What is Recite Me, and Why Use It?
Diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility are essential to our work integrating science, education and land stewardship to conserve of birds and their habitats. We are working to promote these principles at every level of our organization, including in our most public-facing communication tool – our website. In fact, 70 percent of websites in the USA have critical accessibility issues. People who are neurodiverse, visually impaired, or speak English as a second language are often unable to access the key information provided in static websites. We are therefore excited to launch the Recite Me toolbar on our website, which you can access on a desktop, laptop, and mobile device!
Recite Me provides a range of tools that help the one in four people in the USA who have a disability, including those with common conditions like sight loss and dyslexia, to access our website in the way that suits them best. It also meets the needs of the one in five people in the USA who don’t speak English as their first language, by being able to translate our web content into over 100 different languages!
You can open the Recite Me language and accessibility toolbar by clicking on the blue “Accessibility Tools” box, which appears in the top right side of the menu bar on every page of our website. After you click on “Accessibility Tools,” the Recite Me toolbar opens on the top of the page and displays a range of different options for customizing how the website looks and how you can access the content. We’ll highlight a few popular customizations below, and you can explore the full set of possibilities in the Recite Me User Guide.
The Recite Me Screen Reader will read the text of any page of our website out loud. The Screen Reader includes:
- All content read aloud in a natural voice
- 35 different language options
- Voice speed controls
- Word by word highlighting
- Create an MP3 file for future playback offline
Activate the Screen Reader by clicking on the green icons to play, skip backward a paragraph, or skip forward a paragraph. Alternatively, when you hover over any block of text, the Screen Reader options will appear, and the Screen Reader will automatically read the selected text. (You can change these defaults in the Settings menu).
Recite Me allows many stylistic aspects of our website to be customized, so you can experience the content in the way that is easiest for you. Styling customizations include:
- Text size, color and font, including Open-Dyslexic typeface
- Website background color
- Link, ruler and screen mask colors
Decrease font size, change the font, and increase font size with the blue “+”, “Aa”, and “-” icons.
Change the font colors and background colors with the circular rainbow icon.
Recite Me provides numerous specific tools to simplify our web content and make it easier to read. Tools include:
- Plain text – All styling is stripped away, leaving text only.
- Ruler – Read line by line with no distractions of what is below.
- Reading Mask – Mask away 90% of the website, leaving only the information you want to concentrate on at one time.
- Magnifier – Zoom in to sections of text to read more clearly.
- Margins – When in text only mode you can use the margin feature to position content in the best place for you.
- Dictionary – Access to a fully integrated dictionary and thesaurus.
Insert the Reading Ruler or apply the Reading Mask with the orange “Ruler” and black-and-white “Mask” icons:
One in five people in the USA don’t speak English as their first language. Recite Me quickly and easily translates all of our web content on demand into over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices.
To translate a page, click on the “Change Language” icon and choose your preferred language. Languages with the speaker icon next to them can also be read aloud by the Screen Reader.
In addition to these examples we’ve highlighted here, you can visit the Recite Me User Guide to read about all of the different customization options and how to apply them when you read our website. If you have any questions about the new Recite Me tools on our website you can email us at [email protected].
As Bird Conservancy of the Rockies continues to strive for increased diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in our organization, our partnerships, and our communities, we are excited to make our website more accessible and easy to use for anyone and everyone who is interested in bird conservation!