Here at YUSU, we are always trying to make improvements so your user experience is better, and to ensure that we comply with accessibility standards.
Recite Me is a new tool that we have sourced and introduced on our website to increase and improve the website’s accessibility. The implementation of this toolbar instantly makes the website easier to navigate for people with accessibility requirements. Through the reading and translation support provided by clicking one button, there is no need for additional screen readers or translation tools - it’s all built in to each page on the website.
The Recite Me toolbar aims to support accessibility online by being perceivable, understandable, operable, and robust; all in line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
The toolbar offers the following accessibility features:
Reading tools - ruler, screen mask, margins, magnifier and a dictionary
Styling tools - text-only view mode and options to customise the page colour scheme and font size, style, colour and spacing
Translation - translation of the web content to over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech languages
The idea is to support people with disabilities. We’ve listed a few examples below to illustrate how the toolbar can help certain disabilities, but for a full outline, do have a look at Recite Me’s page.
The text font, colour and spacing tools allow a user to customise the visual elements of the website. The ruler and mask tools offer additional support with reading.
The screen reader tool is fully customisable to allow text to be read aloud at various speeds and in different languages, with either a male or female voice. This can offer support to any users with Autism and facing challenges when reading.
In cases of severe epilepsy, the text- only tool can help by removing any graphics or visual media that may trigger a seizure. Customizing the colours of the page can also provide help if certain colours affect the user’s epilepsy.
The built-in dictionary can offer help to users with hyperlexia, who may not be able to understand the meanings of words read on the site.
How to access the toolbar
The toolbar can be enabled in the header of the website (next to the ‘Sign In’ button). Once the toolbar is enabled, it will remain in use while navigating through the website pages. See the image below for the button location, and what the toolbar looks like once enabled:
Unless you press the ‘reset’ button, the toolbar will remember your settings - which is a really helpful feature for regular users!
What’s next for YUSU’s web accessibility?
Web accessibility remains important to YUSU, and although the introduction of the Recite Me toolbar is a great stepping stone, there is still work to be done! Here are a few things we aim to have fixed in the coming months:
Avoid using any images on the website containing text. Instead use text that is able to be read by screen readers and translator tools.
Make keyboard-only navigation easier, by adding visual focus to links, text fields and buttons.
You can also read our web accessibility statement here, which states our intention to review the accessibility of the YUSU website by September 2020.