TDC launch new software tool to make our website more accessible

Computer Access

Torridge Council have added new software to their website with the aim of making their web pages more accessible to more people. The "Recite Me" toolbar, which can be clicked on from the top of any of the Council's web pages using the "Read and Hear Me" button (see top of this page), gives users a number of options to make reading easier, such as having the text read aloud to them or changing font sizes and colours. The intention is to make the website as accessible as possible to people of all ages, including people with a disability, learning difficulty or other impairment. The "Recite Me" toolbar also has the function to instantly translate any text-based content into more than 100 languages, all at the click of a button.

Torridge's website currently attracts over 10,000 users per month and has already undergone a refresh to make many more services available online. The move is part of the Councils "Transforming Torridge" programme with one if its aims to make any dealings people have with the Council easier and more convenient. According to statistics, accessibility is a key issue, with 15% of people worldwide reported to have dyslexia, or learning difficulties, and 3% with significant sight loss to name just a few of the issues that some users might struggle with. The site also needs to be accessible to the increasing number of tourists that come to visit and holiday in the area, where English may not be their first language.

Councillor David Hurley - Lead Member for Internal Resources at Torridge said:

"Our website is becoming an ever more important tool for delivering information and allowing people to access services electronically. Many services now allow applications to be made online but we need to ensure that those people that might struggle with the standard way this information is presented are not excluded from these new ways of interacting. The Recite Me toolbar will bridge that gap for people who may have had difficulty in using our website in the past and is a practical and positive approach to improving accessibility."

Ross Linnett, CEO & Founder of Recite Me said:

"We believe that all websites should be accessible to the widest possible audience. We are very pleased to have been able to help Torridge District Council make its website more accessible and inclusive and applaud their efforts to help people access services online. The new accessible website will allow the widest possible audience to access information with ease and do what they need to do on the website, in the way that works best for them."

29 November 2017