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The Mobile Phone

There are two main options for accessing mobile phones if you have serious vision impairment. Which option suits you will depend on what you want to do with the phone and how much you are prepared to spend.

1. You want a mobile phone to just make and receive calls
Get a basic mobile phone with tactile (easy to feel) buttons that has a speed dial feature. Consider a clam shell style phone that can be set to answer a call when you open it and hang up when you close it.

Generally the phone text will be too small for the vision impaired so the idea is that you operate the phone purely by touch. You may need some sighted assistance initially to store commonly dialled numbers. Suitable phones are often at the cheaper end of the scale with most companies offering at least one model with easy to feel keys.

2. You want access to all the phone features
This option involves running special software on your phone that provides speech output and/or magnification. There are a limited range of phones on which this type of software can be installed with prices starting from around $300. The software (there are two competing products Talks/Zooms and MobileSpeak/MobileMagnifier) costs around $320. Although it requires time to learn to use all the features of the phone this can be very effective.

User friendly tip: Capture the amazing technological knowledge of a young person - they may revel in showing you their skills and take on the project and help you. Of course Foundation staff are also only too pleased to talk to you.