North Wales Fire & Rescue Boost Digital Inclusion in Emergency Services

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service provides online accessibility and language tools to serve the rich diversity of communities across North Wales.

Protecting an estimated population of 678,461 people, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is committed to promoting equal opportunities, enabling people to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstances.

To protect all communities, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has implemented Recite Me assistive technology to remove online barriers for those with disabilities,learning difficulties, visual impairments, and to be able to offer language choice when it comes to advice online.

Tracey Williams, Corporate Communications Manager at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service commented,

“Diversity and inclusivity are at the very heart of our core values here at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

We serve a rich diversity of communities, against a backdrop of significant natural and cultural heritage, and seek to provide services equitably to all members of our society. This means that we appreciate differences, promote equal opportunity, challenge prejudice and discriminations.”

The unique and customisable toolbar on the North Wales Fire and Rescue website provides users with screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids, customisable styling options, and an on-demand live translation feature that boasts over 100 languages including 35 text-to-speech and styling options.

Tracey Williams continued, “Providing Recite Me across our website, with its assistive toolbar, means not only can we offer language choice in English and Welsh to residents, but we can also support members of the public in any language- whilst also being accessible to people with disabilities, learning difficulties and visual impairments.”

In a study, 71% of people said they simply left a site that they found hard to use. For emergency services, this cannot be the case, vital safety information could mean the difference between life and death.

Tracey Williams said, “Digital inclusion is particularly important as we are all living our lives increasingly online during the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, we are spending more time at home and many of us may be more isolated than we have been before, so protecting the most vulnerable members of our community from the risk of a fire in the home has never been more important to us.”

To read and understand safety information in a way that best suits your needs go to the North Wales Fire and Rescue Services website and select ‘Accessibility Tools’.

If you want to learn more about accessibility, you can try out our WCAG compliance tools for free.

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