When choosing a mobile phone for somebody with sight impairments, pay attention to the following things:
- Large buttons, raised keys and a raised dot on the number 5 will help you find the right button
- Large numbers and letters, in contrasting colours that stand out
- Buttons that make a sound or vibrate when you touch them. So that you can tell what button you're pressing
Display and screen
- Choose a screen with good contrast and easy-to-read fonts
- Avoid shiny screens that give off a lot of glare
- Back lighting also helps - you can change how long the screen lights up for
- Some phones let you switch to large print
- Voice dialling. So you can call someone by saying their name
- Speed or one-touch dialling. So you don't have to type as much
- Sound settings. So you can hear when your phone's starting up and shutting down. And when the battery's low, empty, charging or full
- A camera with zoom so you can use it like a magnifying glass
- Personalised ring-tones. You can use different ring-tones for different contacts on your phone so you can tell who's calling
Hands-free kits or Bluetooth headsets help make your phone less fiddly. Most let you answer calls without touching your phone (so you don't have to search for it).
You can buy software that reads out what's on your screen - but this only works with certain phones. To find out more, call the RNIB Technology team on 0303 123 9999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.