Habinteg Housing Association help users read and translate content with ReachDeck


Habinteg recently added the ReachDeck Digital Inclusion Toolbar to their website. Helping every user to read and translate their online content with ease.

Habinteg Housing Association (Ulster) Ltd is a registered housing association in the United Kingdom. Habinteg plans, develops and manages ‘integrated’ housing schemes across Northern Ireland. The Association has over 2,500 properties at more than 100 locations.

Outcomes

  • Habinteg's online visitors use the ReachDeck Toolbar, on average, more than 30 times each week
  • The features used by their online visitors include audio/visual accessibility features (two thirds of users). Followed by speech/translation tools (one third of users)
  • Language translations include Polish (around half of translations). In addition to Portuguese, Slovak, German, Spanish and Czech.

The background

The team at Habinteg is committed to meeting the needs of all its users. This includes older people and people with disabilities. 

Habinteg’s vision is Homes | Lives | Communities. This highlights the Association’s aim of offering a wide range of housing types to meet its diverse users’ needs. These include family houses, apartments and bungalows. 

Habinteg carry this commitment to inclusive experiences beyond their housing. The organisation is also dedicated to delivering a supportive online experience for tenants.

The challenge

The team recognised that only 1 in 10 people in need can afford their own assistive technology. So, the Association added the ReachDeck Toolbar to its website as an extra support for its users with disabilities, older tenants and for people who speak English as a second language.

Greg Statham, Communications Officer remarks:

“Online access to main services is essential for us. It is important for us to make sure that all users have access to information, without barriers or hindrance.”

Success

Greg has been impressed with the number of users availing of the Toolbar’s support features. He continues:

We are delighted by the data we’re getting from Texthelp, which helps us to gauge how much the toolbar is being used. The ReachDeck Toolbar is used, on average, more than 30 times each week. 90% of users access the website and use the accessibility tool via mobile phone.”

Habinteg is keen to push that number even higher. They're working hard to let users know that support is available on every page of the website. Sharing images and instructions on social media and by email, users are signposted to the Toolbar regularly.

“We promote and share ReachDeck information on our internal Workplace platform for staff members and celebrate the success of the feature,” Greg adds.

Lasting value

Habinteg communicates with a diverse audience, which includes older users and many non-native English speakers. Therefore, the Association was delighted to find that features such as text magnification and translation were being used regularly. All users were getting the help they needed.

Statham says:

“Approximately two thirds of those using the toolbar use the audio/visual accessibility features. One third use speech/translation. Around half of those using speech/translation services access the information in Polish. The remainder are an even split between Portuguese, Slovak, German, Spanish and Czech. 

“Customers in Belfast and Derry account for roughly 20% each of the total usage. The remaining 60% of users are spread across more suburban and rural areas of the region.

“We would certainly recommend the ReachDeck Toolbar. We have shared the value of its accessibility features with colleagues from across the sector in Northern Ireland. Plus, we have promoted its benefits in assessments for national standards.”

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