Today’s guest post was provided by Michael Halpin, UK Marketing Manager, Recite Me – a sponsors of the IWMW 2019 event.

Many universities across the country are attracting more and more students from around the world. This increase in popularity of international students is a key market for universities & higher education organisations. To cater for this wide range of visitors, university websites need to be highly accessible.

The education sector needs to be more focused on creating accessible websites to benefit from the increase in a diverse audience. To make a website or mobile app accessible universities must ensure as many people as possible can use it, to do what they need to do. As well as translating for people that don’t speak English as their first language, websites need to be useable for people with, vision impairment; hearing loss; cognitive impairments or learning difficulties; and motor difficulties like dyspraxia.

Public sector websites must comply with the principles of the WCAG 2.1 AA global web accessibility guidelines in order to be considered accessible. Website existing content must to be fixed and accessible by 23 September 2020.  According to the 2019 Q2/UK & IE Universities & Higher Ed report, 80% of tested university websites reported back a score of less than five out of ten for website accessibility.

Cranfield University has always understood the need to make its communications accessible. When the university re-launched its website, they began looking for a high-quality web accessibility solution that complies with the latest web accessibility standards. Students from over 100 countries across the world come to study at the university, so the software needed to accessible and usable by a wide range of people. The Recite Me web accessibility toolbar was exactly what Cranfield University was looking for, to cater for international students and to be easily used by visitors with dyslexia, visual impairment and learning difficulties.

Creating a website to be accessible via WCAG guidelines is a great starting point to opening up your website to a bigger audience. But for this wider, diverse audience to benefit from your website and its content, it needs to be usable daily not only on one computer but by everyone, everywhere.

To support website usability for all, Recite Me provides innovative cloud-based web accessibility software. By providing a simple drop-down toolbar this allows visitors to customise a website to the way they need it to work for them. This award-winning software includes text to speech functionality, dyslexia software, an interactive dictionary, a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices and many other features.

Amy Simpson, Head of Digital Communications, Cranfield University said:

“We wanted to make sure the content on our website was accessible to as many people as possible. Recite Me provides us with a translation service as well as an accessibility solution, which is very important for us because it means that our international audiences can easily access our web content. There are so many different features on the Recite Me toolbar that it covers everything from an accessibility and language perspective. The offer was very appealing, and the service was comprehensive, and the team at Recite Me are very proud and passionate about the Recite Me web accessibility software. They have been great to work with.”

Recite Me Founder and CEO Ross Linnett said:

“Around one in every five people in the UK has a disability and they can often face barriers like inaccessible websites that prevent them from taking an active part in life. Here at Recite Me, we make sure our software is at the forefront of web accessibility, giving everyone the opportunity to use the internet the way it is intended.”

Start your journey to becoming an accessible university by meeting the team at this year IWMW 2019 event or call us now on 0191 432 80 92 to find out more about Recite Me or book your free demo now.

This guest post was provided by Michael Halpin, UK Marketing Manager, Recite Me.

Recite Me are a sponsor of the IWMW 2019 event.