Telephones - What features do disabled people need?

Telephone keypads and telephones

This booklet has two main sections. The first provides information on the types of disability associated with difficulties in using telephones. Not all disabled people need the same telephone facilities, so users have been categorised according to the type and severity of their disabilities. Each category is shown with its own specific list of possible helpful features. The second section provides information on these features. While it would not be possible to include all of these features in a single telephone instrument, manufacturers should consider incorporating selected combinations of them to make their product ranges more attractive to disabled users.

This booklet has been set out to enable designers of telephones to see at a glance which feature combinations are likely to be valuable to users in each of the defined categories. The features are rated to show whether they are considered to be essential for a user category or are just desirable additions which might influence a purchasing decision. Numbers of potential users in each category are given, and also facility cost assessments. These costs assume a decision is made to incorporate that facility from the concept stage.

Preface and introduction

Message from David Edmonds - Director General of telecommunications, Oftel.

The Telephone - Easy Communication for all?

Sections 1: The user categories

User categories and definitions

Users with disabilities - the numbers

How disabilities can affect telephone use

Section 2: Features

Telephone features that make a difference

Further information

Publications and Links

About PhoneAbility



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