News & Media
The Clear Company was established in 2003 and their mission is to remove barriers to inclusion and creating diverse workplaces. Now the recognised leaders of inclusive recruitment and talent management insight, training and technology in the UK, they work with a wide range of clients to allow unseen talent to shine. Over the past 17 years of continuously refining practices, they bring a balance of expertise, insight and a roadmap of actions to their clients. By challenging current thinking and behaviours they enable clients to take significant steps on their inclusion journey. All supported by training and online products that enable The Clear Company to driving meaningful, measurable change as companies make D&I part of their everyday.
Fans of all ages and regardless of their differing abilities or if they speak English as a second language should be able to come together online as a community to share their passion for football. Football is a global game and club websites are the central hubs to bring everyone. These websites provide visitors with everything they need to know about their favourite club; latest news, match reports, fixtures and the ability to purchase tickets and merchandise. Unfortunately, there is an issue that many disabled football supporters have to deal with, inaccessible websites. To allow everyone to engage with their favourite clubs and players, football club websites need to be inclusive by providing accessibility support. 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. This makes assistive technology all the more important to support fans online to access content in a way that works best for them. Many Premier League football clubs, such as Newcastle United, Everton FC, Watford FC, Leicester City and other clubs are now offering an accessibility and language support solution called Recite Me assistive technology to help everyone online. Recite Me is award-winning software that allows Kick It Out’s users to customise the website in a way that works best for them This is particularly important for disabled people or people who speak English as a second language to access vital equality information and resources. English football’s equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out also support people of their website with Recite Me. Keeley Baptista, Kick It Out’s Head of Partnerships commented, “Recite Me is a pioneering software tool that will significantly improve the accessibility of our website. “Disability inclusion is a central part of our work and we are excited to be working more closely with the team at Recite Me going forward as we aim to break down the barriers for disabled people in football.” Lucy Oliver, Head of Inclusion, Newcastle United Football Club commented, "We are delighted to have launched Recite Me on our club website. Our collective aim at Newcastle United is to create a culture as varied as that of the great city we are honoured to represent. This toolbar is a tremendous step forward in ensuring that people can access news and information about our club more easily which will undoubtedly increase our reach and engagement." Allowing people to come together to share their passion for football online should be a key goal for all football clubs in 2020. By providing a wide range of accessibility tools such as the screen reader and on-demand live translation, fans of all ages, regardless of their disability or differences can engage with football news and events online hassle-free.
National Apprenticeship Week 2020 is now in full swing This annual celebration of apprenticeships highlights the benefits of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy. National Apprenticeship Week is now in its 13th year, and the theme this year is ‘Look Beyond’, which celebrates the diversity in apprenticeships today. Apprenticeships are a tried and tested route into high-skilled careers, but accessing and applying for an apprenticeship can be difficult for people with disabilities and learning conditions without the right support. Digital accessibility matters for apprentices Over 80,000 of the young people who sat their GCSEs in 2018 had dyslexia, yet nearly nine out of ten young people with dyslexia will leave school without being diagnosed. Many of these young people will want to go on and serve an apprenticeship, which is why the apprenticeship recruitment/application process must be accessible and inclusive for everyone. It is well-known that key UK industries like construction and engineering, which rely heavily on apprenticeships, need to continue to increase the diversity of their workforces. Again, this underlines the need to ensure that recruitment/application processes for apprenticeships must be accessible and inclusive for everyone. Making online apprenticeship applications accessible In the 21st century, this means ensuring online application forms and supporting materials can be easily accessed. That’s why the Recite Me assistive toolbar is already being used on the websites of various recruitment and employment-related organisations like EqualEngineers, Sir Robert McAlpine, Tesco Bank, VERCIDA, Guidant Global, Morson Group and Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI), Recite Me is an innovative cloud-based web accessibility solution that allows website visitors to customise any website the way they need it to work for them. Recite Me's innovative software makes websites accessible through a unique range of features including: text to speech functionality, dyslexia software, zoom and page masking, an interactive dictionary, a translation tool with over 100 languages. Recite Me’s web accessibility and language assistive toolbar ensures that routes into employment, including any apprenticeship schemes, are more accessible. Recite Me helps Morson to place more jobseekers with disabilities Rebekah Lee, Head of Marketing at Morson Group said: "As a recruitment agency, Morson are gatekeepers who can open the doors to the world of work for people with disabilities. “Therefore, we have a responsibility to our candidate community to reduce the barriers in place that may hold people back from applying for roles. “Committed to providing a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process, we added Recite Me’s web accessibility software to our website which has revolutionised the way we engage with candidates online. “The technology ensures every part of our recruitment process is accessible to everyone, from browsing to making an application. “By using Recite Me we can ensure that every candidate gets an equal chance at developing their career by being able to access the same opportunities to gain and maintain employment. “Recite Me is one of the key ways we are realising our mission to ensure that there are no barriers in place to hold talented people back". Ultimately, the right online accessibility support like Recite Me can make a huge difference for young people with disabilities by ensuring they can access websites to apply for apprenticeships and jobs with ease. 1000’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible for online visitors. To find out more or to book your free trial please contact the team.
The University of York Students’ Union (YUSU) represents over 18,000 students at York. Alongside providing a platform for students’ voices to be heard at the university and within the local community, YUSU provide and support over 300 societies, sports clubs and other student-led networks and activity. They strive to be fully inclusive, brave and for, with and by students.
Last weekend (Saturday 1st February) saw Recite Me and Dyslexia North East competition winners enjoy an afternoon of football, great food, and entertainment in the hospitality box at St James Park. Last October during National Dyslexia Week (7-13 October) Recite Me’s Marketing Manager Michael Halpin headed down to a Dyslexia North East opening evening to learn more about the great work they are doing to support young children. Dyslexia North East was founded in 2005 by a group of teachers and a GP who attended a Specific Learning Difficulties Course at RGS School in Newcastle. The Group recognised that Parents and Carers in the North East had nowhere to turn to for help for children and adults with dyslexia. So they decided to start a Support Group for Parents and Children at RGS Junior School. As part of the workshop evening and getting to know everyone and sharing stories, Recite Me wanted to congratulate the children on their great work and enthusiasm for wanting to learn more and develop. At the end of the evening, all the children’s names were placed into a box and with help from Liz Ferguson, Director at Dyslexia North East, three winners were chosen at random. The three winners and one additional guest each would join the Recite Me team for the Newcastle United vs Norwich City match in the hospitality box at St James Park, including a mini-tour pitchside and a beautiful meal. The day started two hours before kick-off where everyone met for a day of footy fun. Once settled in the box and everyone topped up with soft drinks and starters it was time to go pitchside. Escorted by NUFC staff team box 636 headed down to get a real feel for the matchday atmosphere and they even had the opportunity to sit in the home dugout. Selfies and group photos taken the team headed back up to their seats for dinner. The match was ready to begin, all adults and children seated ready for kick-off soaking up the buzzing atmosphere around the stadium. After a slow first half, everyone was ready for a top-up of drinks and pudding. All of which went down a treat. The second half was underway and even the magic of Saint Maximin couldn’t break down the Norwich City defence. The game finished all square at 0-0. At full time the children were lucky enough to spy Newcastle United star Matthew Longstaff and with Recite Me football’s in hand, they politely asked for them to be signed. Capping off a great day for everyone. Recite Me would like to thank Newcastle United for their hospitality and Dyslexia North East for the amazing company.
A recent study found that only 60% of UK local authority websites’ home pages are accessible to people with disabilities. The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 are set to change this. This guide will give you a summary of the regulations, plus information about what you need to do to comply and how Recite Me can help you.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals launch Recite Me accessibility software to support patients online
To improve the way all staff, patients, and visitors can read important content online, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals have installed the Recite Me accessibility and language support toolbar on to their website. Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) is an acute teaching hospital working across two main sites, Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals supports the diverse population of their area with all health and care needs. To continue and evolve this great work they wanted to enable all their staff, patients and visitors to access contact information, appointment data and much more, with ease. To achieve this totally inclusive goal their website needed to provide people with accessibility and language support. Recite Me accessibility software has a wide range of supporting features including a screen reader, styling options, reading support and a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices. Regardless of people’s disabilities, learning difficulties or if they speak English as a second language, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals wanted to be able to support website visitors to access their content barrier-free. Simon Anjoyeb, Deputy Head of Inclusion, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust said, "We are pleased to have adopted the Recite Me toolbar; it is easy to use and provides a comprehensive range of tools to improve the accessibility of our website. The toolbar is a popular asset with our patients and has enabled people that have previously found it challenging to use our website to engage with content relevant to their healthcare. "
To support everyone who visits their website, regardless of their differing abilities or spoken first language New College Durham now offers accessibility and language support online. New College Durham is rated in the top 10% of colleges in the UK for achievement in Further Education and apprenticeships, whilst their Higher Education students rate it in the top 10% for student satisfaction. As New College Durham grows and attracts a wider range of students not only from the North East but from around the UK and the world, their website needed to accessible to all. To make sure that their organisation was totally inclusive and to reduce any barriers to accessing their content online, New College Durham has installed Recite Me assistive technology on to their website. This accessibility and language translation support toolbar offers all website visitors a range of accessibility options to suit their needs. Working seamlessly across all devices the toolbar will allow people to change font type, size and colour as well as background and link colours to fully customise the styling of the website. To aid reading the toolbar offers a full dictionary, thesaurus, and translation tools, as well as a text to speech function. This unique combination of features makes Recite Me a great accessibility tool for people with disabilities or for people who speak English as a second language. Francesca Smith, Head of Marketing and Student Recruitment, New College Durham said, "New College Durham is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, an essential aspect in our commitment to inclusion. Having Recite Me on our website provides a set of easy to use tools that improve accessibility and enhance the website experience. It was quick and easy to implement, and we have immediately seen visitors to our site using the toolbar.”
This week is Big Energy Saving Week (20th-27th January), which is a national campaign to help people reduce their energy bills and access the financial support they’re entitled to. Big Energy Saving Week encourages customers to understand that simple changes can make a big difference to the amount of money they spend on energy each year. Doing things like switching energy supplier or tariff, accessing discounts or grants, and making homes more energy-efficient can make all the difference. Although initiatives like Big Energy Saving Week help safeguard the financial needs of customers, it’s also worth thinking about the other ways in which customers need to be supported by the energy industry. Energy services must be accessible In 2018, Energy UK launched the Commission for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances, to explore how the UK energy industry can meet the needs of customers in vulnerable circumstances, including people with disabilities. Recite Me submitted a paper to the commission panel and took part in a workshop, while attending a hearing to support the report the commission produced. The Commission for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances Report 2019 recommends that customers in vulnerable circumstances must be offered a range of communication channels so they can engage with their suppliers in a way that best meets their needs. More recently, Ofgem’s Vulnerable consumers in the energy market: 2019 report states that: “Energy companies should make reasonable adjustments for disabled consumers and ensure that all new services and products are accessible to their consumers. “Making accessibility a core element at the design stage ensures that no consumers are unnecessarily excluded and allows changes to be made earlier, normally at a reduced cost to the company, if the service is not accessible to all consumers. “We want all consumers, including those with special communications needs…to be able to engage with the energy market and effectively communicate with companies.” (pp 23) Recite Me helps deliver digital inclusion That’s why energy companies like Cadent, which owns, operates and maintains the largest gas distribution network in the UK, have added Recite Me’s assistive toolbar to its website. Cadent added Recite Me to its website to help support vulnerable customers online, removing online barriers for people with disabilities and people who don’t speak English as their first language. The introduction of the Recite Me toolbar allows website visitors to customize the Cadent website in a way that works best for them. Jo Giles, Customer Safeguarding Manager at Cadent commented, "Recite Me was the easy choice for Cadent not only because it was straightforward to implement but because it is so user-friendly for our customers and has such a broad range of features to support accessibility." Visitors to the Cadent website can change the page styling by customizing the font size and colour and the colour contrast between text and backgrounds, or by using the reading aids to mask distractions on the screen. People who don’t speak English as their first language benefit from Recite Me’s real-time translation feature which can translate over 100 languages, including reciting text in 35 different languages. This Big Energy Saving Week, if you work for an energy company it’s worth asking yourself if your organization is doing enough to support vulnerable customers (including people with disabilities) online. 1000’s of organizations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible for online visitors. To find out more or to book your free trial please contact the team.
Just4Children launches website accessibility technology on its website to promote inclusion and to support everyone to use their website barrier-free. As a forward-thinking charity that is passionate about supporting all children, Just4Children are breaking down barriers online by introducing Recite Me accessibility software on to their website. Every day, millions of people search the internet and encounter challenges when facing inaccessible websites. Just4Children is a charity organisation that is inclusive in everything that they do, from their support work with children to what they offer online. Regardless of people's disabilities, learning difficulties and if they speak English as a second language, Just4Children believe that everyone has the right to the same user experiences. In this case that is to use their website with ease. Jeremy Marris, the CEO of Just4Children commented, “Just4Children is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience.” Recite Me is a cloud-based web accessibility tool that allows website visitors to customise the Just4Children website in a way that works best for them. Making it easier for everyone to be able to access charity news, support & information easily and kindly donate hassle-free. The Recite Me accessibility toolbar offers a unique range of features including, text to speech functionality, fully customisable styling features, reading aids and a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices and many other features. Jeremy added, "Recite Me provides a range of accessibility options on our website to allow everyone to read and understand our content in a way that works best for them. Recite Me was easy to implement and was able to be customised to suit our branding. " Implementing this ground-breaking technology has allowed Just4Children to support more people to use their website without any barriers and deliver a more inclusive experience online.
To allow everyone to discover events and book tickets online with ease the Scottish Event Campus has implemented assistive technology on their websites. The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) features the SEC Centre– five interconnected exhibition and meeting spaces, the iconic 3,000 seat SEC Armadillo and the SSE Hydro – a 13,000 capacity concert, sporting and special events arena. Attracting an audience of more than a million visitors each year, the venue is consistently ranked by Pollstar in the top 10 arenas globally, alongside iconic venues like Madison Square Garden and The O2. SEC venues are very much easily accessible for visitors with mobility difficulties and accessibility needs. SEC currently holds an ‘Attitude is Everything’ Gold Award and are committed to continually improving their venues in order to maintain this gold accessibility level. To continue their mission to make their venues as accessible as possible they wanted to address not only physical accessibility but also online inclusion. To support everyone online SEC needed to make their websites accessible. Ross Dempsey, Digital Marketing Manager, Scottish Event Campus commented, "We are committed to making a visit to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) an enjoyable experience for everyone and that includes using our websites.” To make The Scottish Event Campus website and the SSE Hydro website fully accessible and usable they launched Recite Me. The Recite Me accessibility assistive toolbar will support people with a wide range of disabilities, learning difficulties and for people who speak English as a second language. Ross added, “We recently launched the ability for users to purchase accessible tickets to our events online and once we discovered Recite Me, we felt it was a great addition to improve the functionality of our websites.” Accessibility and language support will allow everyone to customise the SEC and SSE Hydro websites in a way that works best for them to understand and read website content easily. The accessibility toolbar provides website visitors with, text to speech functionality, fully customisable styling options, reading aids and a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices and many other features. Ross added, “We were very impressed with the Recite Me software and as well as accessibility tools, the language switcher allows our conference visitors from around the world to find the information they need.”
The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) features the SEC Centre– five interconnected exhibition and meeting spaces, the iconic 3,000 seat SEC Armadillo The SSE Hydro – a 13,000 capacity concert, sporting and special events arena. The SSE Hydro augments the SEC’s existing facilities and stages 140+ events annually. Attracting an audience of more than a million visitors each year, the venue is consistently ranked by Pollstar in the top 10 arenas globally, alongside iconic venues like Madison Square Garden and The O2. Since opening in September 2013, The SSE Hydro has staged the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards, the Ryder Cup Gala Concert and the 2014 BBC Sports Personality of the Year. It was also a venue for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Just4Children provides support for families to help their children with disabilities and sickness. Helping children and young people under the age of 25 years in the United Kingdom and Ireland is passionate about the relief of sickness and preservation of good physical and mental health. Just4Children’s vision is a world where all children’s needs are met and where children with disabilities and sickness and their families have the right to choose, opportunity, dignity and understanding.
New College Durham was formed in 1977 and has grown to become one of the North East’s leading educational organisations. The College offers a wide range of vocational, A-level, apprenticeships and university level programme for students aged 16 and above. New College Durham is rated in the top 10% of colleges in the UK for achievement in Further Education and apprenticeships, whilst their Higher Education students rate it in the top 10% for student satisfaction.
Businesses are slowly becoming aware of the huge market that consumers with disabilities in the US represent and are starting to take steps to ensure that their online content is accessible. At present 70% of websites in the USA have critical accessibility issues and businesses with inaccessible websites are missing out on total a disposable income for US working-age persons with disabilities of $490 billion. Making businesses accessible online and in-person increases profits and brand attraction. Assistive technology is the ramp online that allows people to use websites in a way that works best for them. Web accessibility in the U.S. is covered by various federal laws including The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA requires businesses to make accommodations for people with disabilities, including making websites accessible. Businesses that fall under ADA Title 1 or ADA Title 3 must have a website that gives ‘reasonable accessibility’ to people with disabilities. Under Title III, businesses that are classed as ‘public accommodation’, like hotels, banks, and public transport providers, are also required to make both physical and digital accommodations. To make your website and other digital content accessible it’s essential to understand the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. The guidelines are produced by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web, and define how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. To take full advantage of a WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) compliant website companies need to provide assistive technology to make those websites usable in the way that it was intended for all. Recite Me is a cloud-based web accessibility assistive toolbar solution that allows website visitors to customize a site in a way that works best for them. Recite Me’s innovative assistive technology makes websites accessible and inclusive through a unique range of features. This easy to use, award-winning software includes text to speech functionality, fully customizable styling features, reading aids and a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices and many other features. Being able to translate a website live, on-demand at a click of a button opens up US organizations to a wider multicultural audience. In 2019 Recite Me supported over 9 million website translations in over 100 languages. This innovative software benefits millions of people who currently miss out on online and mobile content; Recite works across all devices, giving everyone the opportunity to use the internet in the way that it is intended. In a further testament to Recite Me’s impact, Recite Me continue to rapidly grow throughout the US. Located in Washington DC puts Recite Me in the heart of the DC Metro area close to many tech giants such as Microsoft and Amazon. Matt Cox, US Country Manager is leading the team to expand the company’s portfolio, supporting companies with their accessibility concerns and needs. Recite work closely with The United States Disability Chamber of Commerce, National Disability Rights Network, and many other Governmental organizations to support people online. Advising companies on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Thanks to WCAG, increasing strict law and assistive technology, the internet is slowly starting to become a more accessible place for people with disabilities, but all businesses need to be aware of the right thing to do, the smart thing to and the must thing to do, to support people and increase business growth.