Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Cell Phone Use: One Off-The-Shelf Solution and Some Policy ConsiderationsBy Bryen, Diane Nelson, PhD; Pecunas, Paul; Assistive Technology, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 11-17
Publication Date: Summer 2004
Article discusses the importance of cellular phone use among people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, and describes off-the-shelf solutions designed to make cellular phones more accessible for people with disabilities. One solution that does not depend upon specialized technology includes components used to mount the phone in a vehicle. The solution calls for a cellular phone that is durable, user-friendly, and that offers a wide range of features, including caller identification, phone book storage, one-touch dialing, voicemail notification, and text messaging. For people who use wheelchairs, a pedestal mount designed by PanaVise can be utilized to secure the phone, as the device is durable and user-friendly. If a powered wheelchair is used, the phone’s battery can be charged by attaching it to the battery of the wheelchair. A speaker can be attached to the wheelchair’s arm if the individual has difficulty holding the phone to his or her ear, while a standard microphone can be employed to receive the synthesized or digitized speech generated by the communication device or by the natural speech of the person who uses AAC. The positioning of the microphone is important, as it needs to receive sounds from both the user’s voice and the communication device. The authors contend that manufacturers should consider applying these universal design adaptations to their mainstream products to create a product that is more accessible for people with disabilities.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J48231