It’s at the heart of our whole organisation and all of our products.
For us, it’s personal. Our core purpose is to help people understand and be understood. Our CEO, Martin McKay started Texthelp after seeing his father struggling to communicate following a severe stroke. That was back in 1996 and we’ve been building on our accessibility experience and offerings to education and the workplace over the last 25 years. Our recent acquisition of the Lingit Group will allow us to achieve more together, as the Texthelp Group, in terms of accessibility and assistive technology.
Today, more essential digital communications and services are moving online than ever before. We know it's important that our information can be understood by everyone.
We have created cross-department accessibility teams and improved our websites and our products. We still have work to do. Accessibility best practice is about continuous improvement. It's about supporting and including all users, regardless of disability, difference or language. We are fully committed to always being better.
It’s also a roadmap of standards and improvements we’re committed to as the whole Texthelp Group grows and evolves into the future.
Accessibility has always been at the heart of all of our products and it will continue to be so. Accessible technology is fundamental to our purpose of helping everyone to understand and be understood. For example:
Accessible design is a crucial part of our product development phase. We understand the importance of putting users at the heart of our product design and development process. We are committed to understanding the needs of all our user groups, including those with disabilities.
Annually, we carry out hundreds of tests, surveys, reviews and conversations with people with disabilities. Throughout our product development process we work with customers, end users and industry experts to get their input on design concepts and test for inclusive user experience.
In 2022, we plan to launch our first Disability and Accessibility Network. The Network will allow us to formalise how we include people with disabilities in our research, in order to build more accessible products.
If you would like to join our Network and take part in user studies including interviews, surveys, focus groups and more, please get in touch.
We launched the main texthelp website (www.texthelp.com) in February 2021. Throughout the development phase, we made sure it was WCAG 2.1 AA compliant.
We’ve invested in a new social media management platform - Sprout Social. This platform allows us to add alt text to all the imagery we use. Alt text describes images to visitors who are unable to see them. This includes screen readers as well as browsers that may block images.
All new videos uploaded to the Texthelp YouTube channel will include a transcript in the description as well as closed captions. We will not use automated YouTube captions. We know that automated captions can be less accurate and exclude users with hearing difficulties. Each video caption is edited by a Texthelper. For longer videos, we use a transcription service.
The average reading age of adults in the UK is nine years old. It's not always possible to meet this target depending on target audience and subject matter. However, by reducing long sentences and reducing the amount of jargon words, we can help people better understand us. We are constantly working to improve the readability of communication across our whole organisation.
A corporate brand book has been created to give guidance to all staff on how to create digital content. This covers the creation of accessible assets in terms of:
We train all of our staff on Accessibility and Readability best practices.
We’ve been awarded the Bronze Diversity Mark in recognition of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This marks an important step in our journey towards growing a more inclusive workplace where all employees can thrive.
We're passionate about creating a world where difference, disability and language are no longer barriers.
In fact, Texthelp only exists because of our Founder’s mission to overcome communication barriers. That's why we work with like-minded individuals and organisations to advocate for change from education through to the workplace.
We love to hear from you. Your feedback helps us shape our products, website and services.