Cadent owns, operates and maintains the largest gas distribution network in the UK, providing customers with the energy they need to stay safe, warm and connected. Cadent distributes gas to 11 million homes and businesses across four networks; West Midlands, North West England, East of England and North London. Cadent are now supporting their wide network with cloud-based assistive technology on their website
They need to be able to support the large and diverse range of customers online to be able to access key information about their services and updates regarding emergency and gas maintenance work.
Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry and in 2018, Cadent received 1.43 million calls. For some people calling isn’t an option and other means of communication are needed. Recite Me will support their customers online with accessing key information about their services and updates regarding emergency and gas maintenance work in their area.
Recite Me will help a large diverse range of people by providing key accessibility tools. One key tool is translation. 10% of people in the UK speak English as their second language. The Recite Me tool provides an instant translation of over 100 languages and 35 of which are text to speech.
To support people with neurodiverse disabilities or learning disabilities, the Recite toolbar enables users to fully customise the website content in a way that is best for them. This could be by changing the styling of the website including the background colour and the text, font style, size, and colour.
To support reading the toolbar, it also provides a ruler and a screen mask to shut out any distractions or a user can enable text-only mode, stripping back all styling, leaving black text on a white background.
The Recite Me Screen Reader helps customers who are visually impaired or neuro-divergent to perceive and understand key content by reading aloud. This is also fully customisable by changing the speech speed and changing to a male or female voice.
Jo Giles Customer Safeguarding Manager at Cadent commented; “Recite Me just works. It has provided Cadent with a website that is truly accessible for all customers and the tools available are really comprehensive and very intuitive; meaning that our customers who might benefit from options from varied font sizes through to spoken text (in a broad range of languages) can now easily gain equal access to the services that we provide via our webpages.”
Cadent are also a part of the energy industry Priority Services Register for people who may benefit from additional services to help support them to stay safe, warm and independent in their homes – through the provision of additional services when someone has additional communication, access or safety needs. The Priority Services Register (PSR) is a free service that is provided by Cadent, other network operators (both gas and electricity) and suppliers across the UK to support customers; during both our daily interactions but also in the case of large scale energy emergencies. This could be for customers who are:
- of pensionable age
- disabled or chronically sick
- have a long-term medical condition
- have a hearing or visual impairment or additional communication needs
- are in a vulnerable situation.
The new addition of the Recite Me toolbar strengthens the support that Cadent are providing their customers along side the PSR and the company’s safeguarding policy.