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  • Browsealoud

At a glance - about Croydon

  • Largest and most diverse London borough
  • Over 375,000 citizens speaking more than 85 languages
  • Aspiration to “create a place where everyone lives a fulfilling life”
  • Launched new website to “provide responsive and accessible services”
Croydon Council

“Because of the diversity in Croydon it’s vital that our services are accessible to as many of our citizens as possible. Browsealoud is a great complement to our site’s design and technical accessibility features and it’s free to users, running within the browser without them needing to download any extra software. It’s really quite impressive.”

Tom Steel, Croydon Council

Better access to Croydon council services


The Challenge

Croydon is the largest - by population - and most diverse London borough, with over 370,000 citizens speaking more than 85 languages.  It’s this rich diversity that makes Croydon the vibrant and dynamic place it is today.

For the borough and its residents to truly benefit from this diverse culture, Croydon council implemented an equality and inclusion policy.  The aspiration was to ‘create a place where everyone who lives and works in the borough has a strong sense of belonging and are united by shared values around opportunity and fairness so that everyone can lead fulfilling lives’.

One of Croydon’s top priorities highlighted in the policy was to ‘deliver better outcomes for local people by providing responsive and accessible services’, which is why Croydon council embarked on a huge project to update their website.

Launched in January 2015, www.croydon.gov.uk now features a simplified design for easier navigation and additional reading and translation support with browsealoud.

“We have received lots of really positive feedback about our new website from the citizens of Croydon,” comments Tom Steel, Web Manager at London Borough of Croydon, “services are much easier to find and understand with a little help from browsealoud.”

Browsealoud is Texthelp’s award-winning digital inclusion software that makes government portals and online services more accessible with easy ‘read aloud’ content and translation.

Tom continues, “Because of the diversity in Croydon it’s vital that our services are accessible to as many of our citizens as possible.  Browsealoud is a great complement to our site’s design and technical accessibility features -  at the touch of a button, our website content can be translated into multiple languages and read aloud in a very natural-sounding voice - and it’s free to users, running within the browser without them needing to download any extra software.  It’s really quite impressive.

Now, more people than ever are empowered to access our services independently and participate within the community.”

Browsealoud has an array of easy-to-use features in addition to the reading and translation - you can magnify text, convert text to MP3, remove on-screen clutter with the simplified viewer and customise all options to suit personal needs or preferences.

Tom added, “From a development perspective, browsealoud was incredibly easy to implement. It’s clear that Texthelp value their customer’s input into developing the service further, and have a clear focus on offering users the best service possible. We’re keen to continue working with them to improve online services in our borough.”