A website that talks!

Image courtesy of Nattavut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When the Evenbreak website/job board was being developed, the most important requirement was that it should be as fully accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities as possible. I wanted it to look attractive of course, but accessibility was and is always the main consideration. Even after the techie people assured me it was accessible, I still wanted more convincing. So I asked a number of people with a wide range of disabilities – mostly people with a range of visual impairments, and also people who would be unable to use a mouse, for example – to test the site for me. As a result of that we were able to make more adjustments and improvements.

The feedback was that the site was as accessible as it could be, and in fact many of our testers told us that Evenbreak was the only job board they had found in the UK which they could access (register, upload their CV and navigate around the site to search for jobs) completely independently. However, there is always room for improvement, and we have the site re-tested every year, in case any changes we have made in the meantime have compromised the accessibility of the site in any way. We also welcome, and listen to, feedback from candidates who contact us with accessibility suggestions, and are constantly looking for ways to improve the accessibility.

One of the drawbacks of the site (and indeed most sites) is that it does require the person to be able to read English. Whilst the site is compatible with text browsers such as JAWS so that people with visual impairments can “hear” the site, what about people with limited literacy, or dyslexia, or who don’t speak or read English? Well, we think we have addressed that issue as well now. If you go to the main site and look to the top right, you will see a “text to speech” box. If you click on “show toolbar”, you can highlight any text on that page and it will read out the text in the language of your choice (there are 22 languages to choose from, with the default being English). You can also choose to change the font size, change the background colour (useful for people with some forms of dyslexia), choose a male or female voice and choose whether to leave the device on automatically).

This is a new facility that Evenbreak has just added, and we are pleased with the response so far. If you have any comments about this software, or are looking for something similar for your website, please let me know.

To advertise jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/employers/

To find jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/jobs/

To make a donation to Evenbreak go here – https://localgiving.com/charity/evenbreak

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