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Melin Homes addresses the need to improve website accessibility

Melin Homes is a leading housing association in South East Wales. They work closely with local authorities and other partners to build thriving communities.

To improve the accessibility of their online services, they adopted digital inclusion software ReachDeck. Hear how it helped them to upgrade their web accessibility efforts.

Outcomes

  • Melin Homes enlisted the support of ReachDeck to help provide accessible & inclusive services
  • The ReachDeck toolbar helps Melin Homes' web visitors to self-serve, with an improved online experience
  • Meanwhile the ReachDeck audit tool helps staff to track and optimize the accessibility of their web content.

Background

Established in 2007, Melin Homes is a leading Registered Social Landlord (RSL) in South East Wales. As an RSL, they work closely with local authorities and other partners to build thriving communities.

The introduction of Universal Credit across the UK has prompted social landlords to adopt digital inclusion software and support vulnerable residents who are digitally excluded. The rollout of accessibility software is set to benefit millions of residents.

The Challenge

Mike Watkins, Marketing and Communications Manager at Melin Homes shares why the housing association adopted BrowseAloud, now part of the ReachDeck package:

“After carrying out a needs analysis, a number of residents highlighted on a survey that they could not get access to the information they needed on our website and so it became apparent it was something we needed to improve. This encouraged us to begin looking for appropriate options to cater for this need.”

The Solution

Following a recommendation by local peers who already used ReachDeck, and after a little research into the software, Melin Homes arranged a visit from Texthelp to provide a demo of the product and outline the key benefits of investing in digital inclusion software for their website.

Melin couldn’t believe how simple and straight-forward ReachDeck is. There’s no learning curve, which is exactly what you need from a website support tool.

The service we received from Texthelp was excellent. It was a quick and easy process to get the ReachDeck software integrated onto our site, and any questions we had were answered and resolved quickly.

Web content can be translated into over 99 languages, 40 of which can be read aloud, allowing Melin Homes to reach a wider and more diverse audience. "Residents now have the opportunity to be involved in everything we do and to get to see everything", says Mike, "whereas before ReachDeck they didn’t have the same engagement."

Lasting Value

Now, thanks to ReachDeck, www.melinhomes.co.uk is equipped with user-friendly speech, reading and translation tools that help reduce any pre-existing barriers between web content and its audience.

Online visitors have the opportunity to convert text into audio files using the MP3 tool, allowing for more convenient reading. ReachDeck has granted visitors a sense of independence, while Melin Homes are no longer reliant on others passing along information as everyone can access the information themselves.

ReachDeck gives website visitors access to the information they require in a variety of different formats. Anyone can use ReachDeck regardless of what impairment they may have as it's simple and easy to use.

ReachDeck

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

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

These features identify accessibility barriers quickly and at scale, helping organisations ensure their content can be understood by everyone. 

Discover ReachDeck

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