People who are speech impaired can still easily use wireless devices. Manufacturers are working hard to design effective, efficient phones to make communication easier.
Listed below are accessibility features that may be built in to a wireless device to make wireless products and services easier to use
- Text Communications - Text-based communications like e-mail, short message service, instant messaging and other messaging services make it easier than ever to communicate without saying a word.
- TTY Compatible - Wireless devices are usually compatible with certain Text Telephone (TTY) devices.
- Voice Output -Voice Output features “speak” to you, offering information like battery level, Wi-Fi and cellular network signal levels, incoming calls or messages and contacts.
If a cell phone doesn’t come with a built-in accessibility feature, ask a wireless carrier representative if it can be customized by adding or downloading applications (or “apps”). Third-party developers may offer wireless device apps that add relay services and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) 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).
- Wireless RERC - Funded since 2001, the Wireless RERC (Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center) has become a recognized leader on issues and solutions related to the accessibility and usability of mobile wireless products and services by people with disabilities. The Wireless RERC's mission is to promote equitable access to and use of wireless technologies by people with disabilities and encourage the adoption of Universal Design in future generations of wireless devices and applications. www.wirelessrerc.org; www.mywirelessreview.com