to modern day travel. In a country such as the United States where Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, French and Korean are commonly spoken at home, the importance of online translation options is absolutely crucial to get right. As well as having two native Spanish-speaking librarians and several bilingual staff members on hand, the library identified that they also needed these same options online. Yvonne explains, “We had to ask ourselves how we were including everyone in that regard, and if we were making the information easy to find and giving them the ability to translate. That was our goal internally and it was always on our website “wishlist”. It was just a matter of finding the right solution. Recite Me is awesome because it tackled even more than we had aimed for.” As well as partnering with Dutchess County through Dutchess Reads, the library is also partners with Dutchess County in several literacy-related endeavors. One of these includes Books for Buses, a campaign comprised of the Mid-Hudson Library System (Poughkeepsie Library District is the largest serving library of 66 libraries total in the system) donating books and putting them on local buses, allowing patrons to take a free book or leave a book. On December 1st, the library is launching “Snow Many Books” in which children’s library staff members recommend the best gift-worthy titles to give as Christmas gifts for children and adults alike. As well as promoting reading through various literacy events, the library also aims to create more inclusive programming. Yvonne elaborates, “Last year, the Library District has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for their Big Read campaign. For the first time we introduced a special needs book club to discuss the “Little Read” book. We had about 8-10 participants attend along with their aides to discuss the book. It was a new program for us and we were really happy with the outcome.” Libraries are evidently still a thriving community resource today, and with libraries like Poughkeepsie’s, we are so glad to see an inclusive and welcoming environment being fostered for every member of the community. At a time when technology is rapidly growing, it’s clear to see that Poughkeepsie Library District are adapting with the times to benefit their patrons. To learn more about Poughkeepsie Public Library District, visit https://poklib.org To learn more about Recite Me, including how to book your free demo, visit www.reciteme.com
A recent report, The Value of Dyslexia, published by Made by Dyslexia and EY, explores the ways in which dyslexia skills can be valuable additions to our changing world of work. Following on from last week's profile case study of The Connector, here is our take on the Visualiser. The Visualiser A Visualiser’s skills include the “ability to interact with space, sense, physical ideas and new concepts”. Notable traits of a Visualiser include creativity and “big picture” thinking, including the ability to think outside of the box and develop fresh new ideas. These particular traits will be especially useful in the future of work, as technology continues to grow and the need for unique ideas becomes paramount. Career Opportunities for Visualisers IT/Systems Analyst - Ability to solve complex problems and determining how a system will work during changing conditions. User Experience Designer - Coming up with a user’s specific needs and adapting technology and equipment to suit those needs. Architect - Visualising intricate designs before putting pen to paper and imagining how structures will change as they are moved or rearranged. Fashion and/or Interior Designer - The ability to come up with creative and unusual new ideas. Scientist - Seeing a wider picture and linking to insights through scientific study and logical reasoning. Doctor - Visualising and imagining complex scenario in one’s head along with manual dexterity, particularly important for diagnosing conditions and performing surgery. * All information sourced from The Value of Dyslexia report.
A recent report, The Value of Dyslexia, published by Made by Dyslexia and EY, explores the ways in which dyslexia skills can be valuable additions to our changing world of work. The skills have been identified as Thiinking skills which are Communicating, Imagining and Visualising, and General skills which are Exploring, Connecting and Reasoning. In these short case studies, we give an overview of each skill and practical ideas on how these skills can be important factors within various career industries. First off the rank is The Connector - does this skill reflect you or someone you know? The Connector A Connector’s skills include “understanding self, connecting, empathising and influencing others.” Notable traits of a Connector include understanding others, giving full attention and taking time to understanding actions, as well as strong management and social skills. Interpersonal skills are particularly important for a majority of major career fields, with these skills expected to become even more unique as our world of work incorporates more technology into our everyday lives. Career Opportunities for Connectors Marketer - Ability to influence behaviour and managing emotions in other people. Human Resources - Identifying the best people for the job. Project Manager - Ability to motivate and delegate people as they work. Therapist - Strong skills in empathizing with others and understanding other people’s actions. Lawyer - Ability to negotiate, bring people together and reconcile differences. Volunteer - Actively looking for ways to help others. * All information sourced from The Value of Dyslexia report.
Cranfield University is an exclusively postgraduate and research-led university specialising in science, engineering, technology and management. It works very closely with industry to offer students high-quality project research opportunities and also offers a range of short courses and professional development courses across the university’s areas of specialism. Students from over 100 countries across the world come to study at the university, and international students are a key market for the university.
There have never been more opportunities to understand who your customers are in order to anticipate and meet their needs. A solid understanding of your customers and their behaviour can help you tailor your digital customer experience to make sure it’s enjoyable, accessible and inclusive. And it can help you to reach new customers who previously couldn’t access your products and services online due to barriers like language. Meet the Millenials Aged around 18-35 (born between 1980 – 1995), 13 million millienials in the UK – this is a well educated, tech-savvy, diverse and socially liberal generation and a very important target market. Often described as the “always connected” generation, they are especially important to companies with online and/or digital products. [Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/281174/uk-population-by-age/]. Meet Michael Born:1984 Education: MEng (Warwick) He worked hard and played hard, captaining the Football team alongside his studies. Career: Engineer – working in the motor industry – a collaborative environment. He dreams of making environmentally- friendly cars mainstream. Leisure: Michael keeps work and pleasure separate. He plays football for the club joined as a boy in the 90s, and coaches the Under 8s team. Like many tech-savvy millennials, he relaxes by watching you tube videos and listening to podcasts, using the accessibility shortcuts to quickly browse to his favourite content. Personal: Michael and his girlfriend rent a house in the town in which he grew up. He is dyslexic. This led him to embrace technology: spellchecking or changing onscreen text and background colours effortlessly, whenever he books cinema tickets or holidays on his smartphone or banks online. His lateral thinking skills help him, as an engineer. Personality traits: Hardworking, creative, risk averse Meet Anna Born 1994 Education: Anna’s family moved to the UK soon after Poland joined the EU. She quickly made friends, studied hard and left school with A Levels and fluency in English and Polish. BA (Hons) Swansea University. Career: Trainee Manager, national restaurant chain. Having waitressed to fund her studies, she now works in the sector fulltime and aspires to manage her own restaurant. Her ability to switch effortlessly between languages quickly puts others at ease. She is set to thrive post BREXIT. Leisure: Anna’s passion is travel. With friends in the UK, Poland and beyond, her Instagram feed is full of beautiful landscapes. She learns phrases in the local language before travelling, shunning the phrase book and well-thumbed Rough guide in favour of her iphone to translate phrases, find and book hotels. Personal: Megan flat-shares with friends. They watch box sets, streaming them rather than filling limited storage space with DVDs. Personality Traits – team player, creative, hard working 5 things you need to know about your millennial customers Virtually all adults aged 16 to 34 years were recent internet users 99% [Source:https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bulletins/internetusers/2018] Millennials watch an average of two hours 39 minutes of non-broadcast content a day, including 59 minutes of YouTube, on PCs, phones and tablets (OFCOM Report, pp65). By 2025, 75 per cent of the workforce will be Millennials [Source: https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-30/november-2017/changing-workplace] One third of professional Millennials have a disability [Source: https://www.inc.com/sylvia-ann-hewlett/millennials-with-disabilities-a-large-invisible-talent-cohort-with-innovative-potential.html] Ten percent (10%) of the population have Dyslexia; 4% severely so. Dyslexia is identified as a disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010. Millennials use digital channels constantly and with confidence. They need your website content to work for them as and when they need it. Recite Me, the web experience your customers want.
Today is the sixteenth United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), which takes places annually on 3 December around the world. The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. This theme focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – this includes digitalisation and smart cities. To achieve this agenda it’s essential that people with disabilities have full and equal participation in all areas of society. It’s also critical that society creates enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities. But of course inclusive societies must also think about digital accessibility as well as physical accessibility. The power of the web for inclusion in everyday activities When World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the web he believed it could help to empower all members of society and democratise media by making information accessible to everyone. He said: “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,” – Sir Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. Getting web accessibility right This means that people with disabilities should have inclusion in all everyday activities online. At this time of year this requires ensuring that people with disabilities can do everyday things online that many of us may take for granted. These include online shopping for Christmas presents, going online to book a Christmas lunch at a restaurant, or booking travel tickets to go and visit family and friends. Ultimately, all organisations must consider web accessibility and make sure they make their websites accessible so that people with disabilities can access their goods and services online. 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.
Breckland Council and South Holland District Council are two completely independent district councils in East England that share a senior management structure, which the local authorities believe is a more efficient operating model.
In case you missed it, it was Black Friday last Friday. Black Friday is the informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day in the US (the fourth Thursday of November), which has been regarded as the beginning of the country's Christmas shopping season since the early 1950s. Most major retailers offer big discounts on their products in promotional sales and the trend has now well and truly taken hold of the UK as well as the US. This time of year offers a great opportunity to upgrade your technology and treat yourself to the latest gadgets, and that goes for us too! So two of our team members, Founder and CEO Ross Linnett, and Designer Andy Syson, have reviewed what they bought in Black Friday sales. Both products are useful for people with different disabilities and impairments by making everyday life more accessible, so we hope you enjoy our reviews. What did you buy in the Black Friday Sale? Ross: I bought the Tresanti adjustable height desk from Costco - a bargain at £199 Andy: I bought an Echo Dot from Amazon, half price at £24.99 Tell us about the product? Ross: This is a great desk for anyone that likes to move around whilst working, like myself, instead of sitting at a desk all day. The height adjusts from 29.5” to 47” and features four programmable height settings, selectable via LED touch controls on the glass top. Andy: It's a smart speaker, which is voice responsive. You can ask it to play music, ask questions, set reminders, give news and weather headlines, etc. I was very surprised at how responsive it was, it's a great little product for accessibility, because once it is set up, you don't even need to touch it to use it. Why did you buy this product? Ross: A common trait of Dyslexia is attention/concentration problems so sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day can affect this. As well as improved productivity, using a standing up desk has been proven to have health benefits such as reduced back pain, lower blood sugar levels and reduced risk of obesity. Andy: I've been thinking about getting one for a while, to be completely honest it was more for the novelty initially and at half price, it was hard to say no. But now I'm finding it quite useful after realising all of the different apps you can connect it to. I've already bought a second one for another room in my house. Would you recommend this product? Ross: Yes absolutely! Since testing the product I have bought more desks for the office to increase staff productivity and boost moral. The feedback from the team has been great Andy: I would 100% recommend it, especially if you can get it at the Black Friday sale price. They'd be great for Christmas presents! See below the adjustable desk in action.
It’s Black Friday again this week, a discounted shopping event that has become a permanent fixture on the seasonal British retail calendar. It’s also joined by its newer cousin, Cyber Monday, the digital shopping equivalent that will see online retailers heavily discounting goods on Monday 26 November, to boost their share of sales revenue. According to the PWC Consumer Survey, the average Brit spent £234 in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales last year. The projections for 2018 are the same, £234 average spend per person. The lack of spending growth is being attributed to a variety of factors, but uncertainty over Brexit is cited by 44% of people. Even with the average planned spend staying the same, there are still plenty of us planning to grab a bargain over the next few days. An estimated one in six adults are definitely planning to buy something in the Black Friday or Cyber Monday events. While it’s true that everyone loves a bargain, the growth of Cyber Monday suggests that not everyone likes the hustle and bustle on the High Street. Many of us prefer to shop online. In fact, 45% of Brits are planning to shop online for Black Friday or Cyber Monday and a further 24% on a mobile device – compared to 26% saying they will shop in store. These are figures that online retailers simply cannot ignore. With such vast numbers heading to the internet to shop, the case for making retail websites more accessible and inclusive has never been stronger. And yet, according to the Click Away Pound Survey failing to provide customers with accessible websites costs UK retailers around £11.75 billion in lost revenue. So perhaps the business case alone is not going to change business behaviour on web accessibility? In America more than 5,000 legal cases were filed in the first six months of this year under the Americans with Disabilities Act. What’s even more interesting is that many of the legal cases were about inaccessible websites rather than inaccessible premises. As we seem to have successfully imported Black Friday and Cyber Monday from the States, maybe we’ll see more web accessibility legal cases being brought under our own Equality Act? 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.
There are two things we now know to be certain: Traditional workplace careers are changing and dyslexia is still one of the most common learning disabilities in the world. So in what ways are these two factors connected? As our world continues to change and evolve, the need for a creative, diverse workforce is more important than ever. Luckily for us, the skill-set required for this changing landscape is often where dyslexic individuals shine. Shockingly, only 3% of the public believe that dyslexia is a positive trait. Valuable dyslexic skills are often missed, as people tend to focus more on what dyslexics cannot do well than what they can do well. A recent report from Made by Dyslexia and Ernst & Young addressed the value that dyslexic strengths can bring to our changing workplaces The report presents some encouraging findings surrounding dyslexia and our future within the workplace. Many people may hear “dyslexia” and assume someone struggles to read and write. While this may be true some of the time, the benefits that a dyslexic brain has far outweigh the negatives. What dyslexic individuals lack in reading comprehension and processing information, they make up for in original thinking, problem-solving and creativity - all of which will be crucial in our future moving forward. The growth of technology has led to industry disruption, the likes of which we’re already seeing through companies like Tesla and Uber who are revolutionizing the motor and transportation industries. As a result, many different industries are changing and evolving as our technology grows at such an exponential rate. Technology is, therefore, creating new jobs while displacing many others, so there is understandably a change in demand for “traditional” skills. These days, flexible, multi-disciplined and collaborative job skills will become paramount, and they are also what many dyslexic individuals possess. The Made by Dyslexia report found that dyslexic individuals often excel at reasoning, connecting, exploring, imagining and visualising. Perhaps most surprisingly, they also often excel at communicating (effectively dispelling the myth that since dyslexics can struggle with reading and writing, this makes them poor communicators). People management, oral expression and visualisation, in particular, were credited as some of the communication skills that most dyslexics are exceptional in. Ultimately, it’s clear that both employers and employees need to better understand dyslexia. The difficulties, yes, but also the benefits. For instance, many dyslexics credit their creative skills, interpersonal skills and big-picture thinking as some of their strengths, skills which are highly sought after in some of the world’s biggest industries. If we’re all going to be successful going forward, it’s imperative for both parties to better understand which strengths everyone is bringing to the modern world of work.
The phrase ‘England is a nation of shopkeepers’ is often attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte in reference to Britain's preparedness for war against France, but it is believed to have first been used by Adam Smith in his “Wealth of Nations” essay in 1776. Fast forward 250 years, give or take, and there is really is no escaping it, we have moved away from the great British High Street and turned in our masses towards online shopping from the comfort of our homes, or mobile devices. The decline of our high streets features regularly on the news. Many great British brands are seeing store revenues decline and profit margins slashed as consumers prefer to shop online, even at busier times like Christmas. And whilst most major Business to Consumer sites (B2C) invest heavily in enhancing the user experience (UX), have they thought about accessibility and inclusion? There is plenty of evidence to show they haven’t. For example, the results of the most recent Click Away Pound survey show that online shopping isn’t a great experience for many people with disabilities. According to the survey: 71% of disabled customers with access needs will click away from a website that they find difficult to use. 82% of customers with access needs would spend more if websites were more accessible. In the UK in 2016, around 6.1 million internet users have impairments that affect the way they use the Internet. Those 6.1 million people will spend £16.55 billion online this year. Over 80% of these customers will spend their money not necessarily on the website that offers the cheapest products, but where fewest barriers are placed in their way. With Christmas fast approaching, that’s why it’s essential that all retailers consider accessibility and ensure they make reasonable adjustments so that people with disabilities can buy from them online and in person. 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.