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British Red Cross, RNID and RNIB:

Charities consortium leads by example with accessible community website

In 2005 a Consortium formed by the RNID, the national charity for deaf and hard of hearing people, Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) and British Red Cross  pooled their collective expertise in order to drive a radical step-change improvement in community equipment services. The Consortium took over the operation of the Community website and initiated a plan for its redevelopment.

Community is a classified advert website for special needs equipment, allowing NHS store managers across the U.K. to advertise items of equipment to other store managers and occupational therapists. This exchange of equipment ensures a more efficient provision of special equipment where it is needed and avoids unnecessary purchase of new equipment.

The Business Requirement

The Consortium required a complete redevelopment of Community that included a new visual design with a high level of accessibility and improved usability.

They also required an easy-to-use content management system (CMS) that provided simple work-flow functionality and facilities to allow vendors to create and manage their items for sale and that allowed the Consortium to manage the website's informational content.

The Sigmer Solution

Sigmer brought its considerable expertise in combining excellent visual design with high standards of accessibility to this project. The main objectives were achieved by developing a clear understanding of users needs from the outset, close attention to detail in developing website templates and thorough testing.

Robust web applications for registration and classified advertising were developed by Sigmer, both of which provide a simple, easy-to-use interface for administrators and vendors respectively.

Finally, the website was integrated with Scribe CMS, Sigmer's own website content management system, in order for the Consortium to manage and maintain their own informational content.

The Result

The new Community Equipment website was launched on time and within budget. Higher levels of accessibility and usability have improved the site dramatically, while Scribe CMS has ensured that Community Equipment staff can easily manage and update the site, and store managers and suppliers find the new site easy to use.

Natasha Knox, Business Development Manager of RNID:

“It was very important that the site met our high accessibility standards. This was one of the reasons that we chose Sigmer, as they have comprehensive expertise in this area. Sigmer worked closely with us throughout the project ensuring that all aspects of the site met our technical and image expectations, and we are very pleased with the site Sigmer has developed.”


























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