WFDB launches a new project on accessible technology

WFDB and EC Touch Braille logo

WFDB signed last week a partnership agreement to cooperate on a project focusing on accessible technology, which will be tested by persons with deafblindness in Spain, in cooperation with other deafblind organisations.

Omnitor AB is a Swedish private company that has developed an app named “eCtouch” which supports remote real-time communication with audio, video, and text. eCtouch is mainly used by deaf and hard of hearing citizens in Sweden. However, eCtouch also support screen readers and screen magnifiers making it usable for vision impaired, blind, and deaf and blind citizens.

The project proposal, which will last 18 months starting in October 2023, entails to further improve eCtouch’s user friendliness for vision impaired, blind, and deaf and blind citizens, and more specifically the support for Braille displays which is currently a challenge. Therefore, eCtouch Braille is a further development of the eCtouch app with improvements for the visually impaired and deafblind, especially for those who are braille users and utilise braille displays. New text windows for real-time text during calls will be developed for braille displays with different settings so that the app can be customized. Getting text to work and conveying the right information during conversations with the entire ecosystem of real-time text, screen readers and braille displays is a challenge. The app will also be improved in terms of magnification, keyboard shortcuts, and navigation. UI/UX should be logical, simple, clear, and adaptable, e.g., choice of colour preference. Furthermore, there is intention to simplify the migration from text phone to eCtouch Braille by copying some functions. A big advantage of the app is that it uses real-time text, which is similar to text phones. It is also important to note that the app can be adapted to changing needs, such as impaired vision. The app also supports custom perception of incoming calls.

Moreover, WFDB (in support of the International Disability Alliance) is a key partner in the project since they will ensure the inclusion and involvement of persons with deafblindness and ensure the widespread dissemination of the activities and results.

More specifically, WFDB will recruit a diversity of users with deafblindness and run a small pilot in Spain, in collaboration with other organizations of persons with deafblindness and partners. The purpose is for persons with deafblindness, especially braille users, to test the app eCtouch Braille and provide their feedback, to improve the accessibility of the product.

To summarize, WFDB intends to:

  • Recruit end users with deafblindness in Spain
  • Recruit an digital accessibility expert
  • Organise a 1-day workshop in Madrid
  • Hold follow-up webinars
  • Produce evidence-based reports
  • Disseminate the results among WFDB network

Focal point inside WFDB: Lucia D’Arino (

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