e& launches ‘Wider Web’ for mobile, empowering autistic users with a better browsing experience on the go


e& launches ‘Wider Web’ for mobile, empowering autistic users with a better browsing experience on the go

  • Updated extension brings autism-friendly browsing to smartphones

  • New AI-powered tool summarises information, reducing sensory overload

Abu Dhabi(News Desk):: e& today announced the launch of ‘Wider Web’ for mobile device browsers, coinciding with World Autism Awareness Day. The free-to-use browser extension caters for the needs of autistic users by offering a customisable, sensory-friendly web-browsing experience, highlighting e&’s commitment to digital inclusion.

The launch of Wider Web for mobile follows the debut of Wider Web for desktop computer browsing. First introduced in 2021 in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development (MoCD), the groundbreaking solution revolutionised accessibility, empowering individuals on the autism spectrum to navigate the internet with ease and confidence. The free browser extension, which instantly transforms a standard web page into an autistic-friendly one, represents a project of collaborative design as it was developed with the help of local psychologists and widely tested by users with autism.

As the first tool of its kind dedicated to 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. Building on the existing benefits, 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.

85% of autistic users choose to disable video autoplay

Ongoing research conducted by the University of Birmingham Dubai and Dr. Shereen Sharaan, a Postdoctoral Researcher in Psychology, have backed Wider Web’s significance in enhancing the lives of autistic individuals. The study, which focused on 160 autistic adults from diverse ethnic backgrounds, found that 85 per cent of users with autism want to exercise more control over their digital experience by disabling video autoplay. This was closely followed by the personalised ‘colour schemes’ feature which lets users choose their preferred colour, either dark, medium, or light grey.

Dr. Shereen Sharaan said: “The web can easily become overwhelming to people with autism. Thanks to e&, Wider Web simplifies the way some people experience the web by curating the user experience for people who are on the autism spectrum.”

Through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives like the Wider Web extension, e& empowers communities by ensuring digital experiences are inclusive and accessible for everyone. Wider Web is an open-source technology, enabling anyone to contribute to its constant improvement and wider adoption.

Download the Wider Web browser extension for Safari and Firefox now.(End)

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