The wireless industry is committed to providing accessible wireless devices and services to people with cognitive disabilities.
Below are the features that can be built in to wireless products and services to make them more accessible:
- Audio, Visual and Vibrating Features – You can assign specific audible, visual, and vibrating alerts for functions like incoming calls or messages, calendar events and confirming keyboard inputs. You can also assign, create, purchase and download distinctive ringtones at a frequency you can hear more easily.
- Automatic Responses – Certain wireless phones may be programmed to automatically answer or redial certain calls or messages.
- Basic Keyboards – Some keyboards have both the letters and numbers on the same screen, eliminating the need to switch between different keyboards while typing.
- Customizable Screen Lock Timeout – Adjust settings that will prevent the screen of the device from turning off if there has been a long period of inactivity.
- Customizable and Standard Displays – Adjust a wireless device’s screen for better contrast, illumination, larger font size, and to “zoom” in and magnify. You can also assign icons or images for functions like caller ID.
- Distractionless Modes – Some wireless devices offer settings that will allow you to turn off different areas of the screen or restrict certain apps or functions to help users stay focused.
- Hands-free or One-Touch – Wireless devices may offer hands-free features like speakerphones, or may have one button dialing and other pre-programmed features.
- Intelligent Keyboards – Some text-based features have intelligent keyboards or auto-spell functions that appear only when needed, and display a keyboard that is specific to the task.
- Photo Assisted Contacts List – This setting allows you to add a photo of an individual next to their contact information.
- Voice Control – Use your voice to make a call, play music, enter text, find a contact or record voice reminders.
- Voice Output – Voice Output features “speak” to you, offering information like battery level, Wi-Fi and cellular network signal levels, incoming calls or messages, contacts and menu options.
If a wireless device doesn’t come with a built-in accessibility feature, ask a wireless carrier representative if it can be customized with downloadable accessibility apps and services. New solutions are constantly being added through apps including relay services and functions like text-to-speech, screen readers and automatic dialing. It’s also a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional or wireless carrier representative about accessibility accessories and compatibility with Assistive Technology (AT).