A Step in the Right Direction: Meet the Recite Me Tool

News // September 21, 2023

Increasing accessibility and prioritizing inclusivity are organizational standards that Friends of the Wissahickon are committed to.

If you’ve spent time on our website this month, you might have noticed a small blue and white icon on the bottom right-hand corner of our page.  This is the Recite Me tool, an accessibility extension that accommodates blind and low-vision users, provides translations for non-native English speakers, includes customizable color schemes, text, font style, font size, and spacing, and a number of other reading aids.

Our hope is that breaking down the barrier to entry to access the park and our organizational resources will introduce the Wissahickon to more people in search of an outdoor oasis. The Wissahickon is for everyone, and so is our website!

Recite Me is a leading website accessibility software provider, which was established in 2009 and has seen huge growth as more and more organizations recognize the need to create platforms that people of every lived experience are able to use with ease.

According to Recite Me, 14 million people in the United States alone have a visual impairment. The need for on-demand assistance is immense. Thankfully, with this new addition to our website, there is the option to use the “screen reader” tool, which reads highlighted web content aloud to users.

The app can also translate web content to over 100 languages with 65 text-to-speech voices for our diverse community of park visitors and Wissahickon lovers. The option to adjust the color scheme, increase or decrease the size of text, and change the font style and spacing will make it more comfortable for the 20% of Americans who are neurodivergent to explore our website.

FOW welcomes the room for positive growth. In our newly released Strategic Plan, which lays the groundwork for the next three years of stewardship, restoration, programming, and financial investment, was thoughtfully designed through the lens of accessibility.

The future of FOW is infrastructure that serves users across the range of mobility, a diverse Board that represents our values, supporting programming that offers outdoor experiences to Philadelphia students, and stewardship goals that will keep this important urban green space, the Wissahickon Valley Park, open for recreational use for all who seek it.

The Wissahickon is a public space and is meant to be shared. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Photo courtesy of Charles Uniatowski