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When carers learn about how to deliver the right care and treatment, how can they learn if they have dyslexia? Or what if they don’t speak English as their first language? Much training and assessment is now done online so carers must be able to access websites in a way that works for them. The Grey Matter Group understands this implicitly. It has added Recite Me’s web accessibility toolbar to its website to ensure the health and social care providers the company supports can easily access its website. Proper training is crucial The Grey Matter Group works with organisations across the health and social care sectors to improve lives through learning. It does this by supporting health and social providers with online learning and assessments. These enable carers to certify they have the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of specific job roles in the health and social care sectors. Its customers range from NHS trusts, to local authorities, to care homes, domiciliary care providers, learning disability providers and individual employers. The health and social care sectors deal with people’s lives, so it’s crucial to get things right. Mistakes can have massive consequences for people’s health, so staff must be well-trained. Thus access to information for carers whilst they learn has a massive impact on the quality of life for their clients. Accessing learning materials is vital for carers This means that staff with disabilities like dyslexia must be able to access learning materials in a way that helps them understand the complex medical language used in the industry. The same goes for the growing number of carers in the UK who don’t speak English as their first language, who need to be able to learn in their own language. So The Grey Matter Group chose to add Recite Me to its website to meet these access needs. Its clients can now use the Recite Me toolbar to change font type or font size, change the text colour and the background colour, and access a full dictionary and thesaurus. They can also use Recite Me to have the text on the website read aloud to them. This unique combination of features makes Recite Me a great accessibility tool for people with disabilities like dyslexia. Recite Me can also translate the content of The Grey Matter Group’s website into over 100 different languages. This helps The Grey Matter Group to deliver online learning and assessments to customers that don’t speak English as their first language. Improving lives through learning Alex Knapp, CEO of The Grey Matter Group, said: “We chose Recite Me because the bulk of what we do to support the social and health care sectors is delivered online via our website. “With Recite Me on the site we are confident that it is accessible and inclusive for our clients, who have a variety of access needs. “It does a great job of supporting people with disabilities like dyslexia, which is common amongst our customers. “It also does a wonderful job of translating information on the website into over 100 different languages. “This is particularly useful as a high proportion of people working in the health and social care sectors have been recruited from abroad to work in the UK. “So they don’t speak English as their first language, and they benefit greatly by using Recite Me on our website to translate content and learn in their own language. “Ultimately, Recite Me helps our customers learn in the way that suits them best. “This helps them to learn effectively and has a massive impact on the quality of life for their clients.” 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible to comply with law and attract new customers – book your free demo now.
Take a look at how United Utilities have embraced Recite Me and want to ensure it is well used by anyone who needs it. A great short promo video showcasing what Recite Me does and why. http://www.unitedutilities.com/help-and-support/priority-services/recite-me/
We caught up with Assistive Technology Trainer and founder of Launchpad Assistive Technology Sarah-Jane Peake, to explore how assistive technology is relevant for recruiters and employers. 1. What is assistive technology? What do recruiters and employers need to know? Assistive technology is designed to enhance learning, working and daily living for disabled people and those with learning differences, such as Dyslexia. Vital tools providing life hacks to everyday problems that disabled people face. For recruiters and employers, assistive technology can help create an inclusive workplace, as well as allow them to tap into diverse talent. So, it’s essential to think about any accessibility issues which might put people off from applying for a position in the first place and identify any barriers to success in a role or to career progression. Finding the right tools and support can help create a more supportive workplace and help you realise the benefits of embracing different work-style preferences. 2. How compatible is assistive technology with e-learning & training platforms? Assistive technology can help people navigate, interact with and understand e-learning materials. It can be a great way to learn for an assistive technology user, allowing them to work at a pace that suits them. Assistive technology is very compatible and can work brilliantly if the platform has been designed with accessibility in mind. Lots of providers now understand the importance of this and ensure interfaces work easily with screen-readers and other assistive technology tools, such as text-to-speech. It’s not always the case though and badly designed platforms can cause real frustrations. A confusing course structure and inaccessible content can cause issues too for assistive technology users. Again, it’s about having accessibility in mind when designing the course. Small considerations can have a big impact for users. These might be avoiding text saved as a picture which can’t be read aloud. Or by making sure to include an alternative text description for images so their meaning can be understood by visually impaired users. There are also now specialist e-learning platforms like FindMyFlow, which Launchpad co-created. FindMyFlow is a unique online study portal for students, that combines study skills with assistive technology. 3. In your view as an assistive technology trainer, what is up and coming in assistive technology? It’s an exciting time in the world of assistive technology. People’s expectations of technology are so much higher now – it needs to looks good, feel intuitive and work well. There is also a continuing shift to assistive technology solutions being embedded in mainstream technology products and services due to more awareness of the barriers some disabled people face to using technology. There is now more understanding about the fact there’s a huge market of disabled people and neuro-diverse people – as users, consumers, potential employees. This, in turn, has helped to help reduce any stigma of using assistive technology. 4. Why does Recite Me work so well for improving web accessibility? Myself and the Launchpad team are big fans of Recite Me and the work they do. They’re on a real mission to make digital content accessible to everyone. It works brilliantly on any platform and any mobile device, which is the reason we’re so proud to use Recite Me on the Launchpad website. When someone visits our site they can, for example, choose to have the text read aloud, save it as an MP3 file and customise the site to suit their needs. It gives us the peace of mind that our information is accessible to everyone. 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible to everyone – book your free demo now.
Digital technology now plays a key role in every stage of the recruitment process. For example, candidate attraction involves placing adverts online or on social media, or using online job boards. The selection process utilises applications online, plus online testing for candidates (e.g. online psychometric testing and online skills assessments). The same goes for onboarding. Digital technology is used for completing tasks like staff inductions, health and safety training, and creating staff profiles for internal technology (e.g. messenger, email, intranets etc). Employers must make reasonable adjustments The Equality Act 2010 requires all employers to make reasonable adjustments to any elements of the job (or recruitment process), which place a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled people. So recruiters and hiring managers need to build their confidence and make reasonable adjustments that include making recruiting and onboarding digital technology accessible to disabled people. This is crucial when you consider that around twenty per cent of people in the UK have a disability. And they often digital face barriers that stop them accessing the recruitment process. For example, national digital accessibility charity AbilityNet was asked to provide input into the government’s Work & Pensions Select Committee’s Assistive Technology Inquiry at the end of January. AbilityNet’s written submission to the committee explained: “Much of recruitment is now online; the problem is that inaccessible websites and online application systems remain a big barrier for disabled people looking for a job.” Reasonable adjustments in recruiting and onboarding Reasonable adjustments in recruiting and onboarding could be providing disabled people with alternatives to online assessments, or additional time to undertake assessments. Making reasonable adjustments also requires ensuring that new recruits can access all the parts of the technology they need to do their job: the phone system, email, intranet, laptops, databases, Microsoft Office products, etc. There is a range of help available to identify, fund and introduce reasonable adjustments in the recruitment process. Clear Talents™ is an online service developed by The Clear Company in partnership with AbilityNet that automates the process of identifying reasonable adjustments for an employer’s candidates and workforce. Simply, Clear Talents helps recruiters who don’t understand how to assess and implement physical and digital reasonable adjustments for disabled people. By doing this it maximises diversity of hire and helps organisations to attract and retain more disabled talent. Jobcentre Plus runs the Access to Work scheme that can help fund any costs required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. Access to Work is a specialist disability service that provides practical advice and support to disabled people to enable them to work effectively. Any disabled person who is about to start a job, or in a job, can apply for an Access to Work grant to pay for things like special equipment, adaptations or support worker services. Using assistive technology to make reasonable adjustments Assistive technology like Recite Me and Include Me can help people with a range of disabilities to access digital information and services during recruitment and onboarding. Recite Me is a custom toolbar that can be added to your website to help disabled people access digital technology like online staff inductions and e-learning training used in onboarding. Whilst Include Me lets disabled people access any digital content such as Microsoft Office documents and Apps. It can help them access all the digital content they need to during and after the onboarding process in order to do their jobs effectively. Employers also need to consider how to cater for the needs of the UK’s ageing, growing and diverse population, which creates significant issues around accessibility and inclusion. For example, nearly ten per cent of people in the UK don’t speak English as their first language, and in London that rises to more than twenty per cent. (Source: England & Wales Census, 2011) New employees who don’t speak English as their first language need to be able to access all parts of the recruitment process, including onboarding. Recite Me can help you here too as the toolbar can also translate your website’s content into over 100 languages at the touch of a button. Ultimately, it’s hard to find the right people to work in your business, so it’s important you do all you can to enable them to deliver for you and feel truly included. Using the right digital technology can make all the difference to this and help you recruit and retain more diverse talent for your organisation. 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible to everyone to comply with law and attract new customers – book your free demo now.
By Ross Linnett, Recite Me Founder & CEO Who will create the technology of tomorrow? What will it look like? How will it help to change people’s lives for the better? As a technology entrepreneur who created and founded Recite Me, and other tech companies, I’m continually thinking about these questions. And there’s no better place to look for answers than the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards. They are the only awards to highlight the charities, businesses and volunteers across the UK that harness the power of technology to improve the lives of others. The AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards 2018 programme was launched yesterday at the BT Tower, London. This is the eighth year of the awards, which are organised by digital accessibility charity AbilityNet and sponsored by BT. The awards are free to enter and open to anyone You can now enter the awards and entry is free and open to any business, charity, individual or public body in the UK. Entries close at 6.00 pm on 9th May. The AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards 2018 categories are: AbilityNet Accessibility Award BT Connected Society BT Young Pioneer â€¨ Comic Relief Tech4Good for Africa Awardâ€¨ Community Impactâ€¨ Digital Health Awardâ€¨ Digital Skills Awardâ€¨ Tech Volunteer of the Yearâ€¨ Notable past award winners include young inventor Arnav Sharmar. He studied the causes, diagnosis and effect of asthma and programmed a Raspberry Pi to help parents of children suffering from asthma and those not sure about the diagnosis of asthma. And there’s Bristol Braille Technology, which is building a revolutionary and radically affordable Braille e-reader for blind people called Canute, designed with and by the blind community. You can nominate yourself for an award, or your organisation/group, or another person or organisation/group that has invented or adapted digital technology to help other people. I know first-hand about the power of tech to change people’s lives and I’m thrilled that Recite Me is a sponsor of this year’s AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards, for the second year running. We also support the awards by donating our Recite Me web accessibility software for use on the awards website. Tech changes lives for the better I’m one of the 13 million people in the UK with a disability or learning difficulty, as I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was studying at university. I decided to create a web accessibility solution that helps people with disabilities and impairments like dyslexia to access websites in the format that suits them best, wherever they are, whenever they want. And thus Recite Me was born in 2011. So I’m delighted that Recite Me is supporting the tech inventors of today as they build the tech for tomorrow’s world that will change people’s lives for the better. Have you thought about entering the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards? If you or your organisation has used digital technology to improve other people’s lives (or you know someone who has) you should enter now. Good luck!
Recite Me is delighted to announce that our Founder and CEO, Ross Linnett, will be attending The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx and Homesense Awards at the London Palladium on Tuesday 6th March. As one of the UK’s most successful charities, The Prince’s Trust, founded in 1976 by HRH The Prince of Wales, helps young people throughout the UK improve their lives through jobs, education and industry training. Celebrity ambassadors have included Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, and Newcastle’s very own Ant & Dec and Cheryl. The Regional Prince’s Trust Awards kicked off back in 2017 with ten regional events across the UK to find the most inspirational and hard-working young people. Winners from Recite Me’s own hometown of Newcastle included young people who achieved success despite difficulties through mental illness, genetic diseases, learning disabilities and asylum seeking. Recite Me would like to congratulate the following Prince’s Trust Regional Award Winners from Newcastle: Young Achiever of the Year - Andrew Wakefield Young Ambassador of the Year - Tom Rebair Enterprise Award - Glen Purves Rising Star Award - Yasmina Magdy Community Impact Award - Stockton Riverside College (SRC) Breakthrough Award - James Peter Educational Achiever of the Year - Ryan Watson For more information on the regional award winners’ stories, visit The Prince’s Trust website. The regional award winners have all been invited to attend the national award ceremony on the 6th March, alongside supporters, volunteers and celebrity ambassadors. At Recite Me, we believe that no obstacle should hold you back. In fact, we believe that these challenges can bring out the best in all of us. We are honoured to be part of this special night and to be surrounded by inspiring, determined young people from around the country. See you in London
By Ross Linnett, Recite Me CEO & Founder What does the future of technology look like? How it will support people with disabilities? I’m looking forward to exploring the answers to these questions with my colleague Martin Robertson at the Business Disability Forum Technology Taskforce Showcase 2018, which takes place in London tomorrow. The event will show how people with disabilities can make the most of new, innovative and emerging technology including artificial intelligence (AI) and smart technology. Industry experts will discuss how AI, virtual reality and smart systems can impact our lives, and a Technology Taskforce panel will discuss this in more detail and answer audience questions about the future of technology. You can also find out more about the latest developments in assistive technology at the event’s exhibition area. This will be particularly interesting to me, as it is to the rest of the team at Recite Me, because we are always keen to keep abreast with change in order to develop our own accessibility software over time. I’m also looking forward to hearing speakers like Paul Smyth, Head of Digital Accessibility at Barclays. He will be talking about the future for banking with AI and how this will support Barclays’ disabled customers, amongst other things. And it will also be great to listen to Robin Christopherson, who is a founding member, and now Head of Accessibility of UK digital accessibility charity AbilityNet. Robin has championed web accessibility for many years and he recently wrote a blog for Recite Me about how websites must be more accessible if we want disabled more people to find jobs. Robin will be sharing his knowledge of how Smart technology like the Amazon Echo can support people in the workplace, and he will also be talking about his view of the future of AI. Are you going to the event? If you see me there please feel free to come and say hello. I’m always keen to talk about accessibility and how Recite Me can help your organisation to reach the widest possible audience through your website. Also, tweet us @reciteme to let us know if you’re going, we look forward to hearing from you and exploring the future of technology at the event.
By Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion, AbilityNet It’s no secret that much of the recruitment process is now done online. From posting job adverts on websites and social media to online skills assessments and application forms, job applicants now need to be able to access the web to get hired. For example, the LinkedIn Talent Solutions Global Recruiting Trends 2018: The 4 Ideas Changing How You Hire report was a global survey of more than 8000 recruiters. According to the findings nearly six out of ten recruiters across the world said they now use online skills assessments when recruiting candidates. But what if a job applicant can’t access a website as part of the recruitment process because it’s inaccessible? It’s a major issue and one which I’ve spent much time trying to help change. AbilityNet Champions Digital Inclusion I’m Head Of Digital Inclusion for national digital accessibility charity AbilityNet, which was asked to provide input into the government’s Work & Pensions Select Committee’s Assistive Technology Inquiry at the end of January. AbilityNet helps people of any age and with any disability to use technology to achieve their goals at home, at work and in education. We do this by providing specialist advice services and free information resources that help people navigate through the maze of choices to successfully use assistive technology to access the digital world. Inaccessible websites stop disabled people finding jobs This gives us a unique insight into the barriers that disabled people face to access digital information and services such as inaccessible websites, which disabled jobseekers often face. As AbilityNet’s written submission to the committee explained: “Much of recruitment is now online; the problem is that inaccessible websites and online application systems remain a big barrier for disabled people looking for a job. “Over 90% of websites, for example, don’t even meet single-A compliance with the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) set by the World Wide Web consortium (W3C), whereas the legal minimum is AA (a higher standard than single A and lower than top compliance level AAA).” Reasonable adjustments and The Equality Act 2010 In my oral evidence to the committee I talked about the role of assistive technology in removing barriers to work for disabled people, including how employers can identify and make reasonable adjustments. Reasonable adjustments (physical and digital) are required under the Equality Act 2010, and they require every employer to make the recruitment process and the job role itself accessible to disabled people. Whilst inaccessible websites pose a challenge for disabled job applicants, so does the fear within recruiters who don’t understand how to assess and implement reasonable adjustments. This often leads to disabled job applicants being overlooked, even if they’ve managed to access the application and recruitment process. Clear Talents™ offers a simple solution I also outlined for the committee the unique approach of Clear Talents™, which is an online service developed by The Clear Company in partnership with AbilityNet. It automates the process of identifying reasonable adjustments for an employer’s candidates and workforce. By doing this it maximises diversity of hire and helps more disabled people into the workplace. This is badly needed if the government wants to hit its target of getting one million more disabled people into employment over the next ten years. AbilityNet is currently campaigning for employers to do more to comply with The Equality Act 2010 by making the necessary reasonable adjustments for disabled employees and job applicants. To refer back to AbilityNet’s written submission to the committee: “We don't need new laws to help disabled people, but a high-profile shift to enforcement of existing legislation could have a significant impact on the landscape.” We believe Clear Talents™ is a great tool employers can use to achieve this, along with using assistive technology like Recite Me to help make their websites accessible for disabled people. Book your free DEMO of Recite Me today 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible to everyone – book your free demo now.
Recruiters can now learn how to make their recruitment process more accessible for disabled jobseekers thanks to a new guide, produced in collaboration between Recite Me and Guidant Group. The disability employment gap (the difference between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people) is over 30 per cent. However, many more disabled people are facing barriers that are stopping them from entering the workplace. They form a large pool of relatively untapped talent for employers which should be tapped into at this time, when so many organisations and industry sectors are reporting skills shortages. The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI)’s disabled jobseeker candidate survey 2017 RIDI candidate survey of 200 disabled job seekers shows inaccessible online and digital communications stop disabled jobseekers flourishing in the recruitment process. Their findings include: 75% of the disabled jobseekers surveyed find their condition has an impact on their job search 54% find hurdles at multiple stages of the recruitment process 28% find online assessments challenging Today’s recruitment processes rely heavily on digital technology, from online job adverts on both websites and social media platforms, to online application forms and skills assessments. There is clearly a need to educate and support recruiters to make the recruitment journey more accessible and allow them to tap into the pool of disabled talent. The guide to digital inclusion for recruiters by Recite Me and Guidant Group addresses this need. The guide is now available here: http://bit.ly/2BUag8h It will help recruiters understand how to make the digital and online parts of the recruitment process more accessible for disabled job seekers. The four page guide begins by explaining the current situation and urges recruiters to act now if they don’t want to miss out on disabled talent. It goes on to explain that recruiters should use inclusive design and meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) Level A (lowest) standards as a minimum requirement for all digital and online communications. The guide also shows recruiters how they can make their social media profiles as accessible as possible by using the accessibility settings on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. It then goes on to explain how recruiters can add web accessibility software like Recite Me to their websites to ensure that the widest possible audience can access the entire recruitment process online. The final part of the guide describes how recruiters can carry out user testing of the online and digital parts of their recruitment process. This is crucial to get feedback and make the necessary changes to ensure the whole recruitment process is accessible to as many disabled jobseekers as possible. Ross Linnett, Recite Me Founder and CEO said: “The research shows that disabled jobseekers often find barriers in the recruitment process. “These barriers include inaccessible websites that stop jobseekers doing basic tasks like viewing and applying for job vacancies, but this needs to change now. “This guide will help recruiters take the necessary steps to get digital inclusion right in their recruitment process to tap into the wide pool of disabled talent in the UK.” Simon Blockley, Managing Director of Guidant Group, said: “Guidant Group has taken a proactive approach to promote disability confidence within our own organisation and within the wider recruitment sector. “Helping recruiters make their recruitment process more accessible to disabled jobseekers helps to create a more disability confident and inclusive environment in recruitment. “We believe this guide will help recruiters make their recruitment process accessible to the widest possible audience and open doors for disabled jobseekers.”
By Simon Blockley, Managing Director of Guidant Group Guidant Group have been involved with the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) since their inception in 2014, as we want to do more to proactively promote disability confidence, not only within Guidant but through our client programmes and influence in the wider recruitment industry. Being a Managed Services (MSP) and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider, offering unique contingent and permanent hiring solutions for large employers, we are in a prime position to spread disability confident awareness through leading by example. Becoming Disability Confident I was immensely proud when in December 2015 Guidant Group achieved the ‘Proud to be Clear Assured’ status - a nationally recognised standard in inclusive recruitment. This programme provided a framework for us to identify and remove barriers for disabled people and educate our team. Growing our connection with RIDI 2016 saw Guidant and RIDI forge an even closer relationship, with the appointment of my predecessor Mel Forbes to the RIDI executive committee. That year also saw Guidant picking up two RIDI awards, the ‘Disability confident' and the 'Audience choice' awards, for our work with the Disability Confident campaign which further increased disability confidence within our staff. These awards meant a great deal to us all at Guidant, as it was independent recognition of our success in this area and marked another checkpoint that shows our commitment to disability confidence. Disability awareness training for every Guidant employee Our efforts to grow disability confidence within Guidant continue, with each and every one of our employees receiving disability awareness training, through a series of e-learning modules on disability inclusion. This is of increasing importance when you consider Guidant’s own disclosed, disabled employee rate is just below 10%. First MSP to achieve Disability Confident Leader status 2016 was a big year for us, as we also became the first Managed Service Provider (MSP) to be awarded a Level Three Disability Confident Leader status by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP). This unique achievement gives us the platform to influence positive change in the wider recruitment industry, through both becoming disability confident “in name” but primarily through our deeds - helping our supply chain and clients to make their recruitment process and their own organisations more disability confident. Since I became Managing Director of Guidant Group, Disability Confidence has remained a key business initiative at Guidant; with me joining RIDI’s executive committee and cementing our involvement with the initiative for the future. Leading by example in Accessibility I feel it is our responsibility to educate our employees, partners and clients to increase disability confidence in the workplace. This responsibility includes making reasonable adjustments where we can. One such adjustment is ensuring our digital information and services are accessible to the widest possible audience. Recite Me added to Guidantgroup.com Adding Recite Me to our website has been a key practical step for us. It ensures that disabled people can access our website in the way that best works for them, which is crucial in the recruitment process, as ultimately we want to open doors for them. Making our website more accessible is a small, but crucial step to creating a more disability confident and inclusive recruitment environment, and once again I am proud to see Guidant leading by example in this regard. Act now to make sure your organisation doesn’t miss out on disabled talent You can get involved with RIDI to become a disability confident recruiter. You can also sign up to the Government’s Disability Confident employer scheme to help and support you in employing more disabled people. Hundreds of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible to everyone. Recite Me can help start your journey to digital inclusion through their knowledge and free trial offer.
Dyslexic Advantage is an online community offering support, advice and awareness to anyone who may be affected by one of the most common learning difficulties in the world. Founded by Drs Fernette and Brock Eide, the organization offers guidance to thousands of members including students, parents, teachers, tutors, employers and business professionals. In 2012, they released their bestselling book, The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain, aimed at promoting a positive image and revealing the hidden talents surrounding dyslexia. Today, Dyslexic Advantage’s mission is to continue promoting a positive identity and the achievements of dyslexic people. Recite Me was delighted to welcome Dyslexic Advantage as one of its new clients recently. Much like Dyslexic Advantage, we believe that dyslexia can be far more of a benefit than a hindrance to people. Even so, Dr. Eide still highlights the importance of understanding the significance dyslexia can play in people’s lives. She explains, “Although dyslexia is associated with many strengths such as creativity and real world problem solving, significant challenges with reading and writing exist in traditional school settings and many dyslexic individuals benefit by accommodations and access to technology.” Since incorporating Recite Me’s software onto their website, Dr. Eide says that it has brought a tremendous change to the lives of many of its users. Previously, a lot of visitors to the site had to grapple with complicated plug-ins and downloads. Now, at the click of a button, users are able to have their necessary features activated so that they can get the information they need in an easy, accessible format. Another unexpected way Recite Me’s software has helped users is through passing their driving tests. “We had so many parents and high school students tell us that they were struggling to read their driver training manuals,” Dr. Eide explains. “Less than half of the states had audio for the driver training manuals, which is terrible! We embedded the manuals onto our website, so now people can easily read the manuals from any state which makes it a lot more accessible. That’s a whole generation of kids!” For people who suspect themselves or someone they know who may have dyslexia, Dr. Eide advises getting tested. Their website also includes a common dyslexia checklist, as well as resources to find dyslexia testers and self-diagnostic tests. She adds, “If you’re a parent asking about a child, you can ask your child’s school for testing, although for comprehensive testing you may need to test privately.” The main thing the general public can do to support those with dyslexia is raise awareness and parents and teachers can access free resources about dyslexia by charitable organizations such as Dyslexic Advantage. As Dr. Eide suggests, becoming aware of how dyslexia affects people in more ways than just reading, such as sequencing, writing and spelling can have positive ripple effects throughout society. Dyslexia may be as common as 15-20% of the population. If you yourself or someone you know may be struggling to cope with dyslexia, consider using these valuable resources that are available to ensure you can reach your full potential, whether it’s in the classroom, the workplace, or in your every day life. Although a dyslexic mind may work a little differently, they often have great minds that have more advantages than you may realize. To find out more about Dyslexic Advantage, as well as subscribing to their free monthly newsletter with great tips and strategies for parents, teachers, and adults, visit http://www.dyslexicadvantage.org To learn more about how Recite Me can improve your experience on the web, visit http://www.reciteme.com/book-a-demo to book your free demo today.
We’re excited to announce that Recite Me will be attending the annual Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) conference in Orlando from January 31st to February 3rd 2018 in Orlando, Florida. ATIA’s mission is: “To serve as the collective voice of the assistive technology industry to help ensure that the best products and services are delivered to persons with disabilities.” The conference is designed to showcase the latest technologies and equipment on offer that will improve the everyday lives of people living with common disabilities. Attendees have the opportunity to network with other businesses, learn about the latest technology trends and practices available, and share their insights to enhance the opportunities available for those living with disabilities. The ATIA conference also addresses the needs of all disabilities for all ages, with assistive technology for everyone from students, teachers, parents, tutors, adults, and seniors. More than 2,500 guests will be in attendance at the conference, including technology startups, special education teachers, therapists, and web accessibility teams. Recite Me’s CEO and Founder, Ross Linnett, will be in attendance to showcase the latest features of Recite Me’s suite of web solutions. Ross said: “It's great to be going back to ATIA conference. There is always so much going on. Amazing to see how other areas of technology have progessed, and meet like minded people with accessibility at their core.” This conference is sure to be a productive, informative and inspiring event that will be made all the more enjoyable in sunny Orlando! If you’d like to learn more about how Recite Me can help your organization’s web accessibility, come along and say hello to us at ATIA. We look forward to seeing you there! To learn more about ATIA 2018, visit: https://www.atia.org/exhibit-atia-2018/ To find out more about Recite Me, including how we can help your organization, visit: http://www.reciteme.com
By Morgan Lobb, CEO of VERCIDA Technology has now become central to the recruitment process for the vast majority of recruiters. Nearly every area of the recruitment process now relies on digital technology, from online job adverts on websites and social media platforms to online application forms and candidate assessments. And as the development of digital tech progresses, so will its influence on the recruitment process. The impact of Artificial Intelligence Last year The Recruitment & Employment Federation (REC) published a report called The future of jobs. It was based on the findings of the REC’s Future of jobs commission and it highlights the effect tech and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in particular is having on recruitment now. The report states that some large companies are already utilising AI in the recruitment process: “Vodafone has begun using artificial intelligence to help recruit call centre and shop floor staff. Around 50,000 applicants have gone through the AI process so far, and Vodafone are happy with the results and wish to use the system to hire senior managers and executives”. VERCIDA understands candidate behaviours VERCIDA is an online diversity and recruitment resourcing platform. It helps employers attract candidates from diverse backgrounds in a pro-active way through positive action, while clearly showcasing their employer value proposition. The platform also offers jobseekers all the information they need to make an informed decision about whether an employer is the right fit for them. In this way the site utilises our understanding of candidate behaviours, as we know that jobseekers want clear information about what employers do to support their employees. And we have started to use AI to map jobseekers behaviour when they visit the website in order to help match them with the employers and job roles that are most suitable for them. The future of AI in recruitment The use of AI is set to continue and it will be used increasingly to help recruiters sort through candidates in an objective way that can help recruiters free themselves of unconscious bias. As the REC report also mentions: “The impact of technology and AI on the recruitment process in the future is likely to be significant. The REC’s monthly report on jobs – JobsOutlook – which details the hiring intentions of UK employers, found that 36.3 per cent of organisations regarded the use of technology and AI as part of the recruitment process as leading to the greatest change in their hiring procedures.” And tackling bias in recruitment is key for success as organisations with higher levels of diversity deliver better results than those that lack diversity. But whilst tech can be an enabler, evidence shows it can also be a barrier that prevents some jobseekers from joining organisations. Tech barriers for disabled jobseekers For example, VERCIDA worked in conjunction with the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) to produce the 2017 RIDI candidate survey of 200 disabled job seekers. Three-quarters (75%) of the disabled jobseekers surveyed find their condition has an impact on job hunting. Just over half (54%) find hurdles at multiple stages of the recruitment process and nearly one in three (28%) find online assessments challenging. Whilst these figures are of great concern for recruiters they do show improvements from previous RIDI candidate surveys. This is likely due to the increased use of accessible digital technology in hiring, which is making recruitment processes more accessible for disabled people. Why Recite Me & VERCIDA work in partnership When VERCIDA was launched last year we made digital inclusion a core part of the business’ overall strategy. Because of this web accessibility was a key priority when the new platform was being developed using inclusive design. And we also began our partnership with Recite Me and added the accessibility software to do everything possible to ensure the site is accessible to the widest possible audience. The result is a fully accessible website that gives confidence to potential disabled candidates that organisations which use VERCIDA are confident and competent at meeting the needs of diverse candidates. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email email@example.com for more information. Try Recite Me for yourself with a free demo 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible to everyone – book your free demo now.
The Disability Confident Employer scheme is one of a number of Government initiatives designed to get more disabled people into work. It was created to encourage organisations to recruit disabled people for their skills and talent, in order to help reduce the disability employment gap. There are more than 13 million disabled people in the UK but nearly 80 per cent of them (around two million people) don’t have a job. There is a large difference between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people, and this is known as the disability employment gap. Jobs for one million disabled people by 2020 The Government wants to get over one million disabled people into work by 2020 to halve the gap. And over 5000 employers including Recite Me have now signed up to the Disability Confident scheme to help achieve this. I personally understand some of the challenges disabled people face because I am dyslexic. So I know first-hand about some of the barriers that exist for disabled people (e.g. inaccessible websites) based on my own life experience of living with dyslexia. In fact, I found it so difficult to access information with the limited accessibility software that was available at the time that I created could-based web accessibility software Recite Me. Reasonable adjustments for Digital Accessibility To progress through the Disability Confident Employer scheme you will need to make reasonable adjustments for disabled job candidates or employees. These reasonable adjustments are also required under the Equality Act 2010 and should include making sure that all of your digital services and information is accessible. For example, you need to ensure that people with a range of disabilities can access content on your website like job adverts and person specifications, plus apply for jobs using accessible forms. To achieve this, your website and all of your other digital communications should be designed using inclusive design. You should design web and digital content to W3C WCAG 2.0 level 1 guidelines, as a minimum. Web and Digital Accessibility Software You should also use some type of web accessibility software like Recite Me on your website. Recite Me has a unique combination of features that can help a range of job applicants with different types of disabilities (sight loss, hearing loss, mobility, cognitive impairments). For example, those with sight loss can use Recite Me to have the text on a website read-out aloud to them. The same goes for people with cognitive impairments like dyslexia, who can find it difficult to read large chunks of text. Users can also use Recite Me to change the font sizes, and change the colour contrast between text and background. Again, both these features are especially handy for people with partial sight loss and cognitive impairments like dyslexia. And you can also use digital accessibility software such as Include Me so that disabled employees or job candidates can access your other digital communications such as Microsoft Office documents or PDFs. Don’t forget User testing User testing is the final piece in the puzzle. When you’ve made sure your website and digital communications use inclusive design combined with accessibility software, test how they work for people with a range of disabilities. User testing involves people with different types of disabilities trying to carry out a range of tasks on your website or digital communications (e.g. company apps). You can use outside providers to do this like AbilityNet, which is the UK’s leading charity on digital accessibility. Or you can do your own user testing by asking your disabled employees to carry out tasks on your website or digital communications. Once the testing is complete you can analyse the data and pass the findings back to your design team to make the necessary technical developments to eliminate any problems for disabled users. Only then can you be sure you’ve made sure that disabled people can really access your website and apply for jobs with your organisation. We’re supporting RIDI to get more disabled people into work The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) is a scheme to drive change in recruitment and remove the barriers faced by the millions of disabled people who are entering or progressing through the job market. We truly believe in RIDI’s mission, which is why we’ve become a partner of the organisation and we’ve donated our Recite Me web accessibility software to the RIDI website. Kate Headley, Chair of the RIDI Executive Committee, said: “If organisations want to become Disability Confident Employers they need to ensure that they make the necessary reasonable adjustments. “This includes making sure that disabled people can access websites to find out about, and apply for jobs, just like non-disabled people can. “It takes a bit of time and effort but achieving digital accessibility will help your organisation attract more disabled talent on your journey to becoming a Disability Confident Employer.” Try Recite Me for FREE on your website now 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible to everyone – book your free trial now.
A blind man’s plea to Twitter has recently gone viral, with his tweet being viewed over 24 million times. Rob Long, an Afghanistan veteran who was blinded in 2010 while on patrol, recently revealed his struggle of using the Internet as a blind user. In today’s world that is cluttered with viral Internet images, from Grumpy Cat memes and blue or gold dresses, to the latest viral YouTube video, users with visual impairments can be left completely out of the loop. Instead, they will be left with a voiceover that simply says, “Box contains image.” We’ve probably all experienced those moments when friends or colleagues are discussing the latest viral craze online and not having any idea what they’re talking about. For visually impaired Internet users, these feelings of detachment and confusion can be a daily occurrence. Rob took things into his own hands by posting a message on Twitter outlining the simple steps (see his message below) users can take to ensure their profiles are accessible to all users, allowing a more satisfying Internet experience for everyone. I’m a blind twitter user. There are a lot of us out there. Increase your ability to reach us and help us interact with your pictures, it’s really simple and makes a huge difference to our twitter experiance allowing us to see your images our way. Thanks for the description ðŸ˜Ž pic.twitter.com/hCsjoFdmev — Rob Long (@_Red_Long) January 3, 2018 When users turn on image descriptions, it allows blind or visually impaired users to understand the full extent of what is being shown on screen through audio narration, rather than a box containing an image which offers no insight or clarification on what is being shown on screen. Rob’s viral tweet may prove just how far the Internet and businesses need to go to improve their accessibility to all users, but it also confirms just how seriously all users are taking the topic of web accessibility. As of writing, Rob’s tweet has been shared over 145,000 times and has over 170,000 likes, with many of these users admitting they didn’t know about Twitter’s accessibility features until Rob raised awareness. Begin taking your steps today to improving your website’s accessibility by booking a free demo of Recite Me’s toolbar. Much like the Twitter feature, the Recite Me toolbar also includes audio narration of images, ensuring visually impaired users can get the most out of your website (grumpy cats included). Visit http://www.reciteme.com/book-a-demo and book your free demo today.