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

Learning for all: cutting edge accessibility software launches at BETT

21 Jan 2014 | news

Leading accessibility software firm Recite Me today announced the launch of a new, innovative product for the education sector, which enables greater inclusion for learners with special educational needs (SEN) or language and communication needs. Include Me is being launched at the BETT Show on learning technology, 22 - 25 January 2014, at Stand B25, Excel, London. Include Me (beta version) is the newest accessibility software product in the learning technology market and has been specifically developed to support learners in primary, secondary and higher education. Providing a range of features that support learners with dyslexia, visual impairments and other communications needs, Include Me works in the classroom, library or at home. The innovative Cloud based technology makes Include Me easy to use and minimal training is required for support staff or students. Ross Linnett, CEO of Recite Me said: “We decided to develop an accessibility product to help children and young adults learn because schools, colleges and universities were asking us for a solution tailored to their needs. “There are around 1.6 million children and young adults with special educational needs in the schools system and over 1 million who have English as an additional language (EAL). “Include Me makes digital content like websites, desktop applications and documents accessible to all learners at every stage of their education. Using up-to-the minute technology we provide innovative solutions such as colour overlays for learners with dyslexia, and our phonetic speller is a great tool for children or young adults with language or reading difficulties. “Our technology is Cloud based and easy to use for all age groups. Include Me is the ideal solution for any educational setting needing to improve its SEN and EAL inclusion ratings.”

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Accessible Website: Lunch and Learn

17 Jan 2014 | news

Web accessibility software makes your website more inclusive and can help you to grow your organisation’s reach; it also helps you to comply with anti-discrimination legislation in the UK, EU and worldwide. Research shows that there are millions of people in the world who cannot easily access digital content because of a health condition, impairment or disability. Globally there are an estimated 285 million people with a visual impairment of some kind and around 10-15% of the world’s population has dyslexia. In the UK alone there are 1.5 million people with a learning disability and 4.2 million people who have English as a second language. If your website is accessible, more visitors will be able to access your digital content at work, at home or on a mobile device. Inclusive Employers & Recite Me invite you to an informative and practical lunch & learn session to find out why web accessibility is important part of being a more inclusive employer. If you know that you need to do something different, this is the event for you... To book a place email or call us on 020 7803 0689. Cost: Free

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BBC Newcastle: Recite Me's Trip to China to Meet PM

05 Dec 2013 | news

Listen to our radio interview with BBC Newcastle's Alfie and Charlie at breakfast to hear all about our latest software developments and Ross's recent visit to China with Prime Minister David Cameron. You can listen to the interview by clicking here

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Recite returns to China on PM's trade mission

03 Dec 2013 | news

Leading web accessibility firm Recite Me Ltd has returned to China, this time as part of the Prime Minister’s high profile trade mission. The visit comes less than 2 months after the Chancellor’s visit in October, which Ross Linnett, CEO & Founder of Recite Me took part in. Over 100 British businesses and organisations are accompanying the Prime Minister on the 3-day visit to China. Recite Me is one of a small selection of dynamic and forward-thinking SMEs taking part in the trade mission. SMEs are vital to the global economy and the Prime Minister’s trade mission is an opportunity for British and Chinese SMEs to forge new alliances and grow their supply chains. Ross Linnett, CEO & Founder of Recite Me said: “I am hoping to capitalise on this second trade visit to China and continue to build a presence for Recite Me in this important emerging technology market. I am delighted to have been asked by UKTI to be part of a high-profile British trade mission again. “Following on from our first China visit with Chancellor George Osborne in October, I am aiming to strengthen some of the relationships I forged and to secure the strategic partners we need to facilitate a stable market entry. “Its too early to say whether I’ll be signing any commercial deals, but I do know from my last trip that Chinese business recognises the importance of website accessibility to attracting new customers. “There is a symmetry to the web accessibility solution Recite offers businesses and the importance of overseas trade mission, both enable you to enter new markets by growing your customer base.“

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The Journal Interview Ross Linnett on breaking down the export wall

13 Nov 2013 | news

I recently had the honour of being the only North East entrepreneur to be invited on a trade visit to China with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. The opportunity came totally out of the blue, but clearly we are doing something right, and this was an invite I had to accept. Having spent a week in the world’s largest nation, I can now truly appreciate the opportunities on offer for North East businesses. Our schedule was relentless, taking in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and we were given the opportunity to meet business leaders from some of China’s largest internet and technology companies, including Baidu, Alibaba, 10 Cent and Huawei. You may not have heard of them, but more than 90% of Chinese internet users search on Baidu each month, and if you own a 3G dongle the chances are it was made by Huawei, who are also challenging Cisco’s dominance of the global networking market. What really struck me is how much the reality of doing business in China differs from the popular impression. For example, many people think that the Chinese are happy to export but mistrustful of any companies want to import products or services. I don’t know if it’s because our web accessibility platform offers a service that can be used in any language, but we found the people we met with to be very open to new ideas and keen to potentially work with us. You may also have heard of the Great Firewall of China, which limits internet connectivity between the country and the rest of the world. For Cloud-based platforms, such as Recite, this can be a challenge, but within China the web is relatively open. It’s also possible to host services in Hong Kong, which is within the Great Firewall but also open to the global web. In fact, with its western-style financial system, Hong Kong provides an ideal gateway to for UK firms wanting to do business in China. Doing business with China does have its challenges, both cultural and political, but it would be foolish to dismiss the opportunities that exist in the country. The fact is that Chinese businesses want to be the biggest and best in the world, and they’re not afraid to bring in products and services from abroad to help them to achieve that goal. We are already recruiting to prepare for our expansion into China and it is also worth noting that UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) can offer all the help and support you need, including assistance from the British Embassy, to help you make the right connections. Published in The Journal 13/11/2013

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Recite heads to China

13 Oct 2013 | news

Web accessibility pioneer Ross Linnett, CEO & Founder of Recite Me Ltd a leading web accessibility company is taking part in the official British trade mission to China led by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Only 20 technology companies were chosen to take part in the high profile trade mission, from a list of over a 100 leading British technology firms. Recite Me is the only web accessibility software company on the trade mission. Ross Linnett said: “I am delighted to be taking Recite Me’s web accessibility solutions to China and representing British industry. I believe the internet should be accessible to everyone and we offer a Cloud based solution that works on any device, anywhere in the world; an ideal solution for economies with developing infrastructure and a heavy reliance on mobile technology. The fact that Recite Me were chosen as part of the delegation shows that the British and Chinese government's are starting to take web accessibility seriously. “The statistics speak for themselves: there are around 285 million people with a visual impairment in the world, 10-15% of the world’s population has dyslexia and 774 million people in the world cannot read or write. Recite Me provides the software to make any website more accessible to millions of people, by reading out the content, changing the colour contrast settings or translating into one of 52 languages, including Chinese. “I founded Recite Me because traditional assistive technology wasn’t working for me. I have dyslexia and need to change the settings on my devices so I can read the content more easily, or better still, have it read out to me. I was frustrated because the solution offered to me only worked on one computer. Like everyone else, I wanted to access content on the internet on my tablet, my smartphone or my desktop. Recite Me is part of the UK Trade & Investment delegation of leading British technology companies which includes: Busuu, Cambridge Communication Systems, Darktrace, Epic Learning Group, Fat Pebble, Genalys, Immerse Learning, Inspired Gaming Group, Invoke Capital, Kinosis, Level39, Licentia Group, Memrise, Monitise, myPinPad, Omnisoft Services, Sayduck, SwiftKey & The Livingstone Foundation.

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Recite supporting World Sight Day!

10 Oct 2013 | news

Recite helped Support World Sight Day on October 10th by joining Toms #beshady campaign to raise awreness of visual impairement and blindness worldwide. 285million people worldwide are visually impaired, 80% don't have to be! Find out more about the campaign here! Some of the Recite Team supporting @TOMS #beshady campaign for #WorldSightDay. — Recite (@reciteme) October 10, 2013

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Ross Linnett Interview on BBC Radio Newcastle

25 Sep 2013 | news

This past Monday Recite Me CEO Ross Linnett stopped by BBC Radio Newcastle to have a chat with Jonathan Miles. During the interview Ross talked about Dyslexia, from his days at school, being diagnosed at University, to starting a business to help aid people in the same position as him. You can listen to the interview by clicking the links below Listen to Part 1 here Listen to Part 2 here

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Our Thoughts on the 7 Web Accessibility Myths

03 Sep 2013 | news

Given the fact we live and breathe web accessibility here at Recite we are always on the look out for those who share our passions. We found the following article by Gosia Mlynarczyk, an Accessibility Consultant for Nomensa, on their humanising technology blog, and thought it was worth sharing. One quote we feel needs to be highlighted in neon and underlined for all to see, is the statement that: “it is estimated that around 10% of the population worldwide has a disability that affects Internet use. This means accessibility affects potentially over 600 million people worldwide. Hardly a demographic anyone should ignore. The seven accessibility myths discussed in the blog are that (we recommend reading it in full): Accessible websites are ugly and boring - Accessible websites are only ugly and boring if you really want them to be; Web accessibility is expensive, time-consuming & hard to implement - Creating them doesn’t take years, cost a fortune and/or require an army of geniuses; Accessible sites only benefit small percentages of people - They benefit few people. Few billions in fact; Web accessibility is optional - Web accessibility is totally optional, if you don’t mind being sued and taken to court; Web accessibility is the sole responsibility of developers - The Web would be a better place, if we all stopped pointing fingers and took the responsibility; Automated evaluation tools are enough - Until artificial intelligence reaches the level of human intelligence, automated accessibility testing is not enough; Making websites accessible doesn’t have any additional benefits - Web accessibility comes with many freebies. Now why would you say no to that? Gosia also pointed out that the case against BMI Baby by the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) is not an isolated one, and is therefore something all companies ought to be considering. BMI Baby and the RNIB agreed to work together, out of court, and we were saddened to see BMI ceased operations earlier this month after British Airways couldn’t find a buyer. We hope other travel companies will try and pick up where they left off, without the need for another law suit. In fact British Airways themselves are working with AbilityNet a leading accessibility charity to review their websites accessibility. Text to speech software solutions, like Recite, is one of the most effective, unobtrusive solutions to ensuring instant accessibility. Other examples of this kind of action were pointed out in the blog post. In Australia, in 2000, the Olympics organising committee were sued by a blind man over their inaccessible website, and in America, “ and, recently, were also successfully sued” over their websites. The internet is as much a part of modern life as mobile phones, air travel, and roads. No one should be denied access. No one should be left outside in the cold.

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Legible Business Cards - It's Everybody's Business!

20 Jun 2013 | news

Any self-respecting business owner will recognise the importance of reaching the widest possible audience. But if a tool as modest as their business card is a barrier for some, are opportunities being missed? Nowadays business cards are almost unique as a means of written promotion that remain a physical entity. They can’t be formatted to meet their recipient’s individual needs, instead requiring inclusive design at source to accommodate all-comers. Here are some of the factors you might consider: 1. Who are you designing for? It is reckoned that: around 10% of the population are dyslexic, by 2050 there will be over 4 million people in the UK with some degree of sight loss and; approximately 1 in 10 men suffer from colour-blindness. That’s a lot of people, to all of whom your business might appeal if presented the right way. The following tips won’t exclude anybody but they could help you to include nearly everybody! 2. What are their needs? Dyslexic people prefer: Matte paper, thick enough that text on the other side doesn’t show through. A minimum font size of at least 12 – 14pt. Plain, sans serif fonts. Dark (not black) text against a light (not white), pastel background. Visually impaired people prefer: Matte paper, thick enough that text on the other side doesn’t show through. A minimum font size of 16pt. If this is not practical try to use at least 14pt. Plain, sans serif fonts. Dark text against a light background. Colour-blindness is an inability to differentiate between certain colours, the most prevalent pairing being red or pink and green. Try to avoid this combination to increase the accessibility of your design. 3. General good practice The following tips are good ideas for producing all accessible documents, be they business cards or not! Headings Use bold and / or increase the font size to differentiate headings from body text. Avoid underline, italic and block capitals, all of which can be harder to read. Images Avoid images as backgrounds to text as the letters and words will appear confused. Text alignment Align text to the left, particularly so visually impaired people can track where lines of text begin. Don’t justify text. Varying the spaces between letters and words makes it harder to tell where a line ends. Keep it horizontal! Vertically aligned text is much harder to read. Written By Oliver Smith on behalf of Vistaprint

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Adapt or face the music

05 Dec 2012 | news

Web accessibility is our driving passion here at Recite. So we like to give a shout out when we see other organisations and companies championing this issue. We noted here the case in the UK between BMI Baby and the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB), which resulted in an agreement to resolve the issue. In the US the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has been very active in the defence of blind students across a range of universities. During 2010 - 2011 the NFB supported students in Penn State, Florida State, Wright State, New York University and Northwestern University, which were all hit with law suits in defence of blind students over numerous accessibility failings. The NFB filing in federal court against NYU and Northwestern over the use of Google Apps for Education because “by adopting Google e-mail and other programs that aren’t fully compatible with technology that translates written words into speech” they are violating “the Americans with Disabilities Act.” Some of these cases are still working there way through the courts. Penn State University has already entered into an agreement to make the necessary changes to their websites and e-learning resources. An even bigger victory was scored a month ago in a Federal court in New York. This case will have consequences around the word, and we encourage those with accessibility concerns about there own websites to take notice. The case was between The Authors Guild and HathiTrust, a massive repository of digital books, which has been supported by Google and universities as they undertake the mammoth task of digitalising paper books. The Atlantic noted the key part of the courts reasoning, in favour of HathiTrust, comes down to the issue that “the Americans With Disabilities Act does not merely make this activity legal, it may even require it.” This means text to speech solutions could be one of the ways corporations avoid these kinds of law suits in the future.

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Ross Linnett named one of the Most Influential People in the North East

23 Nov 2012 | news

Recite are please to announce that their main man Ross Linnett has been named as one of the North East's most influencial people 2012 by The Journal. He has also been featured as one the up and coming Entrepenuers of the year... Watch this Space!....... "Welcome to the fifth edition of the Most Influential People in the North East, our annual publication that turns the spotlight on those individuals who are shaping the destiny of our region........[Continue Reading]"

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Recite remembers SXSW

22 Nov 2012 | news

South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, is without a doubt the unequaled tech and music event on the startup calendar. It is an essential gathering place in the tech universe. So, naturally, I was bouncing on the balls of my feet, with excitement, whilst waiting in the Newcastle International Airport departure lounge for my flight to the lone star state. I was the only one representing Recite, and would be the sole voice for my team at the HatchPitch competition. I was nervous and excited about this, in equal measure. My jet-lag from a recent trade visit to Australia certainly didn’t help my frame of mind, either. What I hadn’t counted on was meeting a couple people from back home. But isn’t that always the case - you cross an ocean and a continent, just to meet someone who lives a few miles away? My surprise was greater still when that person was Kieron Donoghue, founder of ShareMyPlaylists (the largest app on Spotify’s API, with over 1.5 million unique visitors per month). He already knew of Recite, knew my face already, and we ended up having a great time in Texas. We were joined by Paul Smith, author of The Twitchhiker, which starts with Paul in a hotel at a previous SXSW being interviewed by Good Morning America, after only a few hours sleep. Missing sleep is not uncommon for those attending SXSW. I recommend banking it before or after, and drinking copious amounts of coffee or energy drinks. Paul is program director of Europe’s first £1m incubator, ignite100, which at the time of writing is currently entering its second year. Recite had got down to the final 12, from 87 applicants, in the HatchPitch competition. It was my first chance to present to executives and entrepreneurs of this calibre. I had barely slept. I was jet-lagged. I had a butterfly greenhouse occupying the space where my stomach once existed. The judges panel included people like Don Dodge, a Developer Advocate for Google, Chris Bernard, who launched Microsoft’s BizSpark program, and Nicole Glaros of TechStars. Thinking of the credentials of the panel before me didn’t help my nerves. The butterflies turned into angry winged demons as I watched other contestants being meticulously pulled apart by the judges. After nearly five hours of watching the startup equivalent of Christians in the arena being thrown to the lions, I stood up. I took a deep breath, and gave my presentation. When I sat back down, sweat condensing on my body, an investor from the Valley turned to me and said, “you were the no brainer. You will have no problem raising funds. Good luck.” I managed a surprised thank you, and exhaled. The results came through within the hour. Recite placed third! I was thrilled. It had all been worth it. A weight lifted off my shoulders, my whole body felt lighter. And with that I left the Paul and Kieron, and we partied, in true startup style, like pirates. My experience at SXSW was one of several victories this year, which served as an example of how 2012 has been about validating the original vision, taking leaps forward, and positioning ourselves for even bigger and better things to come. Watch this space.

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Software Startup Fighting Open The Web To Everyone

19 Nov 2012 | news

The internet should be accessible to everyone. But it isn’t. For people with dyslexia, visual impairment and learning difficulties it can be confusing, duanting, and inaccessible. With the school term in full swing it’s worth considering what the internet, and online interactive whiteboard based lessons, are like for children with dyslexia and visual impairment. Ross Linnett, founder of Recite - an accessibility software startup - recently profiled in The Journal, was one of those children. It is estimated that dyslexia affects 375,000 students, who are amongst six million people severely affected by dyslexia in the UK. Instead of the internet being a comfortable fast moving stream of information, it is often confusing, daunting, and intimidating. As Ross said in a Journal article this February, the ‘government best practice on web accessibility is based on the international W3C guidelines. These are focused on the need to maintain the internet as a forum open to all, with no barriers to communication and interaction.’ In the UK approximately 10% 15-20% of the population suffer from some kind of visual or learning impairment which makes the internet less accessible to them. Recite is far from the only one fighting to make the internet more accessible. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) served legal proceedings against BMI Baby for their failing to make their website accessible to blind customers. Deals and offers change frequently online, which is the case for any large travel website. Booking holidays and flights is expensive enough without needing to call an 0845 number. They later agreed with work with the RNIB to make the website more accessible, prior to them closing when British Airways unfortunately failed to find a buyer. In March, at SXSW in Austin, Texas, we came third out of 87 in the HatchPitch competition. Another month, another continent, another competition. This time it was the European Tech All Stars award, where we placed in the top 12 out of 257 entrants from across the EU. Only recently, at the Dublin Web Summit, we got to the semi-finals against 1000 startups from 36 countries, presenting in front of some of the most well respected figures in the tech sector. We are happy with our progress, but there is so much more we can do. Our aim is to keep pushing forward, into new markets, to get our platform on as many websites as possible, because the internet should be open to everyone. But it isn’t. We will do everything we can to change this. Dominic Tarn

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Scotland shines a spotlight on Dyslexia

15 Nov 2012 | news

Australia isn’t the only country which is ahead of England when it comes to dyslexia. North of the border, in Scotland, it was national Dyslexia Awareness Week from the 1st - 7th November. We were pleased to see just how enthusiastically Scotland has taken to promoting the issue of dyslexia. This has been run between Dyslexia Scotland and Edinburgh City Libraries, supported by the Bank of New York Mellon. Cathy Magee, Dyslexia Scotland's CEO said "We're really pleased that three of Dyslexia Scotland's Ambassadors are kicking off the week with a spotlight on sport at the Opening Night.” Those championing this included the writers Cathy MacPhail, Sally Gardner and Tommy Donbavand, and Paul McNeill from the Scottish Football Association. The award winning film 'The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia', by James Redford was shown at the Edinburgh Filmhouse to launch the week. The theme of the week was ‘Hidden Dyslexia’, which like the movie, ‘The Big Picture’ is drawing attention to the fact that too often it goes unnoticed, and therefore the right amount of support isn’t given. Dyslexia is also picking up bipartisan political support in Washington DC. Republican congressman Pete Stark and Democrat, Bill Cassidy, both parents of children with dyslexia, have called for solutions to be given greater attention. This will get more public scrutiny and support with the screening of The Big Picture on the US network, HBO, throughout the rest of 2012. Solutions the caucus will be exploring are text to speech software providers, like Recite, especially technologies which keep pace with the evolution of how users now access the internet. You can find out more about The Big Picture here.

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