Autism-friendly mobile browser debuts in UAE

UAE-headquartered technology group operator e&, in partnership with communications and advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi ME, has launched the mobile version of its Wider Web Extension tailored for autistic individuals.

The marketing and communications industry news service Campaign Middle East says 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. Smartphone penetration in the UAE is estimated at more than 96%.

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.

An e& Wider Web Extension for desktop web browsers was introduced in 2021 in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Community Development (MoCD). The free browser extension, which transforms a standard web page into an autistic-friendly one, was developed with the help of local psychologists and widely tested by users with autism. The extension offers a calmer browsing experience by blocking distracting pop-ups, disabling video auto-play, customising fonts, adjusting colours, and simplifying the interface of most websites. 

The newly released mobile extension also features an AI-powered summariser, an intuitive tool that condenses lengthy articles into clear, concise paragraphs, making information easier to digest.

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