Digital inclusion is about ensuring the benefits of the internet and digital technologies are available to everyone.
In terms of web accessibility, this means ensuring that your website can be accessed by everyone including people with visual impairment and other disabilities.
According to Texthelp, access needs can arise from a variety of disabilities including vision and hearing impairments, literacy difficulties, cognitive challenges, and neurodivergent conditions such as dyslexia, autism, dyspraxia and ADHD.
One thing this audience has in common is that the digital world is one where too often they feel excluded.
Common online barriers include:
Approximately one billion people globally have a disability and they can often face barriers when visiting inaccessible websites that prevent them from taking an active part in life. In the UK the figure is 14.1 million disabled people in the UK (source: scope.org.uk)
There are a number of companies that offer web accessibility tools that provide assistive digital technology, on the market. Here we will be looking at 2 different ones that we have recently implemented: Recite Me and ReachDeck.
Both provide a toolbar that sits on top pf the website and offers a range of tools for the visitor, like text-to-speech, reading and translation support.
Reachdeck’s pricing model based on monthly visits to website, sot her more visitors the higher the monthly cost:
For example, up to 50K visitors per month - £3,295 per year per site
Example: Camden and Islington NHS trust
Recite Me doesn’t publish any costs on their website. They say: “Just as each of your web visitors is unique, so is every client we engage with. Our bespoke pricing plans are flexible to suit your business and budget, based on your digital landscape.”
Example: Doughty Street Chambers
Both tools offer more or less the same functions, most commonly text reading, translations and font size and contrast. They look slightly different on the page, so it is more of a subjective preference than a technical one.
In terms of implementing these tools on a website, they both work in a similar way of placing a script on the site in question. We have implemented this on a number of Drupal (both Drupal 7 and Drupal 9) and Wordpress sites and it has been fairly straight forward.
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