I spend much of my time as Director General of telecommunications trying to ensure that everybody has access to telecommunications and the social, cultural and economic opportunities which using a telephone can bring.
But it matters little how cheap and affordable telephone services are, or how competitive the market is, if the telephones themselves disenfranchise large parts of the population because they are not designed with the needs of the wider community in mind.
And that concept of the wider community has to be inclusive. If people are elderly, or have a disability, that does not make them unusual or difficult. They are not an insignificant minority. They need telephones that can be used easily and conveniently.
This document will be an invaluable tool for designers of telecoms apparatus who are looking to make telephones more accessible to this wide segment of the market. Some of these features may be fairly specialist, but others can be included in every telephone at the design stage at little extra cost.
I commend this report to designers everywhere and I warmly welcome its publication.
Director General of Telecommunications, Oftel