Why libraries and charities need accessible websites Why libraries and charities need accessible websites

Why libraries and charities need accessible websites

Posted on: by Alison Wilson

It’s a legal requirement for all public and private sector organisations in the UK to provide everyone with access to information and services, no matter what any person’s circumstance are. 

This includes ensuring people who don’t speak English as a first language can access information and services to do what they need to do.

But not only is it a legal requirement in the UK and many other countries around the world including the USA, it’s of course the right thing to do morally.

And the more every organisation does to provide access to information and services to people who don’t speak English as a first language, the more people the organisation can reach. 

Make information and services accessible online

This is particularly important for organisations like libraries and charities that provide a wide range of services including information, advice, training and education programmes, plus digital resources.

As much of their services and information are now provided online it’s essential they ensure that their websites and digital services are accessible.

Libraries like Poughkeepsie Public Library District (New York State, USA) have added Recite Me’s language and accessibility toolbar to their website to make their online content more accessible to the area’s large Spanish-speaking population.

Remove language and accessibility barriers

Recite Me’s toolbar can instantly translate the content of the library’s website into over 100 different languages.

This allows the 16% of the City and Town of Poughkeepsie Residents who were born outside of the United States, and are most likely not to speak English as their first language, to access information and services online.

And Recite Me also makes the library’s website more accessible for the 14% of people in the area who have a disability.

It lets them opt to have the text read-aloud to them as well as adjust colour themes and font sizes, and make other changes to the way they use the website to suit their needs.

Cater for the needs of older people

Most disabilities are acquired with age as people grow older, so organisations like The Quality of Life Partnership, whose customers are aged over 50, also benefit greatly from web accessibility software like Recite Me.

They added Recite Me to their Information Now website, which provides information and advice website for people over 50 in Newcastle, to ensure the website is accessible to people of all ages, including people with a disability.

Ultimately, all organisations need to carefully consider who they serve and ensure their websites and digital services are accessible and inclusive to meet those people’s language and disability needs.

100’s of organisations including libraries already use Recite Me to make their websites accessible for people who don’t speak English as their first language – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now.

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