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“It’s efficient, cost effective and easy to administer – and it delivers the best outcome for all staff. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Read&Write.” -  

Nita Humphreys, Case Manager with the FCO’s Disability Policy and Support Team.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office supports government staff with Read&Write


Success with Read&Write

Employing over 14,000 people in diplomatic offices worldwide, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is a ministerial department promoting the United Kingdom's citizens and business interests overseas. As well as safeguarding national security, FCO is instrumental in building the UK’s prosperity by increasing exports and promoting sustainable global growth. It also provides support to British nationals through consular services around the world.

A significant proportion of FCO’s workers at its UK offices in London and Milton Keynes – and UK staff working overseas – require adjustments and accommodation for a wide range of disabilities. These range from dyslexia to visual, hearing and motor impairments.

“It’s our responsibility to make sure every employee can perform to the best of their abilities” says Nita Humphreys, Case Manager with the FCO’s Disability Policy and Support Team.

Everyday assistance

For staff with dyslexia, help with everyday literacy tasks – from dealing with documents to filing reports and assessments – is made easier and more rewarding with Read&Write. The easy-to-use literacy software has been rolled out at all FCO locations worldwide, where it’s widely used by large numbers of staff.

Originally introduced to support dyslexic employees, Read&Write has proved extremely popular with all staff. Its friendly literacy tools mean it’s frequently recommended by workers to their non-dyslexic colleagues. “We don’t just see Read&Write as a ‘workplace accommodation’”, notes Nita. “Today it’s viewed as a really valuable productivity tool for all our staff, who use it for absolutely everything.”

Favourite features include Read&Write’s ability to read PDF files aloud, aided by coloured on-screen highlighters. There’s also an MP3 audio file maker – great for listening to long, technical policy documents. “The software’s incredibly useful for dyslexic and visually impaired staff – as well as anyone who struggles to read words on a computer screen for whatever reason”, explains Nita.

Removing barriers to better communication

It’s this power and intuitive simplicity that makes Read&Write especially popular with FCO workers for whom English is a second language – removing the barriers to efficient communication for thousands of staff on a daily basis.

As a certified Read&Write trainer, Nita enjoys giving one-on-one training to London colleagues who are new to the software or need a quick refresher course. She also praises our online training portal. This helps new users get up to speed with a range of explanatory ‘how to’ videos. As Nita points out, it’s particularly useful for staff working overseas who may not be able to attend personal training sessions in London.

Easy, flexible implementation for every employee

In addition to its valuable literacy support features, Read&Write earns particular praise from IT teams for its seamless, cost effective deployment across this major government department.

FCO’s site-wide licence means that every employee can enjoy unlimited 24/7 access to the software on any desktop PC or laptop. “Staff can log onto any machine in the office – or at home – and Read&Write is immediately there for them, whether or not they’re regarded as needing workplace adjustments”, Nita explains: “It’s efficient, cost effective and easy to administer – and it delivers the best outcome for all staff. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Read&Write.”

If you would like further information about Read&Write, please email Keri on k.mcwilliams@texthelp.com