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News & Media

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

Recite Me partners with Chase Park Festival 2018

10 Jan 2018 | news

We are very excited to announce that we are partnering with Chase Park Festival, taking place in Summer 2018! The Recite Me software is now being used on the Chase Park Festival website to make the entire process inclusive for all. People can now purchase tickets and access information about the festival quickly and easily, regardless of their disability or impairment. Accessibility starts online, and the festival has now met these online needs, as well as at the festival itself! Chase Park Festival is an amazing event for people of all walks of life, giving those with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy an event that they may not have otherwise been able to, due to accessibility issues. This pioneering event is family friendly, fully inclusive and tackles many of the social and cultural issues faced by people with a disability or long-term illness. The festival will be fully accessible, providing facilities such as Mobiloo - accessible toilets that have enough room for support workers, changing facilities, and hoists. The event will also be providing performance BSL interpreters who will be there for any festival-goers with hearing difficulties, allowing them to experience the magic of music with their friends and family. All the staff and volunteers at the event understand the needs of disabled people, providing a lovely, relaxing and accepting atmosphere. To find out more about the event, visit https://www.chaseparkfestival.co.uk/. Information for this year’s festival will be live in April. The partnership between us will ensure that this accessibility starts online. Ross Linnett, Managing Director of Recite Me, commented on the partnership: “We are absolutely thrilled to be going into a partnership with Chase Park Festival. It gives us the opportunity to be a part of this pioneering event, and to connect with those with disabilities by providing them with an easier and more convenient way to browse the web.” Accessibility starts online. This tech-driven world provides us with opportunities that we wouldn’t have otherwise been aware of, however these opportunities are not always accessible to everyone. We want to provide accessibility from the outset, helping those with disabilities feel welcomed, supported and accepted. An estimated 1 billion people globally have a disability, and 11 million in the UK alone, and we have transformed the Chase Park Festival website to accommodate the needs of these people. Alistair McDonald, organiser of the festival, commented on Recite Me and said: “I'm really impressed by the simplicity of what Recite Me does. The tool offers a really broad range of accessibility functions, down to people with certain visual impairments who prefer different colours, and this can be customised. It is not intrusive, there for those who need it, and customisable. A fantastic tool.” Our toolbar includes text to speech functionality, dyslexia software, an interactive dictionary, a translation tool with over 100 languages and many other features. As Recite Me works across all devices, users can access the Chase Park Festival website from anywhere and can access the information they need quickly and easily. Recite Me allows everyone to view the Chase Park Festival website in a way that works for them.

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Our own personal experience of what it means to be Colour Blind

19 Dec 2017 | news

As a web and digital accessibility software company we feel it’s vital that we understand and recognise the impact of colour blindness. We always try hard to make sure all of our own content is accessible to the widest possible audience, including people who are colour blind, but sometimes we know we don’t always hit the mark. Colour blindness impacts people in different ways, and we are aware of the impact the condition has through personal experience. Our Sales Manager Martin Robertson is colour blind and we want to share his experience of the condition. Making all digital and offline content fully accessible is a journey for every organisation that never stops. That includes us! The more knowledge we all share about the barriers that stop people from accessing your content, the more we can all learn to keep progressing. This is crucial to making digital information and services accessible and inclusive to the widest possible audience. Here’s Martin’s story about his experience of being colour blind, we hope you find it useful. What sort of colour blindness do you have? I’m red/green colour blind, which is deuteranomaly and protanomaly. From a practical standpoint this most often makes it difficult for me to identify some shades of greens from browns, or browns from reds, or blues from purples. But that’s not exhaustive. To give you a practical example of what I mean I could stand at the top of a snooker table and ask you to replace one of the reds in the triangle with the brown. I won’t be able to tell you which ball is the brown one. But, I can tell the difference between the brown ball and the green ball, due to the specific shades. However, once at school I drew a horse green and the grass brown as I couldn’t distinguish the shades. You can read more about the different types of colour blindness on the Colour Blind Awareness website. When did you discover you were colour-blind? I was seven when my colour blindness was confirmed. One Saturday afternoon at my Grandma’s there was horse racing on the TV. I pointed out the one with the brown jersey as the one I wanted to win. My grandad nodded, my Grandma and Mam looked at each other and organised a test for me – there was no brown jersey, only a green one. Colour blindness is genetic and more common in males, typically passed on by females, so, knowing my Grandad was colour blind they knew at that point I was too. Do you think that colour-blindness is misunderstood? It’s about colour perception, so I think colour blindness is a misleading term. I can see colours, they just look different to me than they do to the next person. What can website owners do differently to make their websites more inclusive to people with colour-blindness? In web design (or any design for that matter) things that make a difference are not only using colours to distinguish differences, but using good contrast ratios and colour charts. If you could wave a magic wand, what single thing would you improve in terms of the use of colour? The key is contrast. There’s a well-known betting firm whose website gives you a pop up warning if odds have changed – I still like horse racing! That pop up is white text on a yellow background and I can’t read it. You can visit the Colour Blind Awareness website for more information. The Colour Blind Awareness organisation has been founded to raise awareness of colour blindness (colour vision deficiency) and aims to be the first point of reference in the UK for people seeking information on colour blindness.

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Streamlining accessibility compliance at a major UK law firm

19 Dec 2017 | news

In the UK alone, it is estimated that 11 million people have some form of disability. This includes sight loss and learning disabilities. As more companies and organisations move their operations online, this can present a significant challenge to the millions of people around the world who are visually impaired. As the rise of websites and e-commerce will continue to grow at an exponential rate, these challenges will become even more significant in the years to come. Recently, Ward Hadaway, one of the UK’s Top 100 law firms with offices in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester, implemented Recite Me’s innovative software to improve its web accessibility. James Sykes, Head of Marketing at Ward Hadaway, said: “In my experience, the various regulations around accessibility are quite often unclear and at times regressive. As such they aren’t necessarily in the best interests of all users, including those with special needs.” When the firm came across Recite Me earlier this year, they found a simple and straightforward approach that would cater to clients with special needs, as well as satisfying compliance regulations. It also enhanced rather than restricted the contemporary nature of the site. With the simple click of a button, visitors to the site can now hear audio descriptions, alter the text size, change fonts and languages, and even enable a ruler or screen mask to help users read lines of text more easily. James added, “We’ve always made sure that the site is compatible [for those with special needs] via screen readers, variable font sizes and other browser-controlled tools. When we came across Recite, we saw it would provide all of those tools in a very simple way, which was appealing to the firm to increase the obvious accessibility of the site across multiple platforms and devices.” James is confident that these steps will go a long way in addressing accessibility concerns, and will improve the overall web experience for all users. He adds, “With what we’ve already done, plus the Recite Me toolbar, we’re very confident that we now offer solutions for a whole range of users who may be browsing the site.”

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We are going to the BDF's first ever Scottish conference – see you there?

04 Dec 2017 | news

Our Sales Executive Keith Moutter will be going to the Business Disability Forum’s (BDF) first ever Scottish conference on behalf of Recite Me. Business Disability Forum (BDF) is a not-for-profit member organisation that helps to remove the barriers between public and private organisations and disabled people to make it easier to do business with and employ disabled people. The free one-day conference, which is titled Disability in Scotland – going places is being hosted by RBS at their Edinburgh Headquarters. The theme is Going Places and the conference will explore inclusive tourism and the accessibility of Scottish tourist attractions, plus the varied career aspirations of disabled people and progression within the workplace. The conference also marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), which aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and gain support for the dignity, rights and well-being of disabled people. Speakers at the conference include Chris McCoy MBE, Equality and Diversity Manager from Visit Scotland, who will be bringing the perspective of business in the vibrant Scottish tourism industry. Disabled and older tourists from the Scottish domestic market alone spend £1.3 billion pounds in Scotland per year, which represents a 9% rise between 2009 and 2015. And hospitality businesses and tourist attractions can’t afford to miss out on this market. The same goes for transport companies. Especially as Glasgow will host the athletics European Championships in 2018. Chris McCoy MBE will demonstrate a new access tool developed with Visit England that will help businesses in Scotland showcase how they welcome disabled tourists. We’re very keen to learn about the new tool as we understand accessibility and how organisations can make sure they can reach the widest possible audience online. Organisations like Great Western Railway (GWR) and Arriva UK Bus already use Recite Me to make their websites accessible and inclusive to older and disabled people, and those who don’t speak English as a first language. We think this is a great chance to learn about what’s happening with accessibility and inclusion in the Scottish tourism industry and we are sure it will be a great success. Are you going to the event? If you see Keith at the event please feel free to go and say hello. He’s always keen to chat about accessibility and inclusion and how we 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 joining the debate about accessibility and inclusion in Scotland.

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Going Purple for International Day of Persons with Disabilities

01 Dec 2017 | news

Its International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on Sunday 3 December. IDPD is run by the UN’s Division for Social Policy and Development Disability and aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and gain support for the dignity, rights and well-being of disabled people. It also aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all areas of society, and to grow awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. To coincide with IDPD 2017 PurpleSpace, which is the world's only professional development hub for disability network leaders, is running a campaign for organisations to turn purple. The theme for IDPD is 2017 transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all and all of the UN’s member states are being encouraged to strengthen the role of disabled people as agents of change. So PurpleSpace decided to encourage its own community of global disability change agents to lead celebrations from the front by creating a Purple Light Up to mark IDPD. The Purple Light Up has seen a wave of pledges of support from organisations including: Barclays, BP, Disabled Police Association, Government Departments, KPMG and Wales Millennium Centre. One of the ways organisations are being asked to support the campaign is to dress building in purple, which might include using flags, bunting and lighting, as well as internal spaces. And as we are a technology company we thought the best way we could show our support for the campaign is turn our website purple from Friday until Monday (1/12/17 – 4/12/17) Is your organisation turning purple this year to support IDPD? Tweet us your photos to @reciteme using these hashtags #PurpleLightUp for #IDPD and we’ll make sure we share them to show the world what’s happening.

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Transforming Torridge: District Council makes its website and online services more accessible

29 Nov 2017 | news

Torridge District Council has added cloud-based web accessibility software Recite Me to its website to make it accessible to the widest possible audience. Located within the north west of Devon, Torridge District Council has a population of around 67,000 people. The council’s website currently attracts over 10,000 users per month and it has recently had a refresh to make many more services available online. The council was looking for a web solution to make the site more accessible and inclusive to the widest possible audience. The move is part of the Council’s Transforming Torridge programme that aims to make to make it easier and more convenient for people to deal with the Council. Recite Me has been added to the website to make it as accessible as possible to people of all ages, including people with a disability, learning difficulty or other impairment. Recite Me’s accessibility and language toolbar can be activated via a button at the top of each web page on the Council’s website. The toolbar gives users a number of options to make reading easier, such as having the text read aloud to them or changing font sizes and colours. The toolbar can also instantly translate any text-based content into more than 100 languages. This is crucial for the Council because its website needs to be accessible to the increasing number of tourists that come to visit and holiday in the area, who may not speak English as their first language. Councillor David Hurley , Lead Member for Internal Resources at Torridge District Council said: “Our website is becoming an ever more important tool for delivering information and allowing people to access services electronically. “Many services now allow applications to be made online but we need to ensure that those people that might struggle with the standard way this information is presented are not excluded from these new ways of interacting. “The Recite Me toolbar will bridge that gap for people that may have had difficulty in using our website in the past and is a practical and positive approach to improving accessibility.” Ross Linnett, CEO & Founder of Recite Me said: “We believe that all websites should be accessible to the widest possible audience. “We are very pleased to have been able to help Torridge District Council make its website more accessible and inclusive and applaud their efforts to help people access services online. “The new accessible website will allow the widest possible audience to access information with ease and do what they need to do on the website, in the way that works best for them.”

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Our Fire and Rescue services are more hi-tech than you think

21 Nov 2017 | news

The UK’s fire and rescue services have to evolve with the times, like all our public services. The Blue Light Innovation Conference in London this December will offer senior professionals from the fire and rescue and other emergency services the chance to address some of the major challenges that emergency services face. It will also explore how emerging technologies can be implemented to deliver first class blue-light services. Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) is a great example of a service that has embraced new technology to deliver first class services. LFRS has become a leading authority in the UK on using VR in emergency services training and accident prevention. It has created a partnership with RiVR, a leading British developer of photorealistic virtual reality experiences, to use VR to train emergency staff and educate young people as part of its ‘Fatal Four’ road safety campaign. Paul Speight, who is Watch Manager at LFRS, will be giving a keynote speech at the Blue Light Conference about virtual reality in emergency services training and accident prevention. His session will cover using VR goggles and specially produced film, to immerse participants in a pre and post-crash scenario. It will also cover developing virtual reality training to engage and influence the attitudes and behaviours of first responders and young people. It’s also great to see other areas of innovation being covered in the conference, such as mental health in the workplace and adopting cloud-based technology for rapid emergency responses. Innovation is vital – but what about inclusion? The UK has an ageing, growing and diverse population. And this brings its own challenges for public services to ensure that different groups of people don’t face digital exclusion. Digital exclusion occurs when people can’t access digital content online because of: disability, age, gender, language, socio-economic status, and geographic location, not just connectivity! For example, in London around one in five people don’t speak English as a first language but they still need to be able to access information about public services in a language they can understand. And more than eleven million people in the UK have a disability, and they also need to access fire and rescue services online to do everything from read information about how to choose the right smoke alarms to look for flood advice. The Recite Me toolbar lets visitors to your website customise your site the way they need it to work for them. It includes a host of tools like text to speech functionality and dyslexia software to help people with disabilities. And it can also translate written content into over 100 languages at the click of a button.

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Police forces in the UK are proudly serving the whole community

07 Nov 2017 | news

All public sector organisations have a duty to provide accessible and inclusive communications, including websites, as part of the requirement for reasonable adjustments outlined by The Equality Act (2010). There are some great examples of how our different public services in the UK use different accessible and inclusive communications to include our diverse community. For example, did you know about the Police Enhanced Access Line (PEAL) launched by Cambridgeshire Constabulary for people who have difficulties with telephone communications? The service is for people who may benefit from additional support when contacting the police and it gives people who pre-register direct access to a highly trained police call taker if they ever need to contact the constabulary. Once registered, anyone calling the number will be connected directly to a specially trained police call taker. This can reduce the time they spend waiting to speak to an operator and helps minimise any pain or discomfort they may have when holding a telephone. The communications for public sector organisations also have to cater for people from a wide range of cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds. This includes people who speak English as a second language. Approximately 8% of UK population speak English as second language and one in five people in London fall into this category. And the top four languages spoken in the UK after English are Welsh, Polish, Urdu and Panjabi (Punjabi). That’s why it’s crucial to provide web access for diverse communities who speak these languages and others by using accessibility software like Recite Me, which can translate any web content into over 100 languages. Our clients like Sussex Police and Norfolk Police use Recite Me to make their websites accessible and inclusive, which enables the diverse communities they serve to access information and services. Not only can people from these communities opt to translate any written content on the two constabulary’s websites into their preferred language, they can also opt to have it read it out aloud to them in that language.

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Anglian Building Products chooses Recite Me for flexible accessibility solution

26 Oct 2017 | news

Anglian Building Products has added web accessibility software Recite Me to its website to make information more accessible by allowing users to customise the way they access the content. Recite Me lets users do things like increase the font sizes, opt to have the content read aloud to them or translate the content into more than 100 different languages. 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 customer journey is a priority. Managing the residents’ experience includes how easily they can access key information about the products and service they can expect from it. To make residents aware of Recite Me, Anglian Building Products have added the logo onto the front cover of their hard copy guides and handbooks. Ross St Quintin, Head of Sales at Anglian Building Products, said: “We decided to add Recite Me to our website because it has a wide variety of accessibility options that allow residents to easily access content online. We have recently completed a project that now enables our Resident information handbook and Operating, cleaning and maintenance guide to be compatible with the Recite Me software. This means our residents can now use Recite Me to view our handbooks and guides in a format and language that works best for them.” “We are also currently expanding this area to provide more information and support to help residents through the customer journey, from pre-works installation to post-work maintenance. Overall, Recite Me has proved to be a great accessibility solution for us and we’d happily recommend it.” Ross Linnett, CEO and Founder of Recite Me said: “Adding Recite Me to the Anglian Building Products website is a great move by the company. They are also being innovative by promoting Recite Me as an accessibility option on their hard copy guides and handbooks, which is making it clear to residents that there are accessible and inclusive formats easily available online. Recite Me gives more flexibility for residents who need accessible and inclusive content and Anglian Building Products should be commended for taking these steps to help residents.” Try Recite Me for FREE on your website now 100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible for their customers – why not book a free trial for your website now?

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Recite Me CEO & Founder Ross Linnett to run at Dyslexia Fundraiser in USA

13 Oct 2017 | news

Our CEO and founder Ross Linnett is taking on the Dyslexia Dash 2017 5k Run/Walk in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on Saturday (14/10/2017). Ross is currently in Atlanta because Recite Me won a place on technology giant Sage’s Start-up exchange competition in Atlanta, USA, to help us to grow our business overseas. We were picked as one of four start-ups that have travelled to Atlanta to take part in a programme to help launch Recite Me in the US market and grow our business in foreign markets. The Dyslexia Dash is organised by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) as it celebrates October as Dyslexia Awareness Month in Georgia. The Dyslexia Dash is the IDA Georgia branch’s biggest fundraiser and is due to attract more than 1,500 runners and walkers. The morning is a fun-filled family event that also helps to increase awareness for struggling readers. Recite Me is a gold sponsor of this year’s Dyslexia Dash and Ross will be putting on his running shoes to show his personal support for the event. Although it’s a fun run we are expecting Ross to post a good time, as he is a former elite runner who was the joint second fastest sprinter in the UK over 100 meters in 1999. No pressure then, Ross! The steady growth of the Dyslexia Dash and participation of sponsors like Recite Me has helped the IDA Georgia branch to raise significant funds. These enable it to provide teacher training and conference scholarships, information and support to families, and free community outreach events throughout the state of Georgia. For example, the IDA Georgia branch has provided more than $40,000 back to the community for free and low-cost structured literacy teacher training, as well as over 40 free community outreach events in 2017 alone. The run takes place on the fifth and final day of our involvement in Sage’s Start-up exchange in Atlanta. The exchange programme was launched by Sage in partnership with the Department for International Trade, Newcastle City Council, Invest Atlanta, and the Atlanta Mayor’s Office. It has connected us with national and regional decision makers and helped us engage with investors and business leaders in our industry. Ross Linnett said: “I’ve had a brilliant experience in Atlanta as part of the Recite Me team taking part in Sage’s Start-up exchange. “It’s great to mark the finish of the exchange with a run in the Dyslexia Dash. “It’s an event that raises funds to help the great work that the IDA Georgia branch does to help people in Georgia who have dyslexia. “I’m dyslexic so I understand the huge difference support can make to help people with dyslexia to thrive in everyday life. “It’s a real pleasure for Recite Me to sponsor the event and for me to get a chance to get out for a run in the USA.” Karen Huppertz, President of the IDA Georgia branch, said: "While as a 501(c)3 organization, IDA does not endorse specific products. “We do, however, support and encourage technology like Recite Me's web accessibility solutions that make websites more accessible to all people. “As a 2017 Dyslexia Dash sponsor, ReciteMe is helping support IDA's mission to provide resources and support for parents, educators and people affected by dyslexia." If you want to help people with dyslexia and make a donation to Dyslexia Dash visit their fundraising website now.

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Why National Dyslexia Awareness Week matters to your organisation

05 Oct 2017 | news

This week is national Dyslexia Awareness Week. Each day there are daily themes intended to get people thinking about different aspects of dyslexia. The theme for Thursday (5/10/17) is reasonable adjustments for dyslexic individuals in all sectors of society. So we want to share some information with you about how your organisation can make reasonable adjustments to make your communications accessible for people who have dyslexia. Dyslexia: the facts First, it’s worth noting there are probably more people who have dyslexia than you may think. Around 10 to 15 per cent of people in the world have dyslexia or another learning difficulty. In the UK that figures stands at around 15 per cent. This means that one in every 6.7 people in this country has dyslexia or another learning difficulty. But a large percentage of people in the UK don’t understand what dyslexia is and how to support people who have dyslexia. Dyslexia is identified as a disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010. The Act requires all organisations to make reasonable adjustments to the way they provide goods, services and communications for disabled customers. This is to ensure organisations change the way they do things to meet the needs of disabled people. You can use technology to make your communications accessible Reasonable adjustments include making sure your communications are accessible for disabled customers. And you can use assistive technology such as accessibility software to meet the needs of your customers who have a disability like dyslexia. Recite Me is cloud-based accessibility software that will let your disabled customers access your organisation’s information on your website. For example, if you use paper forms or marketing materials they can be difficult for people with dyslexia to read. But Recite Me has a great range of features that help customers who have dyslexia and it will let them access digital versions of any document on your website. Recite Me makes it easy for dyslexic people to access content in a variety of ways People with dyslexia can read content quicker and easier if they are given the functionality to allow them to change the size and colour of the text and background. Recite Me lets users choose the exact colour contrast between the text and background by letting them pick the combination of font colour and background colour that works best for them. Recite Me also lets users change the font type and size, zoom in on any part of a webpage, plus it has a spell-checker and a fully integrated dictionary and thesaurus. And Recite Me can give your customers the option to have text from your website read-aloud to them and they can also download and save any written web content as an MP3 file. This means they can listen to it on any PC or mobile device, where and when they want to. If you want to ensure you’re making reasonable adjustments to make your communications accessible to people with dyslexia and other disabilities book a free trial for your organisation now.

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Why software is the solution to removing the barriers to learning

28 Sep 2017 | news

University undergraduate degree programmes across the UK start this week. It’s a good time to remember that up-to-date information should be accessible no matter what device your students are using or what language they speak. To make sure your students can access information to learn you need to consider the variety of barriers that get in the way of their learning experience in different places. These include in lectures and seminars, in the library or computer labs, or whilst they study at home or on the go (e.g. whilst travelling). Assistive software can remove barriers to learning Different types of assistive software can remove these barriers and support students in a variety of ways, depending on their needs. For example, software can support your students who have a learning difficulty such as dyslexia to access digital academic content. It can help them with spelling and vocabulary, or by having the text of content read out aloud to them or if they struggle to concentrate when reading long passages of text. Also, assistive software can help people who have full or partial sight-loss to access digital content by allowing them to zoom in on text and opt to have text read aloud to them. Software can also make digital content accessible for people who don’t speak English as a first language, by offering them the option to translate the content into the language of their choice. Recite Me is perfect for your disabled students Recite Me is cloud-based accessibility software that will let all your students access your website and e-learning platform anytime, anywhere, on any mobile device or PC. Although it’s similar to other assistive technology software programmes it can offer your students a wider range of features to suit all needs. It’s perfect for students with learning difficulties like dyslexia or disabilities such as full or partial sight-loss. Your students can use it to have text from any website read-aloud to them and it also lets them download and save any written web content as an MP3 file. This means they can listen to it on any mobile device or PC, where and when they want to. Recite Me can also let your students choose the exact colour contrast between the text and background by letting them pick the combination of font colour and background colour that works best for them. And it lets users change the font type and size, zoom in on any part of a webpage, plus it has a spell-checker and a fully integrated dictionary and thesaurus. The other advantage of Recite Me is that any of your students who don’t speak English as their first language can use the translation tool to access web content in their language of choice. This tool removes the language barrier to learning that some students face and lets them learn in their language of choice. Book your free trial now! Do you want to ensure you’re removing the barriers to learning for your students by making your academic web content accessible to everyone? Book a free trial of Recite Me for your university now.

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Is your e-learning platform mobile ready?

21 Sep 2017 | news

Schools, colleges and higher education providers across the UK now use a variety of different e-learning platforms to support their pupils and students. They can allow students to access a range of learning materials (e.g. pdf’s, videos, presentations) and submit assignments, in an inclusive and accessible learning environment. Higher education providers should have accessible and mobile ready e-learning platforms The Disabled Student Sector Leadership Group (DSSLG) published a report in January about how higher education providers can ensure they are equipped to support disabled students. The report says that small changes can make a big difference to inclusive learning and that all teaching materials should be available to students on an accessible e-learning platform: “…there are some very simple changes that can make a significant difference to student outcomes around inclusive practice: “[These include] Housing all teaching materials on the virtual learning environment in such a way that students can access them when they are needed, before or after formal teaching.” In short, up-to-date information should be accessible no matter what device your students are using or what language they speak, but are you sure that your e-learning platform is mobile ready? It simply MUST be! Just look at how your students use mobile devices in 2017. Smartphones are vital for your students The OFCOM Communications Market Report 2017 that was published in August shows that your students use mobile devices to access the internet from anywhere to suit their needs. And most of them consider their smartphones as their number one device to access the internet. The report says: “For most people, mobile devices are their most important device for accessing the internet. “Consistent with high take-up, more than four in ten (42%) UK internet users, including nearly two-thirds of 16-34 year olds and 44% of 35-54s, regard their smartphones as their most important device for accessing the internet.” (pp 164) This data is consistent with other figures published by OFCOM in its Access and Inclusion in 2016 report, which was released in March. The report shows that: 93% of 16 – 24 year olds use a smartphone for personal use – this is a whopping 20% greater than the UK average (73%) for the total population 97% of 16 – 24 year olds use the internet anywhere – this is a 10% more than the UK average (87%) for the total population These figures for smart phone use show just how important they are for young people. This includes the one in in five people in the UK have some form of disability. Recite Me can make your site mobile ready and accessible to everyone Recite Me is a cloud-based accessibility software programme that will let all your students access your website and e-learning platform anytime, anywhere, on any mobile device or PC. It is great for people with learning difficulties like dyslexia or disabilities such as full or partial sight-loss, or loss of mobility through wide-ranging health conditions. For example, it offers students the option to have text from any website read-aloud to them. It also gives students the option of downloading and saving any written web content as an MP3 file, which means they can listen to it on any mobile device or PC, where and when they want to. Recite Me also has a number of other great features that help students with disabilities and learning difficulties like dyslexia. Book your free trial now! If you want to ensure you’re supporting your students by making your academic web content mobile ready and accessible to everyone book a free trial of Recite Me for your university now. Do you want to ensure you’re supporting your students by making your academic web content mobile ready and accessible to everyone? Book a free trial of Recite Me for your university now.

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Recite Me wins place on Sage US business exchange programme

19 Sep 2017 | news

Recite Me has won a place on technology giant Sage’s Start-up exchange competition in Atlanta, USA, to help us to grow our business overseas. We were picked as one of four start-ups that will travel to Atlanta to take part in a programme to help launch Recite Me in the US market and grow our business in foreign markets. The exchange offers two C-Level executives from North East companies the opportunity to join a five day Start-up Exchange in Atlanta. This will connect us with national and regional decision makers, and engage with investors and business leaders in our industry. The programme was launched by Sage in partnership with the Department for International Trade, Newcastle City Council, Invest Atlanta, and the Atlanta Mayor’s Office. Two start-ups from Atlanta will travel to the UK as part of the programme. Greg Hands, the Minister of State in the Department for International Trade, said: “Drone Ops and Recite Me are showcasing the sort of creativity and innovation, which makes the North East a globaltech hub. “It’s great to see them given this opportunity to reach new international customers with Department for International Trade support along with Sage, Invest Atlanta and the City of Newcastle.” Alan Laing, managing director for UK and Ireland at Sage, said: “Sage started as a small business in the North East of England back in 1981 so we understand the mentality and raw ambition business owners here have particularly at this early phase of their growth. “We know by nurturing innovation early in a business’ life cycle you can improve their growth prospects. This programme is important to Sage, as the champion of small and medium businesses. “We want to help give back and provide businesses with invaluable support and guidance for taking their next steps, whether that’s growing, expanding into new markets, or looking at how tech can help them be at the forefront of innovation. “Ultimately, that helps the UK economy - as these businesses have a vital role to play in boosting productivity and fuelling the economic growth within their region.” Ross Linnett, CEO and Founder and Recite Me, said: “I’d like to thank Sage on behalf of everyone at Recite Me for recognising our success to date and giving us an opportunity to grow overseas. “We’re thrilled about this chance to meet new people and grow our business in the USA thanks to this wonderful opportunity from Sage. “It’s great to see Sage, a multinational with its roots and headquarters in Newcastle, offering opportunities like this to businesses based in the North East of England. “We intend to make the most of our exchange in Atlanta, which hosts the U.S. headquarters of companies like Coca-Cola and CNN, and take the opportunity to grow our business in the USA.”

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What is happening with the Disabled Student's Allowance?

12 Sep 2017 | news

There were more than 44,000 UK-students with a known disability studying full-time first degree courses in 2015-16, according to data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England. More than forty per cent of these students were in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). Your disabled students can apply for DSAs to help them pay for some of the extra costs they incur because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability. What DSAs can pay for DSAs can help your disabled students with the costs of: specialist equipment, e.g computer hardware or software that is needed because of a disability non-medical helpers extra travel because a disability other disability-related costs of studying DSAs cover specialist equipment like assistive technology, whether that’s hardware like screen-readers or cloud-based software like Recite Me and Include Me. Recite Me and Include Me can help your disabled students to learn Recite Me allows students to customise a website the way they need it to work for them. It offers users options including text to speech functionality, dyslexia software, an interactive dictionary, a translation tool with over 100 languages and new changes. Include Me lets users access digital content like websites, desktop applications and documents (e.g Microsoft Office docs, pdf’s) anywhere, anytime, on any device. It has a similar range of features to Recite Me, plus options like a phonetic speller tool, which spots the most unusual miss-spellings, which regular spell-checkers would not recognise. It then offers spelling corrections to select the correct replacement word for a document. Include Me is incredibly helpful for students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties as it can help them read and write what they need to. As a company, Recite Me is an accredited supplier for DSA funded accessibility software, which means your students can use their DSA to buy Include Me to help support their learning. Changes to what DSAs cover and what universities must now pay for However, there has been a change in the responsibility for higher education providers, which are now required to provide certain aspects of disability related support previously funded via the DSAs. In January The Disabled Student Sector Leadership Group (DSSLG) published a report on how higher education providers can ensure they are equipped to support disabled students. It helps higher education providers to consider this by looking at the requirements to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ under The Equality Act (2010). The report says: “…there are some very simple changes that can make a significant difference to student outcomes around inclusive practice: “Housing all teaching materials on the virtual learning environment in such a way that students can access them when they are needed, before or after formal teaching; “Improve the accessibility of all materials provided (even if just with the right sub-headings or an appropriate use of font).”* Up-to-date information should be accessible to all of your students If you want to ensure you’re supporting your students by making your academic web content accessible to everyone book a free trial of Recite Me for your university now. *(‘Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education as a route to excellence’, 2017, pp19).

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