Inclusive websites: the journey from start-up to industry standard
Have you heard of mind time? It’s the theory that suggests time passes quicker as you age, and is definitely something I’ve been feeling lately!
It’s hard to believe that Recite Me is now into our second decade of operating. As the old saying goes, time really has flown! From a small regional start-up we’ve grown into a multi-national organisation, and the Recite Me accessibility toolbar is now installed on over 2,500 websites and supported over 2million unique users last year alone.
Over the years we’ve branched out into more and more industries, and taken on bigger and bigger clients. Back when we first started, web accessibility was not really a thing, and what we do at Recite Me always took a fair amount of explaining – and that was just to family and friends, never mind the clients!
Happily, those days seem to be behind us as more and more businesses are striving for online inclusion. We’re still some way off achieving our goal of accessibility and inclusion for all. However, we’re proud to say that we are already making a positive difference, and every month we are joined by more industry leaders.
The Big Wins
One of my proudest moments was when British Gas signed up with us at the start of this year, becoming the first energy supplier to offer an inclusive online experience in the process. With a customer base of over 12million, we can’t wait to see how much of a difference our assistive toolbar can make.
It’s estimated that 1 in 5 people live with some sort of disability that can create barriers to website accessibility. Examples include decreased vision, physical disabilities, learning difficulties, attention disorders, autism, plus language and literacy issues.
So within the British Gas customer base, we’re expecting to see a large volume of launches of the Recite Me toolbar, hundreds of thousands of page views, and lots of styling changes and language adaptations that make the website easier to read and understand on an individual user level.
The Recite Me Passion
From the start, web accessibility has always been a passion for me as I suffer from dyslexia myself and often struggled throughout school and university as a result. So my dream has always been to help others like me to have an easier time and a more digitally inclusive experience. This is the principle at the very core of the business. It’s all about the benefits to the end user, and how web accessibility technology can bring people together.
This is an ideology that runs throughout the company and has been adopted by the whole team. Needless to say, I could not be prouder of all our amazing Recite Me staff, both past and present, who have worked so hard to bring us to where we are now. We’ve come a long way together, and it has definitely been a team effort. I’m already looking forward to seeing what happens this year and what other amazing things we can achieve.
The Recite Me Pledge
The passion and desire to make a genuine difference is why we launched the Recite Me Pledge back in March 2020. The effects of lockdowns during Covid-19 have pushed many businesses and consumers online, so it’s now more important than ever that people are kept up to date with the latest pandemic information and how it will impact them and the services they use.
As part of our commitment to digital inclusion, the Recite Me Pledge offers to host a free accessible and inclusive landing page for any business where important COVID-19 messages and updates can be accessed by staff and customers
Our accessibility data trends from 2020 show no signs of slowing down, and the demand for accessible websites has never been higher. Ensuring web accessibility and inclusion is the right thing to do, but aside from the feel-good factor, there are many other advantages such as increased web traffic, reduced legal risk, and an enhanced brand image.
People are always interested when I get talking about what I do and what services Recite me offers, and there is no better time than right now to get ahead of the curve and embrace online inclusion. I invite you to learn more about inaccessible websites, the need for assistive technology, and how to become a more digitally inclusive business by reading our mini guide to web accessibility in 2021.
Here’s wishing you all a healthy, happy, and inclusive 2021!