Hull City Council: offering inclusive experiences, because it matters


Hull City Council are committed to offering meaningful support to young citizens with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Their website, Hull’s Local Offer, is a dedicated space for providing advice to this audience.

The Council chose to add our web accessibility toolbar, Browsealoud (now part of the ReachDeck solution) to their website to help ensure their digital content is both user-friendly and accessible to every visitor. Read their customer story to hear how they've created an inclusive online experience for their users.

Outcomes

  • The Reachdeck toolbar helps the council provide user-friendly and inclusive digital content
  • Reachdeck helps ensure their Local Offer website meets global accessibility standards
  • SEND users now have a dedicated website that fully supports their accessibility needs

The background

The team at Hull City Council are committed to offering meaningful support to young citizens with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). As part of their Hull SEND Strategy, they’ve developed a dedicated website for SEND users and their families: Hull’s Local Offer.

Hull’s Local Offer website provides advice for youths around key topics, from Health and Wellbeing to Becoming an Adult. It also offers information on local services including Social Care, Education and Leisure Activities.

The challenge

Hull City Council’s Local Offer website has been developed for people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families. To effectively provide support and guidance to their visitors, it’s essential that the content on the digital platform is fully accessible to each user - especially those who are often digitally excluded.

Additionally, regulations such as the EU Web Accessibility Directive place legal responsibility on public sector bodies to ensure their websites and apps meet global accessibility standards. 

The solution

In order to best serve and include all of their users, Hull City Council added BrowseAloud (now part of ReachDeck) to their Local Offer website to ensure their digital content is friendly for every visitor.

Reachdeck is an accessibility toolbar that adds speech, reading and translation support to websites, allowing users to personalise how they access content and services in a way that suits them best. It’s particularly beneficial for individuals who have hidden disabilities, such as dyslexia or other reading difficulties. The toolbar's accessibility features allow users to:

  • Hear content read out loud
  • Translate text into over 100 languages
  • Increase the size of text with a text magnifier 
  • Reduce screen glare with a screen tint overlay
  • Focus more easily with a reading pane function
  • Remove distracting content with the ability to simplify a webpage

Vicki Pellatt, Local Offer Information Officer at the council explains why her organisation felt they needed to implement Reachdeck: 

Many of our users need help reading the website. In its original form it was not accessible to all of these people. To make sure your website is accessible to more people, Reachdeck is a great idea. It can really benefit the organisation as well as the individuals who use it.

Lasting value

Vicki is delighted to be offering a more inclusive experience for users and has also been impressed with the wider organisational benefits. She is looking forward to analysing user data and is prioritising gathering feedback from their online community. She adds: “Analysis of user statistics and user feedback is yet to be gained but will be in the near future. We are very much looking forward to implementing those learnings.”

ReachDeck

As well as the accessibility toolbar, ReachDeck's features also include:

  • The ReachDeck Auditor which identifies accessibility errors across your website. It highlights WCAG compliance errors at Level A, AA and AAA. And identifies readability errors including the use of jargon words and long sentences
  • The ReachDeck Editor which helps to improve the quality and accessibility of written content. As you type, grammar, spelling and readability errors are identified. Helping organisations edit content in line with best practice

These features help organisations identify accessibility barriers quickly and at scale, while ensuring their content can be understood by everyone. 

Discover ReachDeck

Breaks down communication barriers. Improve the accessibility, readability and reach of your online content.

Learn more about creating accessible web content

On 20th May we'll be hosting our first ever Festival of Accessibility! Join us then to hear industry experts cover topics such as digital literacy, accessibility standards, and digital inclusion in the public sector.

Join our virtual conference for free.

Festival of Accessibility 20 May 2021. Free virtual conference. Reserve your spot