Blind World Magazine

Accessible Cell Phones for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired.




The Fred's Head Companion.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006.




It seems that cell phones keep getting more and more complicated. You can browse the internet, take pictures, chat and check your email with your cell phone. Unfortunately accessability hasn't improved with the phones.


Some companies have figured out that blind people do use cell phones and we want to use the same features as our sighted counterparts. Before I give you a list of some accessible cell phones, let me tell you about a very basic phone and phone service.


Originally designed for elderly parents or grandparents to use as an emergency phone, or for anyone who is technically challenged Jitterbug


LINK: http://www.gojitterbug.com/


is a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) that uses the Sprint system and features easy-to-use phones with operator-assisted calling and speed dial set-up.


Jitterbug currently features two phones made by Samsung.


LINK: http://www.samsung.com/


Both have large, easy-to-read displays, loud and clear sound, and feature large, easy to dial buttons with clear markings (no confusing icons). They also "play" a familiar dial tone when the phone is opened to simulate a landline. One phone has a standard keypad, the other has three one-touch dial keys.


The ease of use makes these phones a great option for people who are blind or visually impaired. A perfect peace of mind without 37 ringer choices and streaming TV.


Accessible Cell Phones


Thanks to a special software, the Vodafone Speaking Phone reads and describes the icons in the menu to the blind user. It is also capable of reading text messages and allows users to compose and send their own messages.


Vodafone's close collaboration with the Italian Association for the Blind on the Vodafone Speaking Phone project included a trial phase, and the subsequent distribution of the phones to as many blind people as possible.


Click here to visit the Vodafone web site:


http://www.vodafone.it


Nokia N91


The Nokia N91 phone will probably be the one most attractive to people who are blind or visually impaired, as it promises, when combined with the screen reader or screen magnification software, a fully accessible handheld mobile music experience. This device, combined with a screen reader or screen magnifier and the DAISY book reading software from Code Factory could serve many needs in one package. It could be a phone, notetaker, appointment calendar, book reader, web browser, e-mail tool and a music player all in one, eliminating the need to carry several devices at once.


The Nokia N91 features storage for up to 3000 songs, plus smartphone functionality in an ultra-portable package. It is a device optimized for mobile music consumption. With room for up to 3000 songs on the integrated 4-gigabyte hard disk, the Nokia N91 delivers a premier music experience. In addition, the industry standard 3.5mm stereo headset jack and easy transfer of music files from your PC help make the Nokia N91 a connected mobile jukebox.


Encased in stainless steel, the Nokia N91 has dedicated music keys on its face, which slide down to reveal the phone keypad. The Nokia N91 serves up to 12.5 hours of sound via the included stereo headset. It supports a wide range of digital music formats including MP3, M4A, AAC and WMA. The phone also contains a 2 megapixel camera for print-quality photos, email support, a full web browser and video sharing. The N91 is expected to become commercially available worldwide by the end of this year.


For more information on the Nokia N91, click this link to visit the Nokia home page:


http://www.nokia.com.


"Contact by Email" and "Listen to audio" links are available on the source page for this article, at the address below.


The Fred's Head Database is a source of tips and techniques for and by blind or visually impaired individuals. It is Named after the legendary Fred Gissoni of APH's Customer Relations Department. Click this link for the last Fred's Head Webcast,


http://www.aph.org/webcast/fred


and be sure to check out the bottom of the page for subscription information, archives, and other useful links.



http://fredsheadcompanion.blogspot.com/2006/04/accessible-cell-phones-for-people-who.html




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