We’re proud to have a tool which has speech, reading and translation support on our website with ReachDeck.
This innovative tool helps those who struggle to access and understand information online. In the UK, more than 12 million people have print disabilities such as dyslexia, low literacy, and mild visual impairment and more than eight million people speak English as a second language.
ReachDeck works by reading our website content out loud in a natural-sounding voice. It can translate our web pages into 99 languages and read the content aloud in 40 of the most commonly spoken languages around the world. ReachDeck can even translate and read pdf documents, such as patient leaflets which are opened from our website in your browser.
How to use the tool
You can try it out by clicking the blue button with the word 'Speak' and the little person (accessibility icon) in the top right-hand corner to launch the ReachDeck toolbar.
How to read aloud?
Starts reading the page out loud - switch between hover and click in the settings menu.
Firstly click on the finger-pointing button (first button) in the top left and hover your mouse over any text to hear it read aloud. From a touchscreen device, you’ll have to click on the text to hear it.
How to translate?
Provides written and spoken translations in multiple languages.
To translate into another language you need to press the fourth button from the left that has the two rectangle tiles on, you can then choose your chosen language from the drop-down box.
How to use the picture dictionary
Displays pictures related to the text selected on the page.
Click on the button and highlight the word or words using your mouse by clicking and dragging over the word that you would like pictures displayed for. A pop-up box will appear with the images for the highlighted words.
How to use an MP3 converter
Converts selected text into an MP3.
First, click the MP3 converter button, then highlight the text that you would like to convert into an MP3 by using your mouse by clicking and dragging over the words. Then give your MP3 file a name by typing in the pop-up box and then click the blue generate button to download your MP3 file.
How to use the screen mask?
Blocks distractions on screen with a tinted mask.
To use this tool is very simple, click on the screen mask button then you can move your mouse/cursor up and down the page which will move the screen mask.
How to enlarge text?
Enlarge text as it is read out loud.
Click on the enlarge text button. Then, using your mouse, hover over the sentence that you would like to be enlarged. This will appear in large at the top of your screen and be read aloud.
How to simplify the page?
Removes clutter from the screen, displaying only the main text.
To start, click the simplify button and this will then simplify the page for you. Once there you can customise it to your needs by simplifying further, changing the colours on the page (for example: yellow on blue, black on white, blue on yellow etc) and also changing the size of the font and type of font.
ReachDeck makes our website much more accessible and usable by everyone. This addition to our website reflects our commitment to accessibility and inclusion along with our values of always being Ambitious, Brave and Compassionate.