The digital world is an integral part of today’s society, and approximately 59% of the global population are active internet users. That’s a massive 4.66 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. But there’s a problem… The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that only 10% of people have access to the assistive technology they need.
Although this is a disappointing statistic, the popularity of web accessibility tools is on the increase, and savvy companies are quickly realizing that assistive technology is a must to ensure continued success.
Why Assistive Technology Is Becoming So Popular
Organizations that provide options to customize 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 enormous. Current data suggests that at least 15% of the global population are 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 favorably.
Why Choose Recite Me?
Recite Me works with organizations 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:
- Hearing Impairments
- Visual Impairments
- 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 4,000 websites in providing inclusive online journeys. Our assistive toolbar has been launched over 4.2 million times, and over 25 million web pages have been viewed using our accessibility technology.
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 was not only a more cost-effective solution for delivering web content in foreign languages but also added so many more accessibility tools to improve the user experience for visitors to our site” (Jerry Harris, Assistant Director of Marketing & Air Service Development, Orlando International Airport).
“With Recite Me language and accessibility tools, the Dumb Friends League has been able to help thousands of patrons navigate our website. Through language translation services – written and spoken – families have been reconnected with lost pets, found new family members through adoption services, and uncovered resources to learn more about our mission” (Laurie Peterson, Vice President of Development and Marketing, Dumb Friends League).
“Recite Me allows us to ensure an inclusive online environment and positive user experience for all of our partners and employees visiting Awin.com. We couldn’t be more thrilled to provide this tool for their website usage” (Alexandra Forsch, President, Awin US).
“NDRN believes the Recite tool is critical because we know that people do not always have access to assistive technology like screen readers, or are able to modify the accessibility settings for the device they’re using to explore our website. Recite offers a different way for people with a variety of access needs to interact with our content” (Tina Pinedo, Communication and Digital Specialist, National Disability Rights Network).
Professor Amanda Kirby is the CEO of Do-IT Solutions Ltd, a company specializing 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. “
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.”
A focus group of Recite Me users brought together by Disability Pride Pennsylvania performed some testing on our toolbar. All participants previously encountered obstacles when accessing content online.
When using the toolbar, the focus group was 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.
“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, a Sefton Council Resident
Tracking the Positive Changes
Recite Me is proud to be a Disability Confident Employer and has several employees within our team who can relate firsthand to the benefits of our web accessibility technology.
In line with our diversity and inclusion policies, more and more careers and recruitment organizations are now ensuring that they offer equal opportunities to all by making online applications accessible with the use of assistive technology.
Since 2020 there has been a 150% increase in the number of career web pages being viewed by a diverse audience.
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
Reduces staff turnover
Leads to more effective working strategies
So… Is YOUR organization 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.