Making the Internet work for people with autism

Do people still actually use those big books of yellow pages? I suppose so. But I must say, I can’t remember the last time I looked up a phone number or address that way. Why do that when I can access information more quickly using a Web browser?

The ability to utilize the internet is key for staying connected to the world. Web sites and Web browsers need to be designed to ensure that people with disabilities can access this content too.

A terrific Associated Press article this week highlighted a creative grandfather who wanted his grandson to have access to the web. His grandson has autism and needed some accommodations.

LeSieur tried to find online tools that could guide autistic children around the Web, but he couldn’t find anything satisfactory. So he had one built, named it the Zac Browser for Autistic Children in honor of his grandson, and is making it available to anyone for free.

The browser is available at

Another tool for increasing web accessibility for individuals with disabilities is Webwide, a symbol enabled web browser. Individuals with autism may be able to interpret and understand information more successfully with the symbol supports and added visual cues Webwide provides.

Web access is important for everybody — people with and without disabilities. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible. With tools like Zac Browser and Webwide, individuals with autism may have greater success when they surf the net.


Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.

  1. Beth Finke, blog moderator Says:

    Thanks for the great info, Lori. I’m going to pass this idea on to our Easter Seals Autism Spokesperson Network, see if any of them might be interested in taking a “test drive” and reviewing it on the blog. Stay tuned!