The digital world is an integral part of today’s society, and approximately 62% of the global population are active internet users. That’s a massive 4.9 billion people!
But what about people who can’t use the internet due to access barriers?
Assistive technology enables people to access resources, information, and advice online allowing them to live more independent, productive, and healthy lives. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that globally more than 2.5 billion people need one or more assistive products.
Although this is a staggering statistic, the popularity of web accessibility tools is on the increase, and savvy companies are quickly realising that assistive technology is a must to ensure continued success.
Why Provide Assistive Technology
Organisations that provide options to customise experiences on their websites offer support to individuals who are most susceptible to disadvantages online. This includes those who struggle with literacy, learning difficulties, decreased vision, attention disorders, physical disabilities, and language/linguistic problems.
Welcoming people with varied disabilities and access needs is the right thing to do. But recently, many businesses have become aware of the additional benefits of improving their website accessibility ratings:
- Increased revenue – The disability market is huge. Current data suggests that at least 15% of the global population is living with some sort of disability that can inhibit website accessibility.
- Better branding – Demonstrating corporate social responsibility and community support is important, and more positive experiences on your website mean a better brand reputation and increased customer loyalty.
- Better SEO results – web accessibility factors are continually becoming more heavily weighted in search engine algorithms.
- Reduced legal risk – It is expected by law that businesses and service providers do not treat disabled people less favourably.
Why Choose Recite Me?
Recite Me works with organisations around the world to provide assistive technology on websites. Our accessibility toolbar removes the struggle for individuals who would otherwise need to provide their own support to access content online. And it’s worth noting here, that individual assistive technology solutions are typically very expensive and do not offer the same level of usability or functionality that our toolbar does.
The Recite Me assistive toolbar unlocks hassle-free access to online content by offering features such as translation, a screen reader, styling options, and a range of reading aids. These functions allow for multiple adjustments to suit a combination of needs and a range of individual or co-occurring conditions such as:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC)
- Developmental Language Disorders
Accounting for multiple and co-occurring disabilities is important as, for example, it is estimated that at least 60% of the neurodiverse community have more than one condition.
“Research shows that those who struggle with reading often struggle with math, and vice versa. Dyslexia and Dyscalculia are different, but they often co-occur. Reading and math differences aren’t the only examples. Dyslexia and ADHD also often co-occur.”
Amanda Morin, Author specialising in leadership, education, and development.
Recite Me now supports over 5,000 websites in providing inclusive online journeys. Our assistive toolbar has been launched over 5.2 million times, and over 34.4 million web pages have been viewed using our accessibility technology.
A focus group of Recite Me users brought together by the UK’s leading disability charity performed some testing on our toolbar. All participants previously encountered obstacles when accessing content online.
When using the toolbar, the focus group were in agreement that they would use the tool again and that they’d be more likely to use a website again if they knew that their accessibility needs were accommodated.
Here are some of the user comments and feedback…
- “It doesn’t strain or hurt my eyes when I read now.”
- “It’s remembered my settings across different sites, I really like this”
- “It shows that they’ve given accessibility some thought, and that goes a long way with me.”
- “Being able to change the background to black is a real bonus for me – I get dry eyes so this extends the amount of time I can stay online.”
- “If a place I’m planning to visit has an accessible website, I think they are more likely to be accessible when I get there.”
Even outside of testing scenarios, we have received some fantastic feedback from individual users who have had access to the Recite Me toolbar through our client’s websites.
Daniel Cobb is an advocate for disability inclusion and has dyspraxia. He used the Recite Me toolbar when he came across challenges trying to search and apply for his dream job online.
“The process of job hunting is mentally very draining for most job hunters but being dyspraxic makes it significantly worse. To be able to use the accessibility tools on the website ensures I can process the information with greater efficiency and therefore reduce the visual fatigue I experience from using websites.”
Daniel Cobb, Disability Inclusion Advocate
Jim Woodcock, who is in his mid-seventies and has two life limiting health issues, has used the Recite Me toolbar on some of our utilities clients websites.
“I think the Recite Me facility is really brilliant. I am able to use it on two sites. It has helped me a lot as I am sight impaired. The choice of options ie, speak text, download plain text only and magnifier are good for me. It works smoothly and is easy to use, I am very impressed!
“Personally, I have found the Recite Me feature really useful and easy to use and equally important it seems technically robust and responds to touch screen use perfectly. The settings options make it very user friendly.”
Jim Woodcock, Recite Me End-User
Maria, a Sefton Council Resident, has used the Recite Me toolbar on the Sefton Council’s website to understand information in the way that suits her best.
“I have Autism and Dyslexia and found that when using the Council’s website, I can change the font to Dyslexia font and add a ruler to keep my place, which really helps me to understand the information I need to stay independent. I am happy that the council use Recite Me as it is very helpful.”
Maria, Sefton Council Resident
Young Scot volunteer Teagan, who is also a member of Young Scot’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion panel, welcomes the incorporation of the Recite Me tool and shares her experience of the importance of online accessibility.
“The Recite Me tool allows young people, professionals, stakeholders, staff, and everyone in between to access the Young Scot website in a way that suits them. By having accessibility tools easily available on the site means you’re embedding access and inclusion from the moment I see the iconic pink and yellow logo. We must normalise accessibility aids because they are exactly that, normal! “The Recite Me tool allows young people, professionals, stakeholders, staff, and everyone in between to access the Young Scot website in a way that suits them. By having accessibility tools easily available on the site means you’re embedding access and inclusion from the moment I see the iconic pink and yellow logo. We must normalise accessibility aids because they are exactly that, normal!
As someone who uses a screen reader at times to help myself access websites while living with neurological and cognitive issues, I was delighted when I first saw the Recite Me tool pop up on the Young Scot site. Far too many websites are simply inaccessible and while I’m privileged enough to be able to navigate the internet without a screen reader, many people don’t have a choice. We shouldn’t have to choose between getting the information, support, and opportunities we need simply because we have different needs from others. As someone who uses a screen reader at times to help myself access websites while living with neurological and cognitive issues, I was delighted when I first saw the Recite Me tool pop up on the Young Scot site. Far too many websites are simply inaccessible and while I’m privileged enough to be able to navigate the internet without a screen reader, many people don’t have a choice. We shouldn’t have to choose between getting the information, support, and opportunities we need simply because we have different needs from others.
“To see a website that is not only accessible but goes the extra mile to ensure everyone has the tools they need to navigate your website, right on the page, is amazing. I hope more organisations follow this lead and begin to implement embedded accessibility in their websites and services, as well as create safe spaces for feedback on these tools to ensure everyone is getting the best experience possible.” “To see a website that is not only accessible but goes the extra mile to ensure everyone has the tools they need to navigate your website, right on the page, is amazing. I hope more organisations follow this lead and begin to implement embedded accessibility in their websites and services, as well as create safe spaces for feedback on these tools to ensure everyone is getting the best experience possible.”
Teagan, A Young Scot Volunteer
We are proud to work with several leaders across a wide variety of industry sectors including education, e-commerce, finance, technology, utilities, healthcare, construction, leisure and entertainment, non-profit, sports, and transport.
Over the years we’ve had some fantastic feedback:
- “Recite Me stood out as a provider with a wide range of features aimed at making our website more accessible for people with disabilities, along with customisation options and a user-friendly interface. As a result, the Recite Me toolbar has been implemented across key Mace websites and platforms, providing an inclusive digital experience. The availability of various accessibility tools ensures that everyone can access content in a manner that suits their individual needs.” Ian Steere, Digital Business Partner at Mace.
- “We are delighted to be launching this market-first technology to boots.com, helping customers to customise the site to suit their own needs. The launch of the Recite Me accessibility tools help those customers who find it more challenging to shop online to browse, shop and manage their accounts hassle free. Paula Bobbett, Director of E-Commerce at Boots UK.
- “Recite Me’s accessibility software checker and toolbar provides the ideal platform for us to uphold our commitment to delivering a website that everybody can easily use, and enables us to offer a customisable experience for our website visitors and members in a way that meets their individual needs. Ensuring that as many people as possible are able to access our website and obtain the information they need, or carry out the tasks they require, is important for our Society in enabling us to deliver high levels of customer service and an inclusive experience for our members.” Jennie Pitt, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Newcastle Building Society.
Professor Amanda Kirby is the CEO of Do-IT Solutions Ltd, a company specialising in increasing awareness and helping neurodiverse candidates into employment.
“It is easy for me to talk about Recite Me as we think it is brilliant when wanting to engage as wide an audience as possible. It is really easy to operate and provides everyone with a unique set of accessibility features and personalised choices.”
Amanda Kirby, CEO of Do-It Solutions LTD.
Disability Confident Employer
Recite Me is proud to be a Disability Confident Employer, and has several employees within our team who can relate first hand to the benefits of our web accessibility technology.
In line with our diversity and inclusion policies, more and more careers and recruitment organisations are now ensuring that they offer equal opportunities to all by making online applications accessible with the use of assistive technology.
The Benefits of Offering Web Accessibility Technology
By now, we hope these are already clear. Happier customers, happier clients, happier employees, plus increased revenue, enhanced brand reputation, and better SEO. What’s not to love about all that?
We’ve probably done enough self-promotion in this article already. But in addition to all of those benefits, we could also wax lyrical about our stats that show how including web accessibility in your business development strategy also:
- Improves employee satisfaction
- Increases productivity
- Reduces staff turnover
- Leads to more effective working strategies
So… Is YOUR organisation ready to offer equal access to online content for all?
The Recite Me toolbar is a cloud-based technology that can be installed on most websites in under an hour. Join the hundreds of companies who have already adopted our inclusive software by contacting our team for more information, or by booking a toolbar demonstration. You can also check out the Recite Me accessibility checker tool for free now.