Device Styles

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The form factor of a mobile phone can be an important choice in finding a wireless device that best fits with your needs. While designs are always evolving, there are several main categories of shape that a mobile phone may fall into. The following briefly describes how each shape may be useful depending on your circumstances.

Clam Shell/Flip Phone

For people with limited or low vision or who are blind, a phone that flips open and answers automatically may be useful.

Candy Bar

For people with arthritis or poor dexterity, a “candy bar” phone may be useful to avoid the need for added movements like sliding or flipping open the phone to use it.

Slide

Like a flip phone, this style of phone may be useful for people with limited or low vision or who are blind, as they will answer automatically upon sliding open.

Swivel

Like a flip or sliding phone, this style of phone could be useful for people with limited or low vision or who are blind, as they will answer automatically upon opening

Touchscreen

This style may be useful to those people who are deaf or have moderate to profound hearing loss and who will use a larger screen size for texting or video calling.

Smart Phone

Similar to a touchscreen, this style could be useful to those people who are deaf or have moderate to profound hearing loss and who will use the larger screen size for texting or video calling.

Other features to consider when looking at a phone from an accessibility perspective include:

  • The ability to connect an alternative headset and the type of connector required.
  • Whether the keys on the keypad are easily discernible from one another that can aid those with visual or dexterity difficulties.
  • Whether there are adjustable contrast and brightness controls to aid reading.
  • Whether the handset has non-slip grips to prevent the phone from slipping out of the hand.
  • The inclusion of a lanyard pin to allow the phone to be held on a key ring or lanyard strap to minimize the need to actually hold the phone in one’s hand.
  • The display characteristics, including its size, adjustability of font sizes and the availability of visual, audio and/or sensory alerts.

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