Local health and care providers launch new inclusive online experience

6 April 2022

Local health and care providers launch new inclusive online experience

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin integrated Care System (ICS) partners have launched a new inclusive online tool to enable website visitors to access online content and services barrier-free.

The ICS have signed up alongside Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust and Shropshire Partners in Care to the accessibility tool, Recite Me.  The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will launch the tool when their new website launches in the near future.

Website visitors to their sites are now able to access a wide range of accessibility and language support tools to customise their digital experience. This is essential for over 20% of the population who may encounter barriers when exploring websites due to disabilities, learning difficulties, visual impairments or speaking English as a second language.

The Recite Me assistive toolbar includes screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids, customisable styling options an on-demand live translation feature that boasts over 100 languages including 35 texts to speech and styling options.

Simon Whitehouse, Interim CEO Designate for the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS, said: “We want all our residents in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin to live in good health for a long as possible with a greater emphasis on preventing illness and staying well, but also providing the right care when and where they need it.

“As part of this aim, we need to make sure our information about health, care and services is an accessible as possible and having tools such as Recite Me, is one way we can do this.”

David Crosby, Chief Officer at Shropshire Partners in Care, said: “Our aim is to support Adult Social Care providers in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, to do this in the fullest sense we need to ensure our website and the information on it is accessible to everyone, the Recite Me software has helped to remove barriers making it easy to navigate, interact and engage.”

David Shelton, Website Systems and Records Management Lead at Shropshire Community Health, said: “Our Trust signed up for the toolbar to improve our accessibility standards to ensure our service information is as accessible as possible to a growing diverse number of visitors, such as patients and carers.  It adds another layer of functionality over and above the basic options provided by the modern browser and is much easier to access and use.”

Laura Kinsey, Primary Care Training Hub Project Manager, said: “The Recite Me software will provide our audience with an accessible platform that allows those with sight loss and/or those with language and learning difficulties to view and obtain information from the site, in a way that best suits their requirements. We are proud to offer this software and hope that it provides a positive experience to a more diverse range of users going forward.”

The internet can be an incredibly intimidating place for those with access barriers, and those lacking the tools they need to adequately understand or communicate are at a significant disadvantage.

Ross Linnett Recite Me’s Founder and CEO commented, “It is important to provide an inclusive online experience, where everyone can use our digital world in a way in which best suits their needs. As more organisations provide accessibility tools online, those who face online barriers can access information and services hassle-free. The digital world must be accessible for all.”

Other ICS partners, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, Telford and Wrekin Council already have their own accessibility tools and support in place. Shropshire Council has processes in place to ensure their online services support those with accessibility needs.

Page last updated 6 April 2022