Inclusive Hiring Often Starts with an Inclusive Website

/ February 7, 2023

Editor’s Note: I recently had the opportunity as a part of the Transition Tennessee team to receive a demonstration of some fancy accessibility technology that Transition Tennessee has just added to the website. I was impressed by all the things it could do for website users, and I asked the presenter if we could share information about this technology. He agreed and persuaded a colleague to write for us. This company is just one example of those offering technology that helps websites be more accessible for people with disabilities as well as those who need information in other languages.  

By Craig Repasky

Every day, more and more of our daily lives move into the world of technology. For some, this shift can make many parts of life more convenient, but those who can’t easily access the online world face a major disadvantage. This inequity in access can affect every aspect of life, from paying bills to finding entertainment and even gaining employment.

With businesses’ recruitment, hiring, and application processes relying so heavily on online platforms, inaccessible websites can create major barriers to employment for people with disabilities and diverse backgrounds. While research shows that a diverse workforce can provide a richer and more innovative team for any business, nationally only 19.1% of people with disabilities were employed in 2021 (compared to 63.7% of their non-disabled peers).

Although Tennessee has narrowed the employment gap between people with disabilities and those without disabilities, if businesses want to continue recruiting and hiring those with disabilities, accessible websites are vital to that effort.  Research shows that 71% of users will leave a site they find hard to use, and 96.8% of home pages still don’t comply with the World Content Accessibility Guidelines. The need for inclusive and accessible websites is not going away. Now is the time to improve website accessibility, embrace inclusive hiring practices, and avoid potential litigation from candidates and staff.

Why Should Employers Provide an Inclusive Hiring Process?

The benefits of employing people with disabilities and diverse backgrounds are abundant, but employers must alter their perceptions and the way they think about disabilities to make positive changes to the way they attract, recruit, develop, and retain disabled employees.

Many companies shy away from web accessibility and inclusion factors as they perceive them as being complex, expensive, or simply too difficult to work around. But this is simply not the case. With 29% (1 in 3) adults in Tennessee living with a disability, implementing an accessible and inclusive online hiring process is essential to tapping into the widest talent pool available and finding high-quality staff who are skilled, hardworking, loyal, and highly motivated.

Other key benefits include:

  • Discovering new skill sets – neurodiverse employees are often creative thinkers and strategic problem solvers
  • Improving innovation thanks to the perspectives gained by having a more diverse team
  • Creating equal opportunities that make everyone feel included
  • Demonstrating fairness in the workplace
  • Improving staff morale
  • Showing customers and other businesses that you are committed to equality in the workplace

How Can Organizations Support Inclusivity Online?

Inclusive website design: There are a range of factors that should be considered when designing a website. This includes using alt text for images, using headings to structure content, and giving descriptive names to links.

Assistive technology: Assistive technology helps people work around challenges and customize website content in a way that works best for them. Assistive software allows adaptations to be made to account for several barriers, including learning difficulties, visual impairments, physical disabilities, and varied language needs.

I work for a software company called Recite Me. An example of assistive technology is Recite Me’s cloud-based Language and Accessibility Toolbar, which is currently provided by Transition Tennessee, The Arc Tennessee, and Disability Rights Tennessee. The toolbar can be launched by clicking the “Accessibility and Language Options” button on each page.

How Does Recite Me Work?

Recite Me’s assistive toolbar supports a diverse range of users, including applicants, recruiters, and staff in the workplace, by providing a variety of tools that allow folks to create a fully customizable experience. The accessibility features can either be used individually or combined to make multiple adjustments for ultimate ease of use.

Users can:

  • Personalize font size, type, and color options to make each web page easier to read.
  • Utilize the mask screen tool, which hides all but a small part of the page to help with focus.
  • Use the ruler tool to make reading easier by providing a line for your eyes to follow, much like using a ruler on a book.
  • Download content as an audio file as an alternative to reading.
  • Convert page content into more than 100 different on-screen languages.
  • Have the page read aloud in a choice of 65 different languages.
  • Customize PDF documents, brochures, and forms, and have them read aloud or translated.

Recite Me Toolbar Features – Click here for a short video demonstration of the toolbar



Play Audio
Back: Rewind to the previous paragraph of text
Play: Click the Play button to read the text aloud
Forward: Skip forward to the next paragraph of text



Text Options
Decrease: This will decrease the text size
Font: You can change the font that displays on the page to one that is more readable for you, including a font for those with dyslexia
Increase: This will increase the text size



Color, Ruler & Screen Mask
Color: Change the background, text, and link colors, if you need higher contrast
Ruler: Click to enable the reading ruler
Screen Mask: Will create a letterbox for focused viewing of a section of the page



Dictionary, Translation & Magnifier
Dictionary: Highlight and click on this to view the definition of the word
Translation: Translate text into a different language
Magnifier: Click and drag the magnifying glass to magnify text on the screen



Plain Text Mode, Margins & Audio Download
Text Mode: Remove images to view content in plain text mode
Margins: Change the text dimensions by narrowing the width of the text column
Download Audio: Highlight the text then click the button to download the text as an audio file



Settings: Adjust your Recite Me toolbar settings
Reset: This will restore the default settings
User Guide: This takes you to the Recite Me User Guide

Start Your Accessibility Journey

More than 1 billion people worldwide encounter barriers when trying to read and understand content online. This can be due to disabilities, learning difficulties, visual impairments, or if people speak English as a second language. Without additional accessibility and language options, people are unable to perform everyday tasks from paying bills and researching services and supports, to applying for their next career move. Recite Me website accessibility plugin software provides every online user with the tools they need to create a unique experience.

For more information on how to become an inclusive employer, check out our Inclusive Recruitment Guide or visit

My thanks to Craig Repasky and Mike Fuard, the person who demonstrated the Recite Me options to me. I was in serious need of a blog post this week, and Mike volunteered Craig to write for us. Craig came through like a champ! And Craig highlights multiple ways employers can make their websites more accessible and appealing to those with disabilities. Thank you to you both!

As always, if you have questions or concerns, you can email me at Thank you for reading!

Craig Repasky is a marketing executive at Recite Me. In his role, Craig works to spread the word about assistive technology and the importance of inclusive and accessible websites. With 10 years of experience in digital marketing across various sectors, Craig is very grateful to work with an organization that makes a positive impact in peoples’ lives.


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