Charities Are Becoming More Inclusive by Embracing Web Accessibility

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Over the past 12 months Recite Me has made over 520,000 charity and not-for-profit organizations website pages accessible, and on average we’ve supported over 15,000 people every month in accessing barrier-free charity information through our web accessibility technology. And we’re just getting started…

The charity and not-for-profit sector is well known for supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our society. So it makes sense that many organizations are taking the lead in tackling web accessibility in 2020 as a way of championing as many beneficiaries as they can. This year, in particular, has seen many vulnerable individuals become isolated due to lock down and shielding measures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is vital that digital inclusion factors are considered by as many organizations as possible to ensure that online information is not just available, but accessible to all.

In recent months as the effects of COVID-19 restrictions continue to linger, we’ve noticed a trend in the growing number of charity and not for profit organizations that are signing up to use Recite Me assistive technology, and we now support over 50 different charitable organizations including:

  • Amnesty International

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness

  • The Prince’s Trust

  • Meningitis Now

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

  • Just 4 Children

  • Several NHS Trusts

  • Disability Rights groups across America

Web Accessibility & Charity Values

Many readers will naturally assume that a significant percentage of organizations in the not for profit sector is supporting disabled users who face web accessibility barriers and that this is the sole reason behind the upturn of sign-ups in 2020. However, this is not the case, as while many charities do embrace assistive technology to support their beneficiaries, the target audience for charity websites goes way beyond that, and categories within the sector are way more all-encompassing than disability organizations alone. Examples include:

  • Animal welfare charities

  • International NGOs

  • Environmental campaign charities

  • Education charities

  • Arts and culture charities

  • Community development charities

  • Human rights charities

The vast majority of charities and not for profits rely on the internet not just to communicate with their subscribers and recipients, but to communicate their values and attract supporters, ambassadors, and benefactors. This is something that becomes increasingly difficult if websites are not accessible. The simple fact is that the more an organization does to provide access to information, the more people it can reach. This year especially, this has become incredibly important in the charity sector, as with so many people struggling financially it is harder than ever to recruit sponsors and donations.

By their very nature, charities and not for profits actively work towards equality and inclusion for all. In the modern-day world, and in 2020 in particular, so much of what we do is online that if we don’t take web accessibility seriously then people will be excluded. This, in turn, creates a two-tiered society, something which the charity sector works incredibly hard to avoid. So the shared values between charity goals and the benefits of web accessibility are very clear here.

What the Data Says

We already know that 71% of web users simply leave a site that they find hard to use, and 83% of people with access needs limit their browsing to sites that they know are accessible. So it’s always rewarding to know that our technology is making a genuine difference to people’s lives. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics from our charity clients so far this year:

Toolbar launches – Depending on the size and scope of the charity, numbers vary, but most medium-sized organizations show toolbar launches in the thousands. National charities average 20,000+ toolbar launches, whereas smaller or regional charities record toolbar launches of 6,000-15,000.

Pageviews per visit – On average, Recite Me users view 3.5 pages of an accessible website per visit, which is higher than the average internet journey depth of just 2 pages per visit.

Translations – Again, numbers will vary depending on the size and scope of the charity, but some charity websites report as many as 72,000 translations.

How Assistive Technology Removes Web Accessibility Barriers

Solutions like the Recite Me assistive toolbar provide options to make multiple adjustments on any given web page to make the contents easier to read. Bespoke changes can be made to the text, graphics, and the way the information is consumed (visual or audio), plus on-screen tools make the pages easier to focus on. This makes websites accessible for those who struggle with a range of conditions, including:

  • Visual impairments

  • Deafblindness

  • Colour blindness

  • Dyslexia

  • Hyperlexia

  • Dyspraxia

  • ADHD

  • Speaking English as a second language

  • Epilepsy

  • Mobility and physical impairments

Charities and not for profits provide a wide range of services including information, advice, training, education, and digital resources. As such, charity websites are often among some of the most complex for users to access, making web accessibility a top priority. Recite Me is very proud to be leading the way in this sector and helping so many people to access the information they need online.

“We believe everyone should be able to access our information and services barrier-free, and Recite simply helps us deliver this in a way that is straight forward for the user and, for a charity that doesn’t receive government funding, in a cost-effective manner. “

David Clifford, Digital Marketing Manager at Meningitis Now


You can find out more about the charities that use Recite Me software in our sector pages. If you would like to speak to one of the team about booking a demonstration of our assistive toolbar or would like any further information, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you. Additionally, if you would like to see how your website scores for accessibility, then check out the free website accessibility scanner at Recite Me.

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