e& introduces autistic-friendly mobile browsing

e& in partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi ME has launched the mobile version of its Wider Web Extension tailored for autistic individuals. 

The initiative aims to strengthen inclusivity and accessibility. It also highlights the power of technology to create solutions that cater to diverse needs.

By leveraging AI technology, this tool aims to make web browsing a more comfortable and accommodating experience for autistic individuals, allowing them to access online content conveniently from their smartphones.

Autism is a neurodivergence that affects 1 per cent of the world’s population. The web is a key tool for people on the autism spectrum, in terms of e-learning, social communication, and entertainment.

However, the current web interface design can present sensory and processing challenges for autistic users.  

Recognising this challenge, e& began to develop the e& Wider Web Extension for desktop web browsers three years ago. 

By involving key stakeholders such as individuals with autism, their families, researchers, and support workers in the collaborative development process, e& has helped autistic individuals to navigate the internet with more personalised support.

The positive impact of the Wider Web project on autistic users, was highlighted by the research led by Dr. Shereen Sharaan at the University of Birmingham Dubai, in collaboration with Emirates College for Advanced Education and UAE Special Olympics. 

e&’s has shown continuous improvement and collaboration with the decision to expand the Wider Web project further by ensuring its availability on mobile devices especially considering there is more than a 96 percent smartphone penetration rate in the UAE.

The mobile extension, features a new AI capability, includes technology to summarise bulk paragraphs into shorter, simpler texts. This advancement ensures a user-friendly platform accessible on both desktop and mobile devices.

Samer El Khansa, Business Lead for Saatchi & Saatchi ME said, “Through creativity and innovation, our collaboration with e& exemplifies our commitment to inclusivity. Together, we’ve harnessed the power of storytelling to ensure every individual, regardless of ability, can engage fully in the digital realm.”