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Accessibility Tools Added to Website

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Neurodiversity Celebration Week falls this year on 13-19 March.  It celebrates the many positive aspects to being Neurodiverse and challenges stigma and misconceptions around this.  As part of this week, we are pleased to be launching new accessibility tools on our website.

Neurodiversity covers things like ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Tourette’s Syndrome and Autism.  The week was founded by Siena Castellon who says that “I wanted to change the way learning differences are perceived. As a teenager who is autistic and has ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia, my experience has been that people often focus on the challenges of neurological diversity. I wanted to change the narrative and create a balanced view which focuses equally on our talents and strengths.”

Although people who are Neurodiverse can face challenges, they can also bring many gifts including innovation, the ability to think outside the box, the ability to hyper-focus on things and also being creative.  People who are Neurodiverse include Einstein, Daniel Radcliffe, Richard Branson, Greta Thunberg, Simone Biles and Billie Eilish.  The week brings about awareness of what Neurodiversity, focussing on talents and strengths and useful adaptations that can be made.


Why inclusivity matters

According to Inclusive Employers1, a recent report by the Office for National Statistics shows that autistic people are the least likely to be in work of any other disabled group, with just 22% in employment.  This is disappointing when research shows that when the right support is put in place, Neurodiverse teams are 30% more productive than others.

Statistics show that

  • 1 in 5 people in the UK has a disability.2
  • 15% of UK residents are Neurodiverse3
  • 10% of UK residents do not speak English as their first language
  • 71% of people with additional needs left a website that they found hard to use4
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that only 1 in 10 people have access to the assistive technology they need.5


What we are doing

At Notts SVSS we understand that sexual violence affects all people.  We know that the best way that people can recover from this is when support is tailored to best meet an individual’s  needs.  We already have many options in place, which includes the choice of a female or male counsellor, offering support at the weekend and evenings, access to translators, accessible rooms and support via online spaces.  So we are really pleased to be adding the Recite Me tool to our website at the start of Neurodiversity Celebration Week.

The tool, which can be loaded by clicking on the accessibility (person) icon, includes screen reading functionality and multiple reading aids.  It has an on-demand live translation feature with over 100 languages including 65 texts to speech.  There is also the ability to change the font size, type, and colour.  This means people can experience our website in a way that best meets their needs, helping them get the information and support they need.

Karen Jardine, Equality and Diversity Lead at Notts SVSS says that ‘Lack of access to assistive technology compounds the effect that having a disability or diverse needs has on access to services.  We are very pleased to now have the Recite Me tool on our website.  The fact that it is visible and usable across our website breaks down barriers and instils confidence in survivors.  It also helps with recruitment and is a fantastic step in increasing accessibility overall.  We are thankful to our commissioners who continue to work with us to ensure that all survivors are able to get the support they need.’


Things you can do during Neurodiversity Celebration Week

Why not sign up to the free webinars and training available this Neurodiversity Celebration Week.  Even if you are not able to make the events yourself, registering means that you will get a copy of the presentations sent to your email address.

Have a look at Recite Me on our website and raise awareness by sharing our social media.

You can also find out more about the Recite Me tool on their website.

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