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Student Unions Drive to Support All Students Online

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Student Unions are at the heart of all Universities, providing students with the services and support they need to make everyone feel included and have a fulfilling experience.

Students want to be heard and listened to throughout their time at University. A Student Union is their voice and plays a crucial part in highlighting the interests and opinions of the student body.

Student Unions are at the forefront of supporting those who may face challenges with remote learning and access to online resources. For some students, there can be barriers online in accessing information and this can be due to temporary or lifelong disabilities. Those with learning difficulties, vision deficits, language issues, and cognitive or neurological disorders can also face obstacles online if they do not have the tools they need to consume information online as others do.

Reasons include:

  • Not being able to read the text due to font, text size, or text spacing.
  • Not being able to read the text due to poor colour contrasts between background and foreground.
  • Not being able to use a mouse or touchpad.
  • Not being able to focus on the relevant section of text.
  • Being distracted by graphics and image carousels.

When you stop to consider these factors, it becomes very apparent that the online world is not as universally inclusive as it could be for all students. This is when badly designed websites and applications create barriers that prevent a significant number of people from using them.

How Technology Can Help

For students who face barriers online, it can be difficult to read and understand information. Using assistive technology can give those students a voice and give them the support they need to play an active part in the digital world.

By embracing technology universities can remove online barriers and enrich the online experiences of all students.

If students are enabled with online resources, they have on-demand access to both learning materials and tutor assistance should they need it, but without needing to be within physical reach of their teacher.

With online resources, education doesn’t have to stop when the school day finishes. With more independent online learning solutions, students can work at their own pace, while also having access to lecturers, resources, and assignments anywhere they have an internet connection.

It has been proven that more technological ways of learning promote practical thinking and collaboration skills in students, rather than them simply memorising information. Plus, simultaneously, they are assimilating additional skills in the use of technology itself.

While the use of technology may encourage individual learning, it is important to consider that not everyone learns in the same way. Different learning styles and different abilities must be accounted for, and digital materials must be inclusive of everyone with different needs. So education providers must ensure that information is accessible to all, rather than just available to all. Again, this is no easy task when you consider that:


All of these students are disadvantaged in different ways in an online environment, as it is almost impossible for any stand-alone online learning portal to accommodate the broad spectrum of barriers that face these students. That’s where assistive technology can help.

Using Assistive Software to Promote Inclusion

Studies have shown that remote learning can be effective, however, large-scale remote learning is not something that many education providers were set up for before the COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially true when considering the number of university students with varying accessibility needs. Providing equal access and the same level of inclusion online as with in-person teaching is a challenge without assistive technology to break down those accessibility barriers.

At Recite Me, we are firm believers that university students need to be supported. Our unique assistive toolbar is an accessibility solution that allows students to customise a website in the way that works best for them, and in doing so compensates for numerous access barriers including:

  • Visual impairments
  • Deafblindness
  • Colour blindness
  • Dyslexia
  • Hyperlexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Speaking English as a second language
  • Epilepsy
  • Mobility and physical impairments

How Does Recite Me Assistive Technology Help?

Icon showing altering the text size

Personalise Font Size, Type and Colour

Icon showing the download of a mp3 file

Download Content as a Audio File

Icon showing different languages representing translation

Pages can be Read Aloud in 65 Languages!

Recite Me’s assistive toolbar supports a diverse range of students by providing a variety of tools that allow web users to create a fully customisable experience. Students can get student union information with ease and barrier-free.

The Recite Me toolbar comprises several accessibility features that can either be used individually or combined to make multiple adjustments for ultimate ease of use. Users can:

  • Personalise font size, type, and colour options to make each web page easier to read.
  • Utilise the mask screen tool, which isolates parts of the page to help with focus.
  • Use the ruler tool to make reading easier.
  • Download content as an audio file as an alternative to reading.
  • Convert page content into over 100 different on-screen languages.
  • Have the page read aloud in a choice of 65 different languages.
  • Customise PDF documents and have them read aloud or translated.

In 2023, Recite Me saw 4.6 million educational web pages viewed using the assistive toolbar over the past 12 months, there were a staggering 686,457 unique users who launched the Recite Me toolbar on education websites. Including New College Lanarkshire, the University of Arts London and the University of Liverpool. 

illustration of the Recite Me assistive toolbar product

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