Millions of people across the world are working from home at the moment because of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
This working from home trend has seen a rapid surge in internet usage, which has roughly doubled during the day in the UK, according to internet service provider Virgin Media.
Most employers have created working at-home practices and solutions that allow staff to access their internal systems being used remotely, but people are still getting used to the new ‘normal’ working arrangements.
Making sure that websites, intranets, and other digital platforms are accessible must be at the heart of new working from home arrangements.
Evidence shows that at least one in five people in the UK have some kind of disability, long-term health condition, or impairment, which means they often have access issues.
This makes it essential to consider the access needs of these users and ensure websites and other digital platforms are accessible for them, whether they are working at home or anywhere else.
Supporting NHS staff
Even before the outbreak of COVID-19 Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was already using web accessibility software Recite Me on its internal StaffNet intranet and website.
Having Recite Me’s assistive toolbar on the Trust’s internal StaffNet intranet means that staff can use Recite Me whilst working from home to help them easily access StaffNet.
Recite Me’s assistive toolbar can be used for styling changes like changing the font size and font type, zooming in, changing the text and background colour contrast, or users can use it to opt to have the text read aloud.
Recite Me can also translate content from English into over 100 different languages, which makes it a perfect working from home tool for people who speak English as a second language.
For example, Donato Cacciacarro, a Domestic Supervisor at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Recite Me is really good. I can translate text just by highlighting it or, if I don’t understand something in English, I can use the dictionary button“
The numbers don’t lie
Recent data on how Recite Me is used by visitors to the Trust’s StaffNet intranet over the last five months show just how popular Recite Me is.
The most popular accessibility and language features of the Recite Me toolbar being used are:
- Screen Reader 54.3% (2,453 pieces on content read aloud)
- Styling 21.27% (979 styling changed from 742 toolbar launches)
- Translation 19.73% (908 pieces of content translated. The Top 4 languages being, Afrikanns, Russian, French, and Welsh)
These figures show how often Recite Me is used and how much it helps the Trust’s staff and its service users.
Nikki Kriel, Organisational Development Manager for Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As an inclusive employer, Recite Me has been extremely popular in a number of ways offering users the opportunity to enlarge, translate or read aloud the Trust’s website.”
Jennie Shore, HR Director for Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Recite Me is an extremely useful tool which helps us to be a more inclusive organisation.”
We are now offering to host a free accessible and inclusive landing page for any business to share your COVID-19 related messages to all staff and customers.
You can visit the dedicated COVID-19 support page on our website now to find out how the free accessible and inclusive landing page works and how to contact us to create a landing page for your business.