How Stockport Council is making its website more accessible for people with disabilities

We aim to ensure everyone can access our online services in a way that suits them. This is especially relevant as we mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

How Stockport Council is making its website more accessible for people with disabilities

Image L to R: Ian Brown, Starting Point Digital Champion, Mike, Learner at Cornerstone class.

It's why the council uses clear language and offers Recite Me assistive technology on its website, allowing visitors to tailor their experience according to their needs. Many people have a disability, such as sight loss or dyslexia, that affects how they use the web, but this way, everyone can access the information and support we provide.

Support and resources for people with disabilities are also available through the DigiKnow community network, a collaboration between Stockport Council, community groups and other organisations helping to overcome the challenges and barriers that prevent people from getting online.

Councillor Jilly Julian, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, says:
"Stockport Council believes in accessibility for all. Our websites and online services are vital for our residents, as they offer information and support for many aspects of life. We care deeply about making sure that everyone can use this information and our services equally. That's why we have the Recite Me web accessibility and language toolbar on our website to make it user-friendly and inclusive for as many people as possible, and why we're helping people overcome the challenges of getting online through our DigiKnow community network."

DigiKnow is all about making online accessible for everyone and improving digital inclusion. Starting Point, community lead for DigiKnow, offer support to people with disabilities in their community learning sessions across Stockport.

“Mike’s support worker called the helpline, explaining that Mike has learning difficulties and cannot read or write. Mike felt that he would be okay coming to a few sessions to learn how to use his phone and agreed that he preferred to be contacted by text, as he can ask for help to read this.

"We discussed the type of session and level of support we can offer, and Mike felt comfortable attending Cornerstone sessions and being supported by a digital champion.

"Mike has attended a few sessions now supported by the wonderful Ian. We have been able to connect him to Walthew House to find out about headphones that work with his hearing aid, and he has been using ‘text to speech’ to help him to access training on Learn My Way. This has meant he can work through sessions at his own pace and go back when he needs to recap something.”

The DigiKnow network is an alliance of partners from different sectors who offer digital skills support in community settings. If you or someone you know needs help getting online or doing things online, please visit the DigiKnow web pages or call the DigiKnow Helpline on 07724 217888.

The Recite Me assistive technology on the council’s website lets visitors adjust their experience according to their personal needs. Recite Me helps them find the best way for them and is very popular, used more than 4,000 times every month. It also helps residents who speak a different language at home by translating our web content into more than 100 languages. Our website has been translated into Ukrainian almost 500 times this year. Learn more about using the Recite Me tool on our web pages.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on 3rd December, celebrates the rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities in all areas of society. IDPD belongs to everyone: people, organisations, agencies, charities, and places of learning – all of whom have an important role in identifying and addressing the challenges that many people living with disabilities face. Learn more on the International Day of People with Disabilities website.