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New accessibility and language features for our website

Published on 03/07/2024

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust are pleased to announce that we have added speech, reading and translation support to our Trust website with the ReachDeck Toolbar.

This innovative toolbar helps those who struggle to access and understand information online. Of the 14 million disabled people in the UK (that's one in five of the population), approximately half have digital access needs disabilities such as dyslexia, low literacy, and mild visual impairment and more than four million people speak English as a second language.

This key piece of work has been funded by our Maternity team for the first year, as part of their ongoing Maternity and Neonatal Improvement Programme.

Adding the toolbar to our website reflects our commitment to accessibility and inclusion. We want to make sure that everyone can access our information online.

If you’d like to explore the toolbar for yourself, look for the yellow circle with the accessibility icon (a stick man) in the bottom right corner - one click on this button launches the toolbar.  

From here, you can choose the first icon on the toolbar, the pointed finger. Simply hover your mouse pointer over any text to hear it read aloud.

The question mark icon tells you about the different features, which includes:

  • Text-to-speech: click on or select any text to hear it read aloud
  • Translation: translate words into multiple languages
  • Picture Dictionary: displays word meaning through illustration
  • Mp3 generation: convert selected text into an MP3 audio file for easy listening
  • Screen mask: with reading pane reduces visual stress and improves focus
  • Text magnification: enlarge text and hear it read out loud
  • Web page simplifier: remove clutter from the screen. Display only the main text

This toolbar will help make our content more accessible to our audience and will remove some of the barriers faced by people with disabilities when they’re on the website.

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