ReachDeck screen reader

You may have noticed this little icon in the top right-hand corner of Wrexham Council’s website and news blog recently (it looks like a person doing a star-jump).

The ReachDeck icon

So what does it do?

We’re pleased to announce we’ve added translation, reading and speech support with the ReachDeck toolbar – helping to make online information about council services more available to everyone.

Try it out

Click or tap on the little icon. This will launch the ReachDeck toolbar along the top of your screen.

Translate text

ReachDeck translate icon

To translate text, click on the square ‘A’ icon and then select the language you want from the dropdown list.

Until now we’ve only shared information in Welsh and English, but you can now read our web-pages in pretty much any language – including Polish, Portuguese and Ukrainian.

Listen to text

ReachDeck listen icon

To hear text read aloud, simply click on the ‘finger’ icon (it looks like a finger tapping a button) and hover your mouse over any text. From a touchscreen device you’ll have to click on the text to hear it.

You can also select any text on the page and download it as an MP3 file (using the ‘MP3’) icon so you can listen to it later.

Enlarge text

If you click on the round ‘magnifying glass’ icon (with an ‘A’ in the middle), the text will be enlarged when it’s read aloud.

ReachDeck help icon

To explore more, click on the question mark (?) icon to discover what each feature on the toolbar does.

Why is this important?

Councillor Paul Roberts, Lead Member with responsibility for community cohesion and equality, says:

“A person with a visual impairment might struggle to read text, and someone with a cognitive disability might find it difficult to read information on a crowded web page.

“Language can also be a barrier, and in a diverse community it’s important to make information available in as many languages as possible…so I’m really pleased we’ve been able to adopt this technology.”

Councillor Beverley Parry-Jones, Lead Member with responsibility for ICT and customer services, says:

“Visitors to our website and news blog can now choose to have content read aloud, remove distracting content and translate our web pages into over 100 languages.

“The ReachDeck toolbar will help ensure everyone can access the same information and services online, so please help spread the word.”

Tell your friends and family

So if you know someone who doesn’t speak Welsh or English, or struggles to read text on screen because of an impairment, let them know about this clever little feature we’ve added to our website.

Encourage them to give it a try.