By: Gemma Lagasca
Not all blind and visually impaired individuals are lucky to have lifetime assistants to take care of them wherever they go. In fact, many of them are professionals or have good jobs despite of their conditions. Mobile phones are helpful no doubt helpful for their daily undertakings. Phone technologies are designed to suit the users and their environment – why not for such disabilities? If manufacturers can come up with iPhone spy software for tracking just almost anything, there’s no reason why basic features to aid poor or no vision users can’t be done. Here are some phone features that you should look for:
1. Keypad buttons. Choose the keypad buttons that create sounds when pressed. Buttons that have larger size than usual are also helpful. They can feel the position of the letters easily. Make sure that there is a tactile marker on the number 5 key so that they can easily access and identify the adjacent keys. Keypad buttons that light up when touched are helpful to people with low vision.
2. Screen. Visually impaired people need larger text fonts and coloured screens. The adjustable colour or contrast will make the texts or displayed messages easy to read.
3. Memory and dialing feature. Voice dialing is definitely useful for visually impaired or blind people. They can easily obtain the contact number of the person they want to call just by voice commands. Once they uttered the name of the person, the phone will automatically ring the contact number. Some phones will answer you to you to confirm the status of the call.
4. Consider these minor but essential features.
- Make sure that the unit is not too small to hold or to look for inside the bag.
- The screen should be protected with a keypad lock to avoid accidental switch on.
- A mobile with flip cover or slide up function to answer calls is convenient for them to use.
Appropriate Types of Phones for such Users
Android – The 2.1 and above Android version is not only useful as touch screen phones. They also have physical keypad buttons for Home, Search, Menus and Back function which are helpful for the blinds.
iPhone – has touch screen feature and built-in voice reader or voice over and zoom screen. These are suitable not just for the visually impaired but also for blind users. The good thing is – they are already included in the phones’ software – you need not purchase additional applications to activate them.
Big button mobile phones or popularly known as “senior mobile phones” are also not bad for those who can’t see well or no sight at all. This type of phone is specifically created for the elderly with visual and hearing defects. The displays have bigger font for easy reading. The phone’s basic functions include receiving incoming calls, making calls, contact lists and text messaging. Furthermore, this phone also allows easy access to emergency call switches.
Image Source: Sammy Hub