Autism Day: Web surfing made easy for the differently-abled

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on April 1, 2021
Courtesy: Etisalat Wider Web

Autistic people worldwide can now access and activate for free the ‘Etisalat Wider Web’ extension

The Ministry of Community Development (MoCD) has partnered with telecom operator Etisalat to launch a first-of-its-kind web extension aimed at simplifying the World Wide Web and making it autistic-friendly. The launch is in line with World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, to highlight hurdles autistic people face every day. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the global prevalence of the disorder ranges between 1 in 100 and 1 in 132 people.

With the groundbreaking solution, autistic people worldwide can now access and activate for free the ‘Etisalat Wider Web’ extension, which instantly transforms a standard web page into an autistic-friendly one.

“Etisalat tapped the expertise of Brussels-based IT company Bliss to come up with a web extension aimed at empowering autistic people and personalising their browsing experience. This extension was developed in collaboration with autistic people based in the UAE and guided by global evidence-based research findings on autistic-friendly designs…The initiative is in line with Etisalat’s purpose of bringing people together as well as its commitment to inclusion and breaking barriers,” said the telecom operator in a statement.

Dr Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is honoured to launch the world’s first web extension dedicated to empowering autistic people because we believe the world is a better place when people come together, and is a testimony to our strong commitment to inclusion, accessibility and breaking barriers. “

The launch was announced a couple of days ahead of the World Autism Day during a virtual press conference that comprised Dr Ahmed bin Ali, group senior vice-president, corporate communications at Etisalat; Wafa Hamad Bin Sulaiman, Director of People of Determination Welfare and Rehabilitation Department at the Ministry of Community Development; and a number of experts.

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