HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Hidalgo County announced its initiative to provide people with disabilities better access to its website.

The new tool is “Recite Me,” an assistive toolbar that is now added to the county’s website.

“In Hidalgo County, we have over 200,000 individuals that have a disability. That’s a huge number that are now going to be able to have access to all this information and resources,” said the Texas Workforce Commission business relations coordinator, Vanessa Vera.

Vera said the new tool is a great benefit for everyone, especially those with disabilities.

“Individuals that may have hearing loss can enhance the sound; individuals that have a learning disability can have an easier read. Individuals that have a visual impairment can make changes on contrast and colors and sizes of the font,” she said.

The opportunity to make changes in the way you browse has already shown benefit to community members.

“I am a hard-of-hearing individual. I can voice for myself, but I love that the caption was there, and the reader was there for me so that helped me and is allowing me to have more accessibility and opportunity here,” signed Felicia Cuellar.

Cuellar and other users like Rodrigo Uresti expressed the ease of accessing the content on the website.

“I started testing it out and playing around with it and I was amazed. Wow, it’s definitely a lot easier than I had assumed and it’s definitely a need for the people here in this region with disabilities,” signed Uresti.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said the content is important for everyone to access because of the alerts and important messages put on the county’s site.

“We have emergencies here all the time. We had a pandemic, we have hurricanes, we have flooding, we have other stuff. We wanted to make sure that we had developed the proper protocols to reach all the people,” said Judge Cortez.

Aside from enhancing the visual and audio features, the Recite Me tool will also provide translation tools for over 100 languages.

Judge Cortez is hoping other municipalities, school districts, and businesses get on board with the new tool.