People suffering from deafblindness can now use Facebook


People suffering from deafblindness and other visually impaired people can now use Facebook through a specially designed interface. The service is funded by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS).

The service works on smart phones, tablets and computers, as it automatically adjusts to the type of terminal you are using.

The standard Facebook interface is too difficult to use for people with deafblindness and other visually impairments. PTS therefore saw a need to develop a more user friendly interface that works with tools such as screen reader software, Braille displays and screen magnification software.

"For many, it is natural to use Facebook. Now, people with deafblindness and severe sight impairment can communicate with others on equal terms," says Anna Bostrom, Director of the Unit incorporated IT and telephony at PTS.

Developed in close collaboration with users

Not all functions available as standard on Facebook are available in the service, but the most important such as to update your status, write messages to friends, join groups and respond to events are included.

Development work has taken place in close cooperation with the Association of the Swedish Deaf-Blind (Förbundet Sveriges Dövblinda, FSDB) People with deafblindness have been involved throughout the development process and have continually tested the service. Potential users of the Facebook service are Sweden's 2500 deafblind, but also the country's 100,000 visually impaired.

The service has been developed by HiQ on behalf of PTS.

Facebook service for persons with deafblindness:

For more information:
Anders Franzén, Project Manager, PTS, phone: +46 (0)73-644 55 56
PTS Press Office, phone: +46 (0)8-678 55 55