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It is estimated that around 70% of all websites are "inaccessible". This is a huge amount of the digital online space where the needs of the disabled are not being catered for or even being respected and understood.
New regulations mean public sector organisations have a legal duty to make sure websites and apps meet accessibility requirements.
I have teamed up with TextHelp on a number B2B commercial websites in the past and our most recent work for Leeds City Council will see us implementing the assistive technology into a public-facing project.
ReachDeck tools are already being used by about 200 local councils, 140 NHS organisations and 125 Housing associations across the UK. It is ISO-27001 certified and also is officially compliant with the new regulations.
A person is considered to have a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that has ‘substantial’ and ‘long term’ negative effects on their ability to do normal daily activities. This is the core definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010.
Your online visitors are made up of a diverse audience. Some may have vision or hearing impairments. Others may have literacy difficulties or cognitive challenges. Others may be neurodiverse. Providing visitors with a website accessibility toolbar can help them use your website more easily, supporting an inclusive online experience for everyone. It also ensures website and app visitors are met with accessible web content. This helps them to browse, buy and access services independently.
Inclusion is something that should be on everyone’s mind. Covid and lockdown have meant that essential communications are being delivered in a digital-first way. Every visitor should be able to access and perceive your online content.
Thankfully, today's society is making progress and goes some way to be more inclusive for people with disabilities. It seems unthinkable that public spaces and buildings, transport, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues would not provide disabled access or services. But this has not always been the case...
The same principles have not been embraced fully on the web. Does it make sense to promote your brand or company online with big budgets, only to leave out those people we have a duty of care to support more?
In the same way campaigners fought for more inclusivity in everyday life, it makes sense that we should look to the digital sector to do more.
Some users may use assistive technology to navigate the internet independently. This includes screen readers, text magnification, and speech recognition software. But not everyone has access. In fact, only one in 10 people in need have access to assistive technology products due to the high costs. That’s why many organisations are recognising the benefits of adding a website accessibility toolbar to their site.
"Our partnership with TextHelp will help us to promote and deliver a trusted, tried and tested enhancement for websites that will help meet the needs of people with disabilities and impairments," explains Tim. "ReachDeck brings together lots of tools that not only deliver accessibility compliance, but the platform also has great functions to optimise content creation to meet readability standards and improve SEO."
The ReachDeck Toolbar is a frontend facing tool that helps you to reach a much wider audience with available and accessible web content for all. Its features empower users to change the format of digital content to suit their needs.
The ReachDeck Toolbar reads website content out loud using the most natural and engaging voice to transform your online reading experience. New features include; Translator, Simplifier, Screen Masking for Touch Screens and the ability to personalise the settings to suit individual needs and preferences.
Other features include:
Feel free to play with the tool on our website. Just click on the orange SPEAK button on the right-hand side of this page to reveal the toolbar.
It's time for you to maximise your website and app engagement to build trust and make a dent in the universe by using "tech for good".
Thank you for contacting us.
We will reply to you in the next 24-48 hours.
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