Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network: Supporting online visitors with Assistive Tech

Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) is 1 of 15 AHSNs set up by NHS England.

Across the country AHSNs act as a bridge between health care providers, commissioners, academia and industry. The goal of an AHSN is to ‘improve the health and prosperity of their region by unlocking the potential of new ideas’.


  • Yorkshire & Humber AHSN added the ReachDeck Toolbar to their site to “support people who might otherwise find it difficult to access information online”
  • The team at Yorkshire & Humber AHSN find the Toolbar "really easy and intuitive to use"
  • And the experience with Texthelp led to a seamless process of getting up and running with the new software

The background

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN brings together academia, the NHS and private businesses to develop new solutions. With these, they aim to improve service delivery, while contributing to boosting the local economy. They develop projects, programmes and initiatives that reflect the diversity of their local populations and healthcare challenges. 

The challenge

One of their initiatives is West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts. With this initiative, they aim to reduce the impact of cardiovascular disease. And help prevent heart-related illnesses, including heart attacks and strokes across the whole region.

In line with their goals, they developed the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts website. It’s been designed to help patients gain a better understanding of the risk of cardiovascular disease. And provide advice to help them prevent/manage the risk factors that can cause a heart attack or stroke. With a diverse audience, it’s vital that this website is accessible to everyone. Including those who are deaf, blind or have other disabilities that might make it difficult to access digital information.

The solution

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN wanted to offer support to their online visitors. They chose to add the ReachDeck Toolbar to their website, an assistive technology toolbar.

The ReachDeck Toolbar adds speech, reading and translation support to any website. With its features, users can have text read out loud. They can make text bigger, or simplify a webpage. They can translate into over 100 languages - and much more.

With ReachDeck, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN hope to “support people who might otherwise find it difficult to access information online.”

Lasting value

Speaking of the software, and their experience with ReachDeck, Sara Novara, Communications and Engagement Manager stated;

The team at Texthelp made it really easy to install the products. The ReachDeck Toolbar includes all the functionalities we were looking for and it is really easy and intuitive to use.

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