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Markham Stouffville Hospital: Striving to increase accessibility to all families

Markham Stouffville Hospital’s Child Development Programs (CDP) offer services to children from birth to kindergarten. Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the organization aims to optimize the communication, hearing and vision potential of infants and young children.

To improve the accessibility of its online services, the CDP has integrated leading literacy software ReachDeck onto its website. Read this customer story to hear how the hospital has created a friendly and inclusive online experience for its users.

Outcomes

  • Reachdeck's auditing feature helps the hospital meet global accessibility standards
  • The accessibility toolbar helps users with visual or literacy impairments to navigate their site
  • The hospital's digital services are now much more user-friendly

The background

Markham Stouffville Hospital’s Child Development Programs (CDP) offers services to children from birth to kindergarten. Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the organization aims to optimize the communication, hearing and vision potential of infants and young children.

CDP offers services to children from birth to kindergarten in three programs:

  • York Region Preschool Speech and Language Program
  • Tri-Regional Infant Hearing Program
  • Tri-Regional Blind-Low Vision Program

The challenge

The hospital's CDP knew it wanted to take action to ensure digital inclusion of the culturally diverse community it serves. As Seema Amlani, Clinical Coordinator at the CDP, explains, the integration of ReachDeck was an easy decision.

“The Child Development Programs values inclusivity and strives to increase accessibility of our services for all families. Thanks to the look and feel of ReachDeck, the Child Development Programs has an innovative way of connecting with families for whom English is not the first language.”

The solution

To improve the accessibility of its online services, the hospital's CDP opted to integrate leading literacy and accessibility software ReachDeck onto its website. ReachDeck is designed to cater for people with low digital skills, literacy challenges and or who have English as a second language. The website is now equipped with user-friendly speech, reading and translation tools, making it more accessible to a wider audience.

Lasting impact

Thanks to this innovative software, www.childdevelopmentprograms.ca is much more accessible.

Online website content can now be read aloud in multiple languages to increase comprehension and aid understanding of the website. Other features include screen masking, a text magnifier, webpage simplifier, and MP3 generator (for saving text as an audio file). Combined, these tools reduce barriers between CDP and its audiences.

Seema Amlani notes: “Our website’s rich content can be transformed into 99 different languages, many of which can be listened to out loud by the user. Impressive features, such as the Screen Mask and Web Page Simplifier, allow users to declutter and zoom in to the content they are viewing, allowing for undistracted reading.”

"ReachDeck’s creative online technology has made us that much more accessible to York Region’s growing and culturally diverse population."

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. 

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