The autistic web developer aiming to make sites accessible for disable users

An autistic web developer is looking to make websites more accessible for people with disabilities who struggle to browse the internet.

Callum Gamble and his mother Caren Launus-Gamble.

Callum Gamble and his mum Caren Launus-Gamble launched Leeds-based digital agency KreativeInc in 2019 after Callum lost his first job just three weeks after starting it due to a lack of understanding about autism.

Mr Gamble is now embedding artificial intelligence (AI) software, which helps people with disabilities and impairments navigate the internet more easily.

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The software provides functions such as a magnifier, emphasises titles and links, allows users to hide images and emphasise focus.

Mr Gamble himself faces a number of challenges accessing websites and has been looking for solutions to benefit both himself and other people with autism too.

Through research he has discovered how many other disabilities are affected and Mr Gamble believes that he has now found a solution.

He said: “It is not just people with autism, but people with dyslexia, colour blindness and epilepsy that are all affected.

“Personally, I struggle with large blocks of text and the colour of some writing. Discovering an AI tool called AccessiBe has transformed this and completely changed my access to many websites.”

Many people abandon their attempt to access websites because they find them frustrating to navigate, says Mr Gamble, “so I knew there had to be a solution”.

He added: “There are five key features on the software that help which include emphasising titles and links, magnifying text, hiding distracting images and emphasising focus.

“I am passionate not only about creating our own websites but making other sites accessible to disabled and impaired people.”

The web developer, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of eight, and his mother are hoping to establish a full service agency made up of a neuro diverse workforce.

Ms Launus-Gamble said: “Our goal setting up KreativeInc was to integrate the challenges of Asperger’s and other neurodivergent conditions into a successful digital business and improving digital inclusion and neurodiversity in the workplace within the UK.

“We believe in challenging the status quo. Our vision is to make the digital landscape fully accessible to people with sight, hearing, cognitive, motor and other impairments within the next five years.

“This includes making websites more user friendly and opening up a new market to many businesses.”

According to web accessibility consulting firm AKEA, 70 per cent of UK websites are inaccessible to disabled and impaired people.

Public services have to make their websites accessible for people with disabilities by September 23 this year and apps by September next year.

However, there is no such deadline for corporate and business websites. The mother and son duo are therefore promoting AccessiBe through their own company and hope to raise awareness of its availability.

Growing up with autism hasn’t been easy for Mr Gamble. He was bullied at school as a result of his condition.

“Because I was a bit slower at processing information, they took advantage of that,” he says. Mr Gamble discovered his love for web developing while on work experience at a media agency.

“Designing websites is my passion. It’s like a lifestyle and it doesn’t really feel like work. I want to create visually stunning websites,” he says.

He ended up graduating with a first in creative media technology.