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About FACIL'iti

  • Founders: Frédéric Sudraud / Yves Cornu
  • Founded in: 2018 Limoges, France and Tokyo, Japan
  • Employees: 22
  • Money raised: Self-funded
  • Ultimate goal: Fight e-exclusion due to age or disability

For people with medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or dyslexia, reading a website is not always that easy. The French company FACIL’iti has come up with a solution for this: a tool that helps this target group read online texts. The aim of this tool is to give this target group back their digital autonomy. Founder Yves Cornu talks to us about this.

How did you come up with the idea for FACIL’iti?

“My partner Frédéric and I come from the world of communication. We started FACIL’iti in January 2018 after a trainee from our communications company told us about a World Health Organization report that he had read. That report stated that 25 % of the world’s population has difficulty reading online content on account of their medical condition. As a cognitive engineer, he suggested developing a tool that did not need much tweaking when applied on websites, but would help that group of people. He was convinced he could do this, so we gave him the chance to prove it.”

How does it work? 

“The users indicate on the website what kind of support they need. They also specify what their limitations are. This could be dyslexia or Parkinson’s disease, but it could also be impaired vision. At the moment you can choose from twenty-three different profiles. We place a cookie that stores the preferences so that when you reopen a page the correct settings are applied. It is essential that we utilize the input from the people whom we are making it for. That is why we work together with organizations that represent the interests of the target groups we are aiming to support. We need that input and feedback in order further develop and adapt our tool properly. Incidentally, the tool is not language-specific, it uses the language that is used on the website, so it’s being used all over the world.”

Is your tool already being put to use?

“Yes it definitely is. We have around one million users worldwide and there are around five hundred companies that use our tool on their websites. In France, these are mainly private companies, but we also work with foreign public authorities such as the municipality of New York and the municipality of Tokyo. It is free for users, and we want to keep it that way. Companies that want to use our tool to provide a service to their website visitors do have to pay.”

What is your vision for the future?

“We are still busy developing new applications. As I mentioned earlier, we keep in close contact with prospective users. We are now looking at how we can help people with autism who do not use language. How do we adapt the texts or make the website more visual for them? In addition to our office in Japan, we also had the intention of expanding to America, but that has not happened yet due to corona. We want to accelerate international developments and carry on with our research and development. Just until we reach e-inclusiveness for everyone.”