Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is here to help a wider audience browse, buy and access our online content and services in a way that suits them best. The ReachDeck Toolbar (previously Browsealoud) allows website visitors to personalise how they access our information. And helps those that might struggle in a digital-first world.
ReachDeck is software that reads the content of web pages within our Corporate site. For example it can highlight and read text aloud as well as translate pages into other languages. The software is useful for people:
• with a vision impairment
• who have difficulty reading
• who prefer to read the site in another language
Select the ReachDeck icon to start. This usually found at the top of every page. There are nine tools including a help option which tells you what each tool does.
How to use the ReachDeck tools
There are 11 icons on the toolbar to help make our website more accessible for you, including a help and settings option.
1. Hover to speak
This tool will read out loud each sentence you hover over. It will then continue, sentence by sentence, until it reaches the end or you close the tool.
2. Speak the current selection
This is similar to the 'Hover to speak' tool. The difference is that this tool will read a highlighted section of text. If you don't select text, it will read out the entire page.
3. Stop playing
This allows you to stop playing the selection of text.
4. Translate page
This tool translates the text on the page to different languages. When you click on the tool, a list of languages will appear in a drop down menu. Choose a language and it will translate the page.
5. Picture dictionary
This tool allows you to highlight a word and get images to help define words.
6. MP3 maker
This will create an MP3 sound file which you can download and play on your MP3 player, smartphone or computer. You will need to select the text you want to convert into an MP3 file, then click on the tool.
7. Screen mask
The screen mask highlights a rectangular section of the screen to help people with some forms of dyslexia or learning difficulties. There are two options for this tool which you can change in the settings menu.
• The ruler darkens the rectangular section and is like reading a page using a ruler to follow line by line.
• The letter box is the reverse: the rest of the page is darkened and the rectangular section is lighter.
8. Text magnifier
The text magnifier is at the top of the page and you will be able to hear the text read out loud. You can change the size of the magnified text in the settings menu from a choice of five options.
This tool will strip out all the distracting menus and boxes from a page, and leave just the article. It is useful for reading long pages of text as well as printing pages. You can also use the 'Text colour' features in 'Simplify mode' if you prefer a different background colour.
This button provides a quick list of the features described on this page.
If you want to make changes to any of the tool's settings like text size for the magnifier or voice speed for the read out loud tools, you can do so in Settings. You will need to click on the save button once you've finished making changes.
Video Overview of ReachDeck
In this ReachDeck video below listen as Stuart Blair, Workplace Product Manager at Texthelp, gives a quick overview of the ReachDeck Toolbar.