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Today marks the annual celebration of World Health Day. This year we’re reflecting on the 2021 theme of building a fairer and healthier world for everyone, as part of the World Health Organisations year-long campaign to eliminate health inequities. 2020 was a year we will never forget. COVID-19 highlighted the inequalities between us and revealed that some people can live healthier lives with better access to health services than others, entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, concerning age, gender, disability, and race. The COVID-19 pandemic has undercut recent health gains and amplified health inequalities. This is immoral and avoidable, provided we make efforts to ensure people can access quality health services when and where they need them. Assistive technology enables people to access vital health resources, information, and advice regardless of their race, religion, gender, disability, or social condition, enabling people to live independent and healthy lives. Healthcare is a Right Not a Privilege One billion people around the world live with some form of disability, and often encounter obstacles online when searching for healthcare services and COVID-19 guidance. The World Health Organisation estimates that only 10% of people have access to the assistive technology they need. “The Enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” World Health Organization Breaking Down Health Inequities with Recite Me Digital Accessibility Tools Recite Me works with health organisations around the world to provide accessible technology on websites. Our accessibility toolbar enables everyone worldwide to access vital health resources and information online. Our digitally inclusive toolbar offers features such as translation, screen reader, and styling options. This includes alterations to the size, font, and colour. These features support a diverse range of individuals who are most vulnerable to access barriers: Decreased vision Literacy Learning difficulties Physical disabilities Attention disorders Language/linguistic problems Individuals with these issues often face barriers when using websites to access healthcare information, as they may not be able to read onscreen information, use a mouse or focus on content without distractions. Welcoming people with varied disabilities and access needs are important to eliminating health inequities worldwide. Healthcare Diversity & Inclusion This year, health organisations and charities have joined the Recite Me mission of ‘Accessibility for All’ by providing online assistive technology to website visitors. This is important to us especially during a global pandemic where many people may feel isolated and struggle to gain access to information and services. We are proud to work with a range of healthcare organisations and charities to support their journey to becoming digitally inclusive, building a fairer and healthier world. Our Clients: “We know the information on our website needs to be available in different formats and languages to reach our diverse audiences, so we worked hard to find a solution that will make information we publish online more accessible.” Rebecca Fogarty, Engagement and Collaboration Manager at NHS Public Health Wales “We have found Recite Me to be an important feature added to our websites. It has made it easier for people with different accessibility and translation needs to tell us about their health and care experiences online using our Feedback Centre, which means that we can continue to share the issues that matter to the diverse population of Cheshire.” George Gibson, Communications and Research Officer, Healthwatch Cheshire CIC Toolbar data Over the past 12 months Recite Me has seen over 54,000 people use assistive technology to view 194,974 pages barrier-free, across NHS and health client websites. When visiting our client websites visitors are viewing on average 3.58 pages per session. This is higher than the internet average of 2.8 pages, showing a better user experience when using the support available to aid their journey online. As part of the options and tools available with the Recite Me toolbar translation plays a vital role to support people who speak English as a second language. Over 72,000 translate were made in the past 12 months on NHS websites with the most popular languages being Afrikaans, Bengali, Bulgarian, Italian and Tagalog. “We want to provide an inclusive online experience, where everyone can customise content to suit their needs. Organisations like NHS Wales who have a diverse range of website users can now offer healthcare information more effectively to all users, this is particularly crucial in current circumstances for COVID-19 advice and services.” Ross Linnett, Recite Me Founder and CEO A Digitally Accessible Healthcare Service Recite Me is a cloud-based assistive toolbar solution that bridges the gap between accessibility and usability, creating a more inclusive online experience. This web accessibility and language support help over 2 million website visitors every year to customise a site in a way that works best for them. There is no better time than on World Health Day for global health organisations to provide online accessibility tools, to ensure a fairer and healthier world with barrier-free healthcare information and services. We also want to take today to thank the amazing health workers worldwide, for their incredible work over this past year. If you would like to join the thousands of organisations that now provide accessibility tools on their sites to support a diverse range of individuals, please contact our team or book a demo. We would love to see your support on our social pages for World Health Day, join us in supporting the movement.
Following a roundtable discussion on diversity and inclusion and the effects COVID-19 has had on people with disabilities and neurodiverse conditions, we caught back up with Susan Murphy, CEO of Sue Sanford Specialist Coach, to dive a little deeper into Sue’s personal experiences and the effects she is seeing first-hand in the educational sector. My name is Sue Murphy. I am an experienced coach, often working with clients who have one or more neurodiverse conditions and I’m dyspraxic myself. Finding this out at 62 was a revelation and made a huge difference to the way I think and work. I hope it’s made me a better coach. I’m also a proud grandma to 4 wonderful grandchildren, all in primary school. They and their parents have had to cope with the disruption of their school education for a year. They all did really well, yet It hasn’t been easy for any of them. Three things in the last couple of weeks have made me think particularly about how lockdown has affected learning and wellbeing for neurodiverse children and young people; Firstly, a recent online meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Dyspraxia, which heard from Dr Sally Payne and Sophie Kayani about how dyspraxic learners in school have been affected by home learning through multiple lockdowns, based on the findings of a survey of their parents and carers. I came out of this discussion with a sense I commonly get that. What was clear was that no one size or set of measures fits any group and certainly not dyspraxic youngsters. Some students expected to do well in end-of-term exams learning in school were struggling with using unfamiliar technology and lack of structure. Assessing them against their online assignments submitted during lockdown will not give an accurate picture of how well that child would have done. For other students, being away from the distraction of the classroom and being able to focus on their own time working online-enabled them to thrive. Some of these students will struggle to go back to school and will lose the precious online resources and teaching they’ve had for a short while because schools can’t provide that level of support for an individual child. The phrase “maverick learners" is used to describe students who often don’t do particularly well during term time and continuous assessment yet achieve better than expected results in exams. This is a familiar picture to me and other neurodiverse adults who need the pressure of a meaningful black and white deadline with real consequences to work at our best. In the same week, I joined the campaign to end pen licences in primary schools. A primary school student “earns” a pen licence when their teachers decide their handwriting with a pencil is at a good enough level of neatness and accuracy. The child is now allowed to use a pen because they have mastered the cursive script. How many adults reading this handwrite regularly? If you do how often have you used cursive script since leaving school? Many children with neurodiverse conditions such as dyspraxia, dyslexia or other conditions (including hypermobility) are affected with the skills needed to shape letters and use handwriting to communicate are needlessly demotivated and humiliated by this practice. Yet an adult (or post 16 students) with a similar impairment would not be expected to write by hand. They would use a keyboard and maybe make use of speech to text software (which is now provided as a matter of routine in Microsoft software amongst other Then, in the same week, I received the summary of 2020 accessibility trends in education from Recite Me showing a huge spike in toolbar usage as lockdown kicked in and people switched to online earning. Toolbar launches enabled over 3.7 million educational web pages to be viewed. This flexibility and accessibility will have been a huge help to the students able to access it at a time when the structure of their further and higher education was blown apart by COVID. What a contrast with the experiences of children in the primary sector. My question now is: When are we going to stop expecting children with diverse needs and learning styles to use outdated technology, ie a pen, and study in environments designed for the convenience of mass teaching which stress and distract them? in order to learn, reflect and be able to communicate their learning when we wouldn’t do that to an adult. When are we going to change things systemically in education so that they can learn and express their ideas in ways that are natural to them, using the fabulous technology now available and so commonly used by their older peers? NB. I identify myself as Dyspraxic, rather someone “with dyspraxia”, so this is the language I have used here to describe myself and others. I know others will prefer to refer to themselves /their child as a person “with dyspraxia”, not dyspraxic and their preferences should be observed.
2020 was a year we will never forget where the physical world came to something of a standstill and we were all forced to perform everyday tasks online. Organisations across the globe made concerted efforts to maximise their online presence to ensure continued support and service to clients. Water company United Utilities did just this with the help of Recite Me accessibility and language options on its website. By making its digital world accessible and barrier-free to all website visitors and customers, people were able to self-serve accounts and explore products and services without having to call United Utilities for one-to-one support over the phone or live chat. United Utilities is responsible for delivering 1.8 billion litres of water a day to more than 3 million homes and businesses in the North West of England and is dedicated to providing its essential service at a high standard to the population. Studies show that 1 in 5 people have impairments that make accessing online information challenging. Excluding 20% of the population is not something that United Utilities was not prepared to accept. In 2020 the Recite Me toolbar helped over 100,000 people to read and understand website content barrier-free. Our unique assistive toolbar helps everyone to customise their online experience to suit their own individual needs. The Data shows that 552,059 pieces of content were read aloud using the text-to-speech engine and 20,707 pages were translated into a different language, including Polish, Portuguese and Arabic. Other support tools include styling and reading assistance. 12,326 styling changes were made in total, including alterations to font type, size, and colour, and overall colour contrast between background and foreground. With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to push people online, website accessibility factors are at the forefront of business development in 2021. We are incredibly proud to be part of a business’s development in the utilities sector. Louise Beardmore, Customer Services and People Director at United Utilities, commented “We chose to install the Recite Me assistive toolbar to make our website accessible and truly inclusive to all. The internet can be an incredibly intimidating place and anyone who finds it difficult to understand or communicate is at a significant disadvantage.” The Recite Me toolbar includes fully customisable styling features, reading aids, and translation tools, meaning web pages can be consumed in a way that is personalised and tailor-made to each unique website visitor. This includes the ability to change font size, type, and colour, adjust overall colour contrasts, strip away distracting graphics, download content as an audio file, convert content into over 100 different on-screen languages, or have the page read aloud in a choice of 35 different languages.
Beyond Housing has taken the necessary steps to achieve its mission of accessibility for all, with online assistive technology. Beyond Housing provides 15,000 homes and a wide range of services to over 30,000 customers living in the Tees Valley and North Yorkshire. As part of their mission to provide accessibility for all, Beyond Housing wanted to be transparent and inclusive, ensuring all web users could access essential housing information and services barrier-free. In North Yorkshire, it is estimated that 11,338 people aged 18 to 85 have a learning disability, and often require support online when using digital technology and software. With the implementation of Recite Me on Beyond Housing’s website, residents who are visually impaired, neurodiverse, or those who speak English as a second language can access support. Beyond Housing’s diverse customer base has customised their Recite Me toolbar by translating content into different languages, reading aloud, and styling assistance. This includes adjustments to colour, font, and size. Beyond Housing customer, Anda, who is from Latvia and a member of an Eastern European community support group, uses the Recite Me toolbar to translate online content. She said, “I have had a very good experience working with Beyond Housing since they upgraded their home page with new tools as part of their programme, ‘Believing in Accessibility for all’. “Now existing and new customers can access information with various different adjustments, including translation in many languages, some of them even in audio version. Using the orange button at the right side of the screen labelled ‘access and language tools’, one can change colours, languages, play audio, choose the text and other options according to their needs.” Beyond Housing website users can now access vital information barrier-free by clicking the orange “Access and Language Tools” button on their website, Beyond Housing. Recite Me assistive technology is quick and easy to implement on your organisation’s website. For more information, please go to Recite Me or contact a member of our team.
South Tyneside Homes is an arm’s length management organisation that manages, maintains, and improves its 18,000 council homes and estates across South Tyneside for tenants and leaseholders. Their main mission is to deliver excellent services to neighbourhoods through empowered and motivated staff.
Join Recite Me’s Founder and CEO, Ross Linnett, Volt-International Senior VP and Managing Director, Ben Batten, The Clear Company, D & I Expert and Director, Jenny Hinde, and VERCIDA Consulting Director, Dan Robertson as they discuss how you can provide a diverse and inclusive working environment. Topics will cover: Guest’s own experience and perspectives on diversity. The reason why and how your business should be thinking about its approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. How to start your journey. Event Details Workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion have been identified as the key drivers of innovation and business growth. How do you start on your D & I journey? Developing a D & I strategy can be challenging and knowing where to start can be difficult and overwhelming. Find out more about how you can provide inclusivity and diversity within your organisation by joining our webinar. To sign up please press the link below and send an email with your contact information to be in this online webinar event.
The Children’s Family Trust (CFT) has enhanced its ability to support a diverse range of people accessing fostering information online, with Recite Me online accessibility options. The CFT is a registered fostering charity that aims to achieve stability and security for children. Many of the children that The CFT care for have not had the best start in life and are unable to live with their birth families, this often means that they have faced great adversity and require a stable and secure home. 8% of children in the UK are disabled and regularly encounter barriers online that prevent them from accessing crucial online information and services. By using Recite Me assistive technology those who are visually impaired, neurodiverse, or who speak English as a second language can gain access to important information hassle-free. The CFT recruit, assess and support foster carers to look after children and young people in care. The CFT also demonstrates a commitment to any child that has been, is currently, or will be in the care of the charity, by providing them with support even after they have moved on to independence and adulthood. With Recite Me assistive technology, The CFT web users can customise the content in a way in which works best for them. Jessica Harper, Marketing and Media Manager at CFT commented, “We are excited to be launching the Recite Me Toolbar on our website in the hope that it will make the experience for all of our users more comfortable.” “As an organisation, we support both foster carers and children from all walks of life and backgrounds, and it is important for us to ensure that our stakeholders are receiving information in a way that suits them best. We are hopeful that adding the Recite Me toolbar will make our website function in a more accessible and inclusive way for all and allow us to reach more people.” Recite Me features include translating content into different languages, read aloud, and styling assistance. This includes adjustments to colour, font type, and size. Web users can customise their experience on The CFT website here.
Are you or any of your family, friends, or colleagues affected by autism? UK government statistics suggest that more than 1% of the population is on the autism spectrum, while in America the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that autism may affect as many as 1 in every 54 people. So at some point in your home life, education, or professional environments, it is highly likely that you will meet members of the autistic community. What is Autism? Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a genetic condition that affects an individual’s development, and can often present challenges when it comes to social interaction, speech, behaviour, and nonverbal communication. Autism is a lifelong condition most commonly detected in childhood and is three to four times more prevalent in boys than girls. Every individual on the autism spectrum is different, and while some autistic people may need very little help, others may need much more. Like any condition under the neurodiversity umbrella, autism is not a marker of decreased intelligence. Many of those diagnosed with autism in early life go on to lead healthy, happy, independent, successful and fulfilling lives. Individuals on the autism spectrum may: Have difficulties communicating and interacting with other people Not understand the feelings and thought processes of others Take longer to assimilate information Become stressed in environments with excess noise or bright colours Demonstrate repetitive behaviour patterns Struggle in unfamiliar situations Become overwhelmed by busy social environments You can read more about dyspraxia on the National Autistic Society website. Autism and Web Accessibility Often, people with autism have heightened sensory awareness. This means they can be easily distracted by images, logos, and graphics on web pages. So processing website content can be difficult. Colour contrasts between text and background can also be distracting for those in the autistic community. Low-contrast neutral colour palettes are often preferred over the standard black text on white background options presented by most websites. Consistency is important to individuals on the autism spectrum, so if web pages are not easy to navigate or have an unpredictable flow, autistic readers are likely to click away. Supporting Autism Online Children and adults with autism face distinct challenges when reading information online. Plus, autism is often listed as a disorder that co-occurs with other neurodiverse conditions such as Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. So it is important that all individual differences and combinations are accounted for. With the Recite Me assistive toolbar, users can make singular or multiple adjustments to account for all individual requirements and adapt the way web content is presented to suit their specific needs. Recite Me assistive toolbar features that support autistic users include: A selection of colour palettes to account for contrast sensitivity between the text and background. The ability to change font type, font size, and font spacing. Text-only mode to strip away distracting graphics. Options to have content read aloud in over 35 different languages. Full control over the speed at which the text is read aloud, and a choice between male and female voices. A screen mask for easier focus. Client Feedback In the last 12 months, Recite Me has witnessed a surge in disability groups signing up for our website assistive technology, and we are proud to be helping more neuroatypical members of our community than ever before. Anna Kennedy Online Anna Kennedy Online provides workshops, training, legal advice and talks across the UK, and partners on annual events like AKO Autism Expo, the Autism Hero Awards, and ‘Autism’s Got Talent’. "Since we have been working with Recite Me and updating our website making it disability friendly, we have received many compliments and thanks from the autism community. Recite Me are always respectful and understand exactly what we are trying to achieve to make the website accessible to all " Anna Kennedy, CEO Autism Plus Autism Plus has been supporting adults and young people with autism, learning disabilities, mental health conditions, and other complex needs since 1986. "As a Disability Confident employer, we want to ensure we are as accessible as possible, not only to the people we support but for our employees and supporters too. Recite Me provides more options on our website and makes the content completely customisable. " Katie Mitchell, Marketing Manager To understand the online challenges and obstacles those with autism face, we sat down with Katie Mitchell, Marketing Manager at Autism Plus to discuss the importance of providing accessibility options online. User Experience From our user data, we can track which of our toolbar features are customised the most by our clients’ website visitors. Our records show that among Autism Plus users, the following features are the most commonly used on their website: Text enlarge Text-only mode Screen mask Magnifying glass This holds true with our knowledge of autistic users, in that they often prefer to focus on a particular area of a webpage. These specific tools help users to stay focused and avoid distraction from images and the other content on the page. It’s incredibly rewarding for the Recite Me team to see data like this, as it shows that our toolbar works effectively and we are succeeding in our goals of making the internet a more accessible and inclusive place for everyone. Find Out More In today’s increasingly digital landscape, it has never been more important that everyone has equal access to information online. For further details on becoming more inclusive by utilising our assistive technology, please feel free to contact our team or book a demonstration of our toolbar.
To understand the challenges and obstacles people with autism are facing during the Covid 19 pandemic and online, Recite Me sit down with Katie Mitchell, Marketing Manager Autism Plus, to discuss how they are supporting as many people as they can. During the pandemic how has Autism Plus helped people with isolating and using the internet for everyday tasks? For many of the individuals we support at Autism Plus the pandemic increased fears and anxieties, routines were disrupted, and for some people the rules around social distancing were confusing. We quickly adapted our services wherever possible to deliver support sessions online, we have a full zoom timetable now that includes drama group, quizzes, local history, art and wildlife groups, book club, disco’s, and drinks and nibbles! For the people we support who were unable to see their family and friends in person we helped them to have regular contact via the internet. We also: Partnered with ‘Good Things Foundation’ to provide 10 tablets and dongles for people who were unable to access the internet Provided ‘Make it Click’ sessions to help people with basic digital skills such as online safety, and using the internet Offered webinars around supporting Neurodiverse individuals to return to the workplace or to support remote working to help raise awareness and ensure employees with autism were kept connected. What are the common barriers people with autism can face online? The internet is a fantastic resource for information, news and communicating with family, friends and colleagues. For an individual with autism, navigating through all of that information can be confusing and overwhelming. Many people with autism rely on structure and routine which can help ease anxieties, but online quite often websites lack structure which can make people feel lost and results in lots of clicks to sites and pages that aren’t relevant for them. There is so much news and information posted on the internet nowadays, and it can be difficult for some people with autism to understand the difference between real and fake news, and when you search for something it may bring up results from years ago, it isn’t always easy to see when an article was posted. Why is it important for Autism Plus to offer accessibility and language options online? As a charity offering care and support for people with autism, learning disabilities and neurodiverse conditions it is vital that the information we provide on our website is accessible and easy to navigate to as many people as possible, in ways that work for them. This is why we love Recite Me as it enables visitors to our site to customise and access content easily. Toolbar data shows Autism Plus website visitors use the text enlarge styling tool the most to customise their experience. Why would you think this is the most commonly used feature? The text enlarge feature is great because it means the visitor can completely customise the text size that works best for them, and used together with the speech function means that the information can easily be understood. We can see that distraction support tools such as Text-only mode, screen mask, and magnifying glass have been used on nearly 100 occasions. Are these online techniques commonly used by people with autism to read content online? These too are great functions as it means visitors with neurodiverse conditions who may prefer to focus on one area of the page can do this easily and avoid distraction from images and the remaining content in that area. Autism Plus aims to empower people to live independent lives, how do you think Recite Me helps with this goal? Recite Me helps us by offering a real inclusive experience when visiting our website, it helps our visitors to take control and process information in a way that suits them and their needs – it's what we’re all about, helping people to take control and make their own choices.
TPP Recruitment has committed to providing equal access to job opportunities with accessibility and language options to support a diverse range of individuals. TPP Recruitment is a specialist, highly respected, and well-established UK-wide consultancy, that provides dedicated support to organisations across a range of non-profit and public sector organisations. 1 in 5 people in the UK has some form of disabled and often encounter obstacles online when researching and applying for job vacancies. By providing Recite Me assistive technology TPP support those who may have a disability, learning difficulty, visually impairment or who speak English as a second language can gain access to job opportunities hassle-free. Tracy George, COO, TPP Recruitment commented, “We are simply delighted with this accessibility enhancement to our website! We want our jobs, recruitment services, and all our fabulous content to be accessible to everyone and feel it is important to give people a customised experience to meet their individual needs. “We hope this feature further demonstrates our commitment to attracting the widest and most diverse talent for the sector we serve and brings us a step closer to giving all job seekers an equal opportunity of securing and retaining fulfilling work.” The accessibility technology on the TPP Recruitment website is fully customisable with a range of features that provide a more accessible and inclusive experience when attracting and recruiting talent. These features include text-to-speech functionality, fully customisable styling features, reading aids, and a translation tool with over 100 languages. During 2020, Recite Me assistive toolbar usage across careers and recruitment websites increased by 168% to nearly 7500 users each month. Recite Me is quick and easy to implement on your website. For further information on assistive technology go to Recite Me.
TPP Recruitment is a specialist, highly respected, and well-established UK-wide consultancy, that provides dedicated support to organisations across a range of non-profit and public sector organisations. TPP Recruitment wanted to ensure inclusivity online by providing equal access to job opportunities to support a diverse range of individuals.
United Utilities is responsible for water and wastewater services in the North West of England, delivering 1.8 billion litres of water a day to more than 3 million homes and businesses. To keep the region flowing, United Utilities has a 5,000-person strong workforce that works on reservoirs, treatment works, pumping stations, water pipes and sewers.
10% OFFER CODE: TPPReciteMe21 Recite Me has joined forces with TPP Recruitment to educate and inform organisations in the non-profit and public sector on providing an inclusive online experience with accessibility technology. This partnership will provide organisations in education, finance, healthcare, governance, fundraising, and development with the information and support they need to create an inclusive experience online. TPP Recruitment’s mission is to develop trusted, long-term relationships with its clients. To support this mission and help organisations to achieve their purpose, TPP has provided Recite Me assistive technology online to enable access to vital information. To share this mission and journey with other organisations TPP Recruitment and Recite Me are able to offer a 10% discount on creating an inclusive experience online with our assistive technology toolbar. To find out more about the Recite Me toolbar and how it can help create an inclusive candidate journey online please contact the team or book a demo and make sure to quote our 10% discount code of TPPReciteMe21
South Tyneside Homes has enhanced its ability to deliver excellent services across the borough to its residents by providing an accessible experience online. 18,000 council homes across South Tyneside are managed and maintained by the housing company. To fulfill its commitment to residents, the organisation wanted to ensure a high quality of communications. By using Recite Me assistive technology, residents who are visually impaired, neurodiverse, or those who speak English as a second language can access essential housing information barrier-free. The assistive toolbar on the South Tyneside Homes website offers a wide range of customisable options, such as translating content into different languages, read aloud, and styling assistance. This includes adjustments to colour, font type, and size. Cllr Ed Malcolm, Chair of South Tyneside Homes’ Board, said: “It is more vital than ever that our website is as accessible and as inclusive as possible. The pandemic has highlighted just how important it is that people can access services and engage remotely, quickly and easily. “We know more and more of our residents are going online to use a range of services and Recite Me is one of the tools we are using to make our website user friendly for everyone.” Over the last 12 months, 500 people have used the Recite Me toolbar to read and understand essential housing information on the South Tyneside Homes website. Toolbar data shows that website visitors have viewed over 1,760 accessible pages. This gives South Tyneside Homes an insight into what pages people are looking at and what support they need to view them barrier-free. On average each unique user has accessed 3.4 pages per session, which is fantastic to see as the depth of journey is higher than the internet average of 2.8. The most used accessibility toolbar feature is the screen reader, this reads text aloud for the user. This is followed by the styling options where users have increased the text size by 110% and 130%. The most commonly translated languages have been Albanian, Arabic, and Spanish. South Tyneside Homes web users can customise their experience by clicking the “Accessibility Tools” button at the top of their website.
The digital world is an integral part of today’s society, and approximately 59% of the global population are active internet users. That’s a massive 4.66 billion people! But what about people who can’t use the internet due to access barriers? Assistive technology enables people to access resources, information, and advice online allowing them to live more independent, productive, and healthy lives. But there’s a problem… The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that only 10% of people have access to the assistive technology they need. Although this is a disappointing statistic, the popularity of web accessibility tools is on the increase, and savvy companies are quickly realising that assistive technology is a must to ensure continued success. Why Assistive Technology Is Becoming So Popular Organisations that provide options to customise experiences on their websites offer support to individuals who are most susceptible to disadvantages online. This includes those who struggle with literacy, learning difficulties, decreased vision, attention disorders, physical disabilities, and language/linguistic problems. Welcoming people with varied disabilities and access needs is the right thing to do. But recently, many businesses have become aware of the additional benefits of improving their website accessibility ratings: Increased revenue – The disability market is huge. Current data suggests that at least 15% of the global population are living with some sort of disability that can inhibit website accessibility. Better branding – Demonstrating corporate social responsibility and community support is important, and more positive experiences on your website mean a better brand reputation and increased customer loyalty. Better SEO results – web accessibility factors are continually becoming more heavily weighted in search engine algorithms. Reduced legal risk - It is expected by law that businesses and service providers do not treat disabled people less favourably. Why Choose Recite Me? Recite Me works with organisations around the world to provide assistive technology on websites. Our accessibility toolbar removes the struggle for individuals who would otherwise need to provide their own support to access content online. And it’s worth noting here, that individual assistive technology solutions are typically very expensive and do not offer the same level of usability or functionality that our toolbar does. The Recite Me assistive toolbar unlocks hassle-free access to online content by offering features such as translation, a screen reader, styling options, and a range of reading aids. These functions allow for multiple adjustments to suit a combination of needs and a range of individual or co-occurring conditions such as: Dyslexia Dyspraxia Dyscalculia Hyperlexia Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) Developmental Language Disorders Accounting for multiple and co-occurring disabilities is important as, for example, it is estimated that at least 60% of the neurodiverse community have more than one condition. “Research shows that those who struggle with reading often struggle with math, and vice versa. Dyslexia and Dyscalculia are different, but they often co-occur. Reading and math differences aren’t the only examples. Dyslexia and ADHD also often co-occur.” Amanda Morin, Author specialising in leadership, education, and development. User Feedback Recite Me now supports over 2500 websites in providing inclusive online journeys. Our assistive toolbar has been launched over 2 million times, and over 10 million web pages have been viewed using our accessibility technology. Our Clients We are proud to work with several leaders across a wide variety of industry sectors including education, e-commerce, finance, technology, utilities, healthcare, construction, leisure and entertainment, non-profit, sports, and transport. Over the years we’ve had some fantastic feedback: "I reviewed the Recite Me product. Just 15 minutes later I was convinced that it was a must for enabling accessibility on our website and on-line portals" (Mark Abrams, Chief Executive of Auriga Services Ltd). "With the Recite Me toolbar available on our website, the entire online experience is more accessible and personal for every visitor" (Chris Stafford, Chief Executive, Curve Theatre). "Recite Me is an excellent way for us to be able to provide additional online tools and services for those visiting our website and increase the level of accessibility quickly and easily" (Mark Harrison, Head of Inclusion, University of London). "It is important that we have tools like this, that reflect the diversity of our fan base, ensuring that everybody can connect with our Club easily and in a way that suits their individual needs" (Rachael Lomax, Access Advisor, Everton Football Club). Industry Experts Professor Amanda Kirby is the CEO of Do-IT Solutions Ltd, a company specialising in increasing awareness and helping neurodiverse candidates into employment. “It is easy for me to talk about Recite Me as we think it is brilliant when wanting to engage as wide an audience as possible. It is really easy to operate and provides everyone with a unique set of accessibility features and personalised choices. " Daniel Cobb is an advocate for disability inclusion and has dyspraxia. He used the Recite Me toolbar when he came across challenges trying to search and apply for his dream job online. “The process of job hunting is mentally very draining for most job hunters but being dyspraxic makes it significantly worse. To be able to use the accessibility tools on the website ensures I can process the information with greater efficiency and therefore reduce the visual fatigue I experience from using websites.” Individual Users A focus group of Recite Me users brought together by the UK’s leading disability charity performed some testing on our toolbar. All participants previously encountered obstacles when accessing content online. When using the toolbar, the focus group were in agreement that they would use the tool again and that they’d be more likely to use a website again if they knew that their accessibility needs were accommodated. Here are some of the user comments and feedback… “It doesn’t strain or hurt my eyes when I read now.” “It’s remembered my settings across different sites, I really like this” “It shows that they’ve given accessibility some thought, and that goes a long way with me.” “Being able to change the background to black is a real bonus for me - I get dry eyes so this extends the amount of time I can stay online.” “If a place I’m planning to visit has an accessible website, I think they are more likely to be accessible when I get there.” Even outside of testing scenarios, we have received some fantastic feedback from individual users who have had access to the Recite Me toolbar through our client’s websites. “I have Autism and Dyslexia and found that when using the Council’s website, I can change the font to Dyslexia font and add a ruler to keep my place, which really helps me to understand the information I need to stay independent. I am happy that the council use Recite Me as it is very helpful.” Maria, a Sefton Council Resident Tracking the Positive Changes Recite Me is proud to be a Disability Confident Employer and has several employees within our team who can relate first hand to the benefits of our web accessibility technology. In line with our diversity and inclusion policies, more and more careers and recruitment organisations are now ensuring that they offer equal opportunities to all by making online applications accessible with the use of assistive technology. In 2020, unique Recite Me users accessing support on their career journeys grew by 168%, from 2800 per month to over 7500. The Benefits of Offering Web Accessibility Technology By now, we hope these are already clear. Happier customers, happier clients, happier employees, plus increased revenue, enhanced brand reputation, and better SEO optimisation. What’s not to love about all that? We’ve probably done enough self-promotion in this article already. But in addition to all of those benefits, we could also wax lyrical about our stats that show how including web accessibility in your business development strategy also: Improves employee satisfaction Increases productivity Reduces staff turnover Leads to more effective working strategies So… Is YOUR organisation ready to offer equal access to online content for all? The Recite Me toolbar is a cloud-based technology that can be installed on most websites in under an hour. Join the hundreds of companies who have already adopted our inclusive software by contacting our team for more information, or by booking a toolbar demonstration.