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Hull University Teaching Hospitals aim high with ReachDeck

Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH) are on a journey to improve digital accessibility for the patients they serve. But, with a small communications team, they sought tools to help them on their way. 

ReachDeck is helping them to find accessibility errors quickly and easily. It’s also supporting their large employee-base to create content that’s easier for everyone to understand. Read on to hear their story.


  • ReachDeck is supporting HUTH's small communications team to aim high in their digital accessibility goals
  • The solution was chosen because it offered a 'better value service than SiteImprove' and 'the customer service from Texthelp has been nothing short of excellent'
  • Most valuable is that ReachDeck helps them to find content that's of a high reading age. As well as content that uses a lot of medical jargon. It's helping them to make content easier to understand for the patients that they serve

The background

Hull University Teaching Hospitals is an NHS Trust that serves patients in Hull and East Yorkshire. They work from two main hospital sites: Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital. As well as that they have a number of extra services based across Hull. They have around 11,000 staff, and welcome around one million patients through their doors every year.

The challenge

HUTH are embarking on a digital accessibility journey, working to improve accessibility for their online visitors. But, with a small communications team they sought tools that would help them on their way. As a Texthelp customer, they were already using the ReachDeck Toolbar (previously Browsealoud). So they were keen to hear what else ReachDeck had to offer. As our newest software, ReachDeck incorporates the toolbar into a suite of tools.

Speaking on their behalf, Bonnie Gray, Digital Communications Manager said;

“We have been very happy with the functionality and ease of use of Browsealoud [now the ReachDeck Toolbar] for several years now. So I was very keen to hear more about ReachDeck and any accessibility enhancements it can offer.”

As well as the ReachDeck Toolbar, ReachDeck includes two new features - the ReachDeck Auditor and Editor. After learning more about these features, HUTH knew ReachDeck was the solution for them. 

ReachDeck offered a better value service than SiteImprove, and the customer service from Texthelp has been nothing short of excellent.

The solution

ReachDeck is an all-in-one solution that helps organisations improve the accessibility, readability and reach of online content. It has three features - the Auditor, Editor and Toolbar. The Auditor is a WCAG accessibility compliance checker. WCAG being the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – known as the international standards for web accessibility. The Editor is an editing tool that supports the creation of content that’s easy for everyone to understand. And the Toolbar is an accessibility toolbar that offers assistive features to online users.

The ReachDeck Auditor is helping HUTH to find accessibility errors on their website with ease. They simply run a scan on demand, and are given WCAG errors at levels A, AA and AAA. As well as readability problems, and broken links. Downloadable reports support them to prioritise fixes.

Speaking of the ReachDeck Auditor, Bonnie said;

I am extremely keen on the Auditor tool. I haven’t managed to get stuck into it yet but I have run the initial reports and am suitably horrified. Within the next few months I'll be able to get stuck in and make all of those required edits.

The edits Bonnie speaks of include content that’s of a high reading age. As well as content that uses a lot of technical or medical jargon. Fixing these edits will be made easier with the use of ReachDeck’s Editor. As employees type it highlights use of jargon words and long sentences. And gives an overall reading age of the content. 

Speaking of the ReachDeck Editor, Bonnie said;

“The Editor tool is something a few of my colleagues have looked at and found quite useful. We are definitely keen on promoting this to colleagues. And encouraging them to think about how they're creating web content and documents.”

Lasting value

All three of ReachDeck’s features have proved to offer value to HUTH as they embark on their accessibility journey. In fact, it’s allowing them to be aspirational in their accessibility goals.

I have a goal to get to WCAG AA compliance. But being the competitive person I am, I really want to achieve AAA compliance.

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