features to look out for on all phones
This will apply to all phones - whether they are
a big button desktop, cordless, or mobile phone. These
features will also apply to other telecommunication devices
such as answering machines with speech playback for
things such as the time, date etc.
spaced buttons that are easily identifiable:
(IE not flat or flush). (Reason: buttons that are
too small all run together making it hard to get the
right digit when dialling. Also, not everyone has
make sounds when pressed:This
applies to any phone. (Reason: Audible
tones let you know you've pressed it hard enough).
Useful if the person has some remaining vision
and can identify a black number on a lit yellow
button. (Reason: this may assist with colour
contrasting and lighting).
- Clearly printed
Sometimes black bold numbers on a white background, or the
reverse stand out and may be more visible. (Reason: Clear
text is always easier to read).
and speed dial: If
storing contacts, these need to be easy to access.
(Reason: being able to press #2 is much easier than
dialling a string of numbers).
- Voice dialling:
If available, this replaces the need to press #2
(or whatever you have as a preprogrammed number).
(Reason: Ease of use). Please be aware however that
the voice needs to be clear in order for this to go
through. Sometimes using the speed dial may be safer.
Some mobiles have voice dialling and will also read
out the number being dialled.
Phone size, screen size and button size all need
to be comfortable for the person using it. (Reason:
Eyesight levels and hand sizes vary for the
This can be helpful when wanting to be hands
free. (Reason: may also assist if hard of hearing)
- Tactile buttons:
it easier to line up the numbers for dialling.
(Reason: ease of use).
A phone with a louder ringer will be easier to
locate in a hurry.
If available, phones may tell the time and day at
a press of a button, or answering machines may
announce 2 new messages, or end of messages and so on.
range Well spaced easy to see buttons. Text to speech
on numbers dialled, caller ID and phonebook entries. Please
visit the following link for more information http://www.uniden.com.au/AUSTRALIA/p_sse27_1_index.asp
Accessible desktop and
As with any
electrical product, there may be many variations available
on the market. The level of accessibility will depend on
each persons eyesight, ability to use certain functions,
and their individual needs.
following phones are some that I have tested
and found to be accessible:
311C PhoneEasy desktop phone Large white numbers
on black background, well spaced / easily identifiable
buttons, 13 number memory, and adjustable volume on base.
FX 9600M desktop phone Large black numbers on
white background, well spaced / easily identifiable
buttons, 13 number memory, and adjustable ringer volume.
The phones that follow below, are available on the market
and advertised as accessible:
Special notes for mobile
- If you are using a mobile phone and
cannot see the text (such as your incoming texts) you may
need a phone with a screen
reader and/or magnification.
You may need to purchase a mobile phone that is compatible
with a particular screen reader/magnifier. Sometimes the
software will come with your phone (Eg. Iphone), and
sometimes you may need to download or purchase it
separately (Eg. Nokia phones and Talks software).
- If, however, you have some useful
vision, large text may suffice. You may be able to enlarge the text on
your phone, or use a clip on magnifier that does up to 2x.
- Use key
lock and a phone
cover for when your phone is not in use. This
will not only protect your phone, but also avoid any unneccessary
dialling that you are not aware of should it get
- Shop around
for mobile phone carriers and their plans. Decide
whether you prefer a plan or prepay.
Links to popular mobile
phone carriers in New Zealand:
Compare which Vodafone plan may suit you best
Compare which Spark plan may suit you best
2 Degrees Mobile
Compare which 2 Degrees plan may suit you best
with any phone (landline or mobile) you will need to see which
plan best suits your needs. Take into account things such as
calls, texts and what you want your phone to do!
Applications that work on
various phones (eg. on Symbian or Android etc)
For a list of mobile
phones that will work with Talks, please click on the
following link Talks
you have purchased a compatible phone, please contact
the RNZFB Equipment Services in Auckland on 0800 243333, (to
arrange to get the standard version of Talks for your
mobile and find out current software pricing). You may
also be able to put the software onto your phone
for Symbian based phones:
The following link will take you to the Nuance website.
Please click on the appropriate links to see a List of Phones
or the software itself.
Factory Mobile Accessibility Phones:
The following is a list of phones that work with Code Factory
software. These include: Android, Symbian, Windows and
Factory Software Compatible Phones
iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 and above:
This is a touch screen phone, with a built in screen reader
(Voice Over), and a screen magnifier (Zoom). This software
comes with the phone and therefore you do not need to purchase
extra accessibility software.
phones 4 and above:
Easy Mobile Phone:
These are only fairly new to the market but look
promising. Accessibility is reported from version 1.6 and
above, and greatly improved with 2.1 Please click on the
following link for more in-depth information on Android
on Android phones
Large print on easy to see tactile buttons. Many
features. Great for the elderly as well as those with some
An idea might be to purchase a second hand compatible
phone and test out
a trial of the software first. There are good on-line
auction sites selling mobiles - as people upgrade - that
may suit you. This way, you can be sure that the phone is
easy to use and that the software does all you need it to
do. Also, don't be afraid to head into your local mobile
phone shop and test out the physical features of each
phone. This will allow you to find the phone that best suits your needs.