Stop Loan Sharks now provides a more inclusive online experience to enable website visitors to access online content and services barrier-free.
As part of our diversity and inclusion strategy, website visitors are now able to access a wide range of accessibility and language support tools to customise their digital experience through Recite Me assistive technology.
Being able to offer a more inclusive experience is essential to support over 20% of the population who may encounter barriers when exploring the digital world.
The Recite Me assistive toolbar on the Stop Loan Sharks website includes screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids, customisable styling options, and an on-demand live translation feature that boasts over 100 languages including 35 texts to speech and styling options.
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, commented: “Here at Stop Loan Sharks, accessibility is extremely important to us. We are committed to ensuring people can access our information and support services in a way that best meets their individual needs.
“We are incredibly proud to offer Recite Me’s innovative technology across our website and hope it will improve user experience by providing accessibility and language options to enable everyone to customise the website in a way that works for them.”
Ross Linnett, Recite Me’s Founder and CEO added: “It is important to provide an inclusive online experience, where everyone can use our digital world in a way which best suits their needs.
“As more organisations provide accessibility tools online, those who face online barriers can access information and services hassle-free. The digital world must be accessible for all.”
To explore our accessibility support tool, visit the Stop Loan Sharks website and click the ‘Accessibility Tools’ button on the main menu of the website.
Loan sharks are criminals who target vulnerable people, charging them extortionate interest rates and threatening them with violence or harm to their family if they do not pay back their loan. This crime causes severe financial, social and psychological harm to individuals and families.
A recent report published by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) estimated that as many as 1.08 million people could be in debt to loan sharks in England, with some lenders demanding sexual favours as repayment from borrowers.
Warning signs to indicate that you could be dealing with a loan shark include giving no paperwork upon the agreement of a loan, refusing to give detailed information about a loan, intimidation and threats, taking items such as a bank card or passport until the debt is paid, and taking things from you if you do not pay on time.
If you or someone you know has been affected by illegal money lending, you can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222 or use our secure online reporting form. Live chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Click the chat box in the bottom right hand corner of the screen to get connected to our expert support team.