Essentials for Cross-Disability Accessible Cell Phones

  • Title: Essentials for Cross-Disability Accessible Cell Phones
  • Publication Type: Web Article
  • Year of Publication: 2010
  • Authors: Schauer, J., & Vanderheiden G.
  • Publisher: Trace R&D Center
  • City: Madison, WI
  • Topics: Policy and Standards, Telecom Access RERC

Full Text

Essentials for Cross-Disability Accessible Cell Phones

Making mainstream market phones more usable by more people

Introduction

With the advances in technology over the years, more and more features are showing up in cell phones that have the potential to make the phones more usable for everyone.  However, we also find that the choices continue to be limited when looking for fully accessible cell phones that can be used by, for example, people who are blind, or have low vision, people with multiple disabilities, or people with cognitive disabilities.

To be sure, there are some cell phones that are more usable by one group or another. Some can load “special software” (at extra and sometimes high cost) that is designed for people with specific disabilities.  Others have a limited set of built-in features useful for individuals with disabilities that address the needs of users to varying degrees.  However, in many cases, people do not want an expensive smart phone or a “special phone for special people”.  Instead, they want to choose from the same range of phones as everyone else and get a “regular phone” at a regular price.

For phone designers, it is not possible to build all features into all phones.  However, there are a number of features that could be built into most phones making them usable by a much wider range of users.  Often, these are features that would not interfere with use by mainstream users and in fact may be attractive to mainstream users in some situations.

What minimum capabilities could/should mainstream cell phones have, given today’s technology, that would allow a greater number of people to access them?  What should the “floor” be for accessibility of mainstream cell phones?  What are the “essentials” for accessibility?

This document was created to help address those questions.  

It is an attempt to capture the basics of what is important in making cell phones more accessible across a wider range of users and abilities and why these capabilities and features are important.

The report is organized by components that mainstream cell phones should have and describe the important aspects that make the difference in accessibility.  Recommendations, techniques and ideas gathered from consumers, researchers, industry and experts in the field of accessibility are listed.  

It should be noted that individual guidelines or recommendations, while important, may not themselves make the phone more accessible.  In the end, it is how well these (and other) techniques are integrated in the overall design that will determine if the phone will be usable by a greater number of people.

Most of the ideas offered in this document have already been seen on mainstream devices in some fashion since the features, or the underlying capabilities needed by the features, appeal to mass-market consumers as well.  With careful design and understanding of the problem, these “mainstream capabilities” can be implemented so that they make the cell phone accessible to a larger consumer market.

Buttons and Controls Essentials

Buttons and Controls Overview

Problems some users have when accessing some current mainstream cell phones include:

  • buttons are hard to discern by touch  
  • labels are difficult or impossible to read 
  • buttons are so close together making it easy to press unintended buttons 
  • some buttons can’t be located or activated easily 

People with low vision may not be able to easily see the buttons or make out the labels.  Seniors in particular may have increased difficulty with low contrast buttons or small label characters.

Even for those with good vision, everyday situations may temporarily degrade a person’s ability to see the buttons and controls.

  • Lighting may be too bright or too dark.
  • People may not be wearing their glasses or contacts or not have the correct glasses (e.g. reading glasses) available.
  • People may be in “eyes busy” situations and not able to focus attention on the phone.

Simply making buttons larger and more spread out, while helpful, is not a practical option for many mainstream phone designs, nor is it sufficient alone in providing access across different disabilities. But there are some things designers can do that can improve access that consumers can look for. 

1-1  Make buttons tactilely discernable

Any buttons that are required to operate the device need to be discernable by touch for users who can not see them.  In other words, the user needs to be able to recognize when they are touching an operable button.;The “feel” of buttons needs to be sufficiently different from the background so that the user knows where the buttons are.  

This is particularly important for users who may have severe visual impairments or temporary visual impairments due to environment.  People who have diabetes or who are older may have both visual impairments and decreased sensation in their fingertips making it hard to locate buttons that have only subtle tactile cues.

In addition, the buttons must be discernable without causing the button to be activated.  This allows users to feel (explore) for the button without accidentally activating it.

Recommendations

  • Make sure the button tactile cues and differences are sufficient to detect and are distinguishable from their background
  • Use buttons that are raised, contained within a raised boundary or have a raised feature such as an embossed dot or icon on each 
  • Use varying sizes, shapes, and/or textures to differentiate buttons 
  • Consider differentiating buttons that have important or unusual functions 

Other Options to Consider

  • Provide optional tactile stick-on labels or overlays (e.g. Braille) for the buttons 
  • Locate softkey controls next to display and use guides, lines, or grooves to direct displayed function to a key 

Note:  Providing auditory feedback as an aid in button location can be helpful, but is not sufficient alone as a technique for locating buttons and controls.  Users with vision impairments (permanent or temporary), who may also have hearing impairments or are operating the device in noisy environments, might be unable to hear the auditory cues.

1-2  Provide landmarks to aid in finding buttons

Landmarks are visual and tactile ques that help the user locate buttons.  An example of a tactile landmark is a nib placed on the F and J keys on a keyboard.  This is done so that a touch-typist can find the “home” position by feel and then access keys relative to these landmarks.  Without these nibs, the typist would need to look at the keyboard to find the home position because all the keys feel the same.

Landmarks on cell phones also provide a means for a user to orient themselves to the layout of buttons. Finding buttons relative to a prominent landmark can make operation easier for many users, especially those with vision impairments.

Recommendations

  • Place a nib (a raised bump) on the 5 key 
  • Provide tactile and visual grouping of related buttons
    • Use established layouts (e.g. 12-key number pad layout, and up/down left/right cursor keys) 
  • Corners, edges, uniquely shaped controls, textured keys, ridges on case, etc. all could serve as landmarks 
  • No key or control should be more than 1 control away from a tactile landmark   

Other Options to Consider

  • Group or delineate associated buttons with raised lines, texture, shape and/or similar means to aid in finding buttons 

1-3  Maximize label readability and button recognition

People with low vision, or people with temporary vision loss (e.g.in low-light conditions; not wearing their glasses) who are not used to operating phones by touch may have difficulty identifying the controls by touch alone. In these situations, effective button label design becomes increasingly important.

In addition, people with color blindness can have difficulty distinguishing certain color combinations.  Careful choice of colors and backgrounds can alleviate this issue.

Recommendations

Note: A large field of research exists that studies the legibility and readability of text and it can become quite complex and confusing.  Despite the complexity, some basic guidelines and options can be gathered.

  • Use high contrast between buttons and button labels  
  • Make labels as large as possible.
    • tip: Contrast can have a greater effect on legibility than type size 
  • Make sure that the letter spacing and the space between labels is sufficient that the letters and labels stand out distinctly from each other 
  • Use either light buttons on dark background or dark buttons on light background.  
  • Provide backlighting or means of illuminating buttons and/or labels 
  • Use simple typeface (sans serif).  
  • Use Arabic instead of Roman Numerals. 
  • If using color, do not use color alone to encode information
    • Supplement color coding with different button/key shape or letter/graphic labels 

Other Options to Consider

  • Use color contrast or other visual demarcation of edge of buttons  
  • Use upper and lower case letters for maximum readability. 
  • Group or delineate associated buttons with colors, spacing, texture, shape and/or similar means to aid recognition and understanding 
  • Supplement labeling with voice output to speak the names of keys or buttons when they are touched (or pressed in a discovery mode – i.e. not activation) 

Note: Recommendations for text used with labels may differ from recommendations for use of text on cell phone screens.

1-4  Minimize accidental activation and make correction easy

Virtually everyone will, at times, press the wrong button while using a cell phone.  Techniques used to minimize accidental activation can have a greater impact on some users, particularly those with low vision or blindness, and those with physical disabilities.  

People who have low vision or blindness may inadvertently press a control when exploring by touch.  

People with some physical disabilities may have difficulty controlling their movements or accurately pressing a button without activating adjacent controls or buttons.  Even though key size and key spacing may be driven by the overall size of the phone, there are additional techniques that can help avoid accidental activations.

In addition, building in easy ways to cancel and/or correct these actions helps everyone.  However, some people may have increased difficulty responding in a timely manner or may be less able to notice the mistake and therefore be unable to correct it appropriately.  

Recommendations

  • Place a nib (a raised bump) on the 5 key 
  • Recess keys or provide guard bars between buttons if closely spaced.  
  • Provide an audible “click” and tactile feedback to indicate button activation
    • Touch activated buttons or functions may need a means to confirm the action.  
  • Provide a global setting where you can adjust the length of time you need to touch or hold a button down before it is accepted. 

Other Options to Consider

  • Group or delineate associated buttons with raised lines, texture, shape and/or similar means to aid in finding buttons 
  • Use color contrast or other visual demarcation of edge of buttons  
  • Provide audio feedback indicating the function of the key 
  • Provide a mode or method to explore the buttons and controls without activating.  (e.g. pressing or touching a key gives auditory feedback but does not activate the function unless a second action is performed)   

1-5  Locate important controls in easy to access location

Important controls – buttons most frequently used and/or necessary for basic operation – should be located in an area that is easy to access.

For example, phones often have wake-up or “voice activate” buttons that turn the phone on or allow the phone to subsequently be controlled by voice.  People with some physical disabilities may have trouble pressing these buttons if the buttons are located on the side of the phone.  Without access to these basic buttons, none of the other features of the phone could be used.

Recommendations

  • Locate critical buttons (such as buttons activating or answering the phone) in areas that can be pushed when the phone is in its normal operating position 
  • Provide alternative methods for accomplishing tasks such as changing volume 
  • Provide for single hand use and operation with either left or right hand 

Note: An alternative way to address this problem could be to have the phone fully operable via voice and not require any contact.

Voice Controls Essentials

Voice Control Overview

Problems some users have when accessing some current mainstream cell phones include:

  • phone has no alternative to pressing keys to operate the phone
  • voice control works well only in “controlled environment” 
  • can’t control enough functions 
  • have to press a button in order to get it in voice mode 
  • recognition has trouble understanding certain commands

Providing voice control as an alternative to button input can be a very powerful and important feature for some users.  Some people cannot physically operate the buttons on the phone. Some people who are blind or have low vision may not be able to find, identify and accurately operate some buttons.

At this time, voice control is widely available for use in the mainstream as “hands-free” operation, typically for users while driving.  However, voice command may only work with a limited subset of commands.  In addition, “hands-free” mode often requires key presses or other physical manipulation to activate.  

Below are the basic essentials for meeting needs across multiple disabilities.

2-1  Incorporate voice command capability for all phone functions

To be able to operate a cell phone completely and independently, users need to access all functions of the phone.  Many phones with voice control allow voice access to only a subset of the phone’s features.

Recommendations

  • Provide voice control to all levels of features (basic and advanced) 
  • Provide a user selectable level of prompting indicating what commands are available, both visually and via speech output. (e.g. 0 = no help; 1 = brief command prompt summary; 2 = extended prompts) 
  • Voice control should operate in tandem with voice output as feedback 
  • Use or provide noise canceling microphones to expand environments in which the device can be used. 

Other Options to Consider

  • At some advanced levels, voice control could be simply “up”, “down” and “activate” to move through menus and select options rather than supporting full voice control of every item on every menu by directly naming the menu item. 

2-2  Incorporate speaker-independent voice capability

Speaker independent voice control is a necessary feature, since training a phone to understand an individual user’s speech can be time consuming and difficult for many people.

Recommendation

  • Provide full speaker independent operation  

2-3  Allow voice training of input and commands

Even though speaker-independent recognition is important for most people, the option of training can be important for a segment of users with speech impairments and therefore should also be included.

Recommendations

  • Provide option for the device to learn or override with personal speech commands. 
  • Allow the device to learn numbers and text for input based on user speech 

2-4  Allow control of the phone without requiring any physical contact with phone or key presses on headset

Because some people cannot physically operate the controls on a phone, it is necessary to implement speech control without requiring a user to first press a button (i.e.  true hands-free operation.)  

And because button operation cannot be assumed, it is equally important that the device provide voice control to all levels of menus and appropriate functions, not just top level menus or call and answer functionality.

Recommendations

  • Provide a mode where speech control can be used without requiring any button press 
  • Provide a mode where voice control is always on and won’t time out. 
  • Extend voice control to all levels of phone menus and operation 

Voice Controls Essentials

Voice Control Overview

Problems some users have when accessing some current mainstream cell phones include:

  • phone has no alternative to pressing keys to operate the phone
  • voice control works well only in “controlled environment” 
  • can’t control enough functions 
  • have to press a button in order to get it in voice mode 
  • recognition has trouble understanding certain commands

Providing voice control as an alternative to button input can be a very powerful and important feature for some users.  Some people cannot physically operate the buttons on the phone. Some people who are blind or have low vision may not be able to find, identify and accurately operate some buttons.

At this time, voice control is widely available for use in the mainstream as “hands-free” operation, typically for users while driving.  However, voice command may only work with a limited subset of commands.  In addition, “hands-free” mode often requires key presses or other physical manipulation to activate.  

Below are the basic essentials for meeting needs across multiple disabilities.

2-1  Incorporate voice command capability for all phone functions

To be able to operate a cell phone completely and independently, users need to access all functions of the phone.  Many phones with voice control allow voice access to only a subset of the phone’s features.

Recommendations

  • Provide voice control to all levels of features (basic and advanced) 
  • Provide a user selectable level of prompting indicating what commands are available, both visually and via speech output. (e.g. 0 = no help; 1 = brief command prompt summary; 2 = extended prompts) 
  • Voice control should operate in tandem with voice output as feedback 
  • Use or provide noise canceling microphones to expand environments in which the device can be used. 

Other Options to Consider

  • At some advanced levels, voice control could be simply “up”, “down” and “activate” to move through menus and select options rather than supporting full voice control of every item on every menu by directly naming the menu item. 

2-2  Incorporate speaker-independent voice capability

Speaker independent voice control is a necessary feature, since training a phone to understand an individual user’s speech can be time consuming and difficult for many people.

Recommendation

  • Provide full speaker independent operation  

2-3  Allow voice training of input and commands

Even though speaker-independent recognition is important for most people, the option of training can be important for a segment of users with speech impairments and therefore should also be included.

Recommendations

  • Provide option for the device to learn or override with personal speech commands. 
  • Allow the device to learn numbers and text for input based on user speech 

2-4  Allow control of the phone without requiring any physical contact with phone or key presses on headset

Because some people cannot physically operate the controls on a phone, it is necessary to implement speech control without requiring a user to first press a button (i.e.  true hands-free operation.)  

And because button operation cannot be assumed, it is equally important that the device provide voice control to all levels of menus and appropriate functions, not just top level menus or call and answer functionality.

Recommendations

  • Provide a mode where speech control can be used without requiring any button press 
  • Provide a mode where voice control is always on and won’t time out. 
  • Extend voice control to all levels of phone menus and operation 

Voice Output Essentials

Voice Output Overview

Problems some users have when accessing some current mainstream cell phones include:

  • can't see display and phone does not have alternative output method
  • phone only speaks pre-recorded speech /  doesn’t speak dynamic content (e.g. text messages) 
  • phone doesn’t provide enough information to know where you are or what it expects for input 
  • phone doesn’t speak full depth of menus or selection options 
  • voice speed not adjustable 

Cell phones should have voice output capabilities to replace and /or supplement visual display of information.  This is important for several groups of users.  

People who are blind can not see the display.  People with low vision may not easily see the display.  People with print blindness or who are unable to read for any reason can use the voice output to read screen contents to them.  For this last group, it is important that what is being spoken and what is being displayed on-screen makes sense together.

People with good vision frequently encounter situations that limit their ability to see the display clearly or at all.  Lighting may be too bright or too dark.  People may not be wearing their glasses or contacts or not have the correct glasses (e.g. reading glasses) available.  People may be in “eyes busy” situations and not able to focus attention on the phone.

Voice output capability allows the device to provide spoken feedback of what is being displayed on the device as well as what the device is doing.  This functionality may also be used to assist the user in finding the desired button by speaking directions and telling the user what button they are pressing (or touching if the button technology allows);

4-1  Provide text-to-speech capabilities

Providing text-to-speech allows the user to hear what is happening instead of (or in addition to) looking at a screen.  Text-to-speech capability rather than recorded speech offers more flexibility.  Pre-recorded speech is limited to speaking only those items stored in memory.  Text-to-speech allows the speaking of dynamic information.  (e.g. text messages) and may offer additional options, such as choosing voice, speaking rate, pitch, etc. that can enhance the intelligibility of speech.

Recommendations

  • Provide text-to-speech functionality 
  • Provide TTS functionality for dynamic information 

4-2  Read displayed info and status on request

When requested, the phone should speak what is displayed on the screen and allow the user to hear the status of any settings or indicators.  It should also speak menu items and status as the user moves down through them.  This will allow a user to hear the same information that a sighted user would obtain by looking at the display.

Recommendations

  • Keep audible presentations short and simple
    • For example, there is no need to create extended phrases and sentences to describe the status of various items depicted as icons on the display.  You could simply say: “Battery 45%” as opposed to “The battery is at 45% charge.” 
  • Read all menus to full depth; not just top menus 
  • If the status of any menu item is shown then read the status as well 
  • Begin any unexpected auditory presentation with an attention getting sound  
  • Voice alerts in different voice or quality than other voiced items to gain attention 

4-3  Echo key input on request

As the user provides input to the phone, the phone should provide the option to have the input spoken.  This feedback will help some users insure that they have entered what they intended, without having to see what is displayed on the screen.

Recommendations

  • Provide an option to echo the character/key as the user presses the key 

Other Options to Consider

  • Provide a mode for users to explore the keypad and controls with voiced output
    • identifies the buttons but does not activate them  
  • Provide audio directions to locate a button 

4-4  Provide methods for interrupting speech and adjusting speech settings

Just as too little feedback can affect the usability of the device, too much feedback can become annoying.  It is not necessary to continue speaking if the user has obtained the information they were requesting or if they are in situations where it can become distracting or a disruption.  Being able to silence the device on demand is important.

Information that sighted users can quickly glance at becomes serialized as it is transformed into speech.  As users become accustomed to the voice and layout, being able to increase the rate of the speech is a way to enhance productivity.

Recommendations

  • Provide methods for interrupting, pausing and repeating speech information (output) 
  • Allow user to adjust speed, volume and pitch of speech 
  • Allow user to select among different voices 
  • Allow the user to adjust the speed of the speech over a wide range 

4-5 Provide wide volume adjustability

Many people, particularly seniors, have hearing impairments.  Having a device capable of operating in a loud volume range without distortion can be helpful with those with mild to moderate impairment without the use of assistive technology.

This would also make the phone easier to use for anyone in a noisy environment

Recommendations

  • Follow relevant standards and guidelines for information and communication technology such as those developed by the Access Board (Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board)
  • Use speakers that can output high sound levels with minimal distortion

Connections

Connections Overview

Problems some users have when accessing some current mainstream cell phones include:

  • proprietary headset jack used on phone 
  • interference when using phone with hearing aids
  • text messaging is not in real-time  
  • vibrating ringer is not strong enough to be noticed

5-1 Use standard audio jack for headset/microphone

Many common devices use the 2.5mm headphone jack, including TTY devices and other assistive technology.  

Recommendation

  • Use 2.5 mm audio jack for headset/microphone 
  • If a non-standard jack is used, include an adapter to the 2.5 mm plug.

5-2 TTY compatibility (unless VoIP)

Until such time as VoIP is used for phones, it is important, and required, that the phone supports connection of TTY so that people who are deaf can connect a TTY and use the phone.

Once the phones switch over to VoIP, then the phone should no longer need to worry about connecting TTYs. Instead the phone should support IP-based real-time text. (See below)

5-3 Provides hearing aid compatibility

5-4 Provide wireless technologies to eliminate the need to orient or insert connectors

Wireless technology such as Bluetooth is helpful to a wide range of users, including those with mobility impairments and those with visual impairments using voice input and output, provided voice control works through the headset.

5-5 Incorporate high sound-quality speakerphone

Provide a high sound quality, full duplex speakerphone that is capable of producing undistorted sound across the full range of volume settings

5-6 Incorporate real-time text

As phones move to VoIP they should switch from supporting TTY to supporting the IP version of real-time text. If they are using SIP they should support RFC–4103. If they are using some other network protocol they should find out what the standard form for real-time text is on that network protocol and support that standard real-time text format. In this manner the real-time text will interoperate allowing individuals who are deaf, or hard of hearing, or have speech impairments to be able to reliably communicate with each other and with everyone else.

5-7 Provide for alternate alert/ringing device

An alternative to audio ringers/alerts is important for many people, but especially important for people who are deaf. Mechanical vibrators inside the phone have become the norm. However, as phones get smaller, often so do the vibrations. Having stronger vibrating devices or allowing for the connection of external alerting devices can be essential for people with hearing impariments, or even those carrying phones in pockets or purses.

Recommendations

  • Incorporate a strong mechanical vibrating component in the phone
  • Provice a way for users to connect external audio/vibrating ringer devices
    • Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth is one option

Acknowledgement

The contents of this publication were developed with funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education, grant number H133E040013 (RERC on Telecommunications Access). However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Appendix A: Quick Reference List

This list can be used as a worksheet when assessing the features of cell phones for "the essentials" in this publication. Please refer back to the previous sections for details.

Disability Essentials Notes
Vision Buttons can be distinguished by touch  
Vision Desired buttons can be found visually and/or by touch  
Vision, Cognitive

Labels are readable and understandable

Consider contrast, color, size, readability under lighting extremes, clarity of symbols, icons and functions

 
Vision, Physical Easy to avoid accidental button presses  
Vision, Physical Easy to correct mistakes  
Physical Easy to access important buttons and controls  
Physical, Vision, Cognitive

Voice command available

Check for voice access to basic and advanced functionality, and all menu levels

 
Speech Incorporates speaker-independent voice capability  
Speech Allows voice training of input and commands  
Physical Allows control of the phone without requiring any physical contact with phone or key presses on headset  
Vision Provides a large-font choice with simple typeface  
Vision Provides zoom option usable on all screens  
Vision Provides a high contrast display option  
Vision Provides color choices if using a color screen  
Vision, Cognitive Offers a simple, uncluttered background option  
Vision, Cognitive Information presented on screen also available in text and non-visual forms  
Vision, Cognitive Provides text-to-speech capabilities  
Vision, Cognitive

Reads displayed info and status on request

Check for voice output for basic and advanced features, and all menu levels

 
Vision Echos key input on request  
Vision Provides methods for interrupting speech and adjusting speech settings  
Vision, Hearing Uses standard audio jack for headset/microphone  
Hearing TTY compatibility / supports VoIP  
Hearing Provides hearing aid compatibility  
Physical Provides wireless technologies to eliminate the need to orient or insert connectors  
Hearing Incorporates high sound-quality speakerphone  
Hearing Incorporates real-time text  
Hearing Provides for alternate alert/ringing device  

Appendix B: Examples of Standard Features That Improve Accessibility

This is a list of some features that have appeared on mainstream phones and how they improve accessibility and usefulness for people with disabilities.

Dexterity Enhancements and Alternatives

  • Easy-to-grip shape and style 
  • Non-slip grips; lanyard and strap 
  • Can open / operate with one hand 
  • Answer with any key press or by opening 
  • One button dialing / redialing; auto-redial if busy 
  • Speakerphone 
  • Voice control (digit dialing, contact list dialing, menu commands, etc.) 
  • Hands-free operation (hands-free kit, headset or ear bud) 
  • Voice recorder 
  • Easily locatable and operable connectors for charger 
  • Bluetooth wireless headset available 
  • Rugged – won’t easily break if dropped 

Deafness, Hearing Loss, Noisy Environments and Quiet Zones

  • Vibrating ringer and alerts 
  • Visual status indicators (icons, lights, flashes, text) 
  • Wide range of volume adjustment without distortion 
  • Hearing aid coupling (ratings) 
  • TTY compatibility 
  • Text messaging and/or Instant Messaging capability 
  • Large screen for displaying text messages 
  • Easy to select Loud/Silent setting – Not easy to accidentally change 
  • Variety of ring tones or distinctive alert tones over various frequencies 
  • 2.5mm audio jack (supports TTY, Headsets, Neckloop) 
  • TTY phone number to contact manufacturer or service provider 

Blindness, Low Vision, "Eyes-free" Environments

  • Nib on or around 5 Key and/or Nibs on F and J keys (QWERTY) 
  • Backlit keys 
  • Large display Screen ; user customizable display (contrast, color, font size, background) 
  • Bright display backlighting
  • Vibrating ringer and alerts 
  • Variety of ringer tones and distinctive alert tones corresponding with different functions (e.g. power on/off, low battery, roaming status) 
  • Flashing screens or lights corresponding to alerts or calls 
  • Speakerphone 
  • Speaker independent voice control (digit dialing, contact list dialing, menu commands, etc.) 
  • Hands-free operation (hands-free kit, headset or ear bud) 
  • Voice playback (Text-to-speech) of user input/output 

Making it easier to use and understand

  • Simple keypad layout (key shape, size, spacing, texture, feel) 
  • Tactile and /or auditory feedback for key presses 
  • Function keys look and feel different from number keys 
  • Simple Menu and /or Icon modes 
  • Can disable timeouts on user responses 
  • Photo caller ID 
  • Picture phone book 
  • Prompted operation 
  • One-key help function 
  • Software or services to synchronize phone contacts or adjust phone settings using your PC 
  • User manuals in Alternate formats (electronic, large print, Braille, audio) 
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