Features to Consider

There are many features and capabilities of mobile devices that need to be considered when trying to find a phone that meets your accessibility needs and preferences. These features are unique to each individual and have been organized here in a form of a checklist that will help you think about the mobile phone features you need.  The checklist is grouped as follows:

Visual display

Auditory display

Tactile display

Hardware controls

Hardware keypads and Software Keyboards

Touch screens

Orientation control

Voice control

Alternative access

Other hardware related

Call 

Text input

Other features

Preferences and Customization

Help and Support 

How to use this checklist?

1. Go through all the questions on the checklist. 

2. Check mark off those features/capabilities that you would like on your mobile device.

3. Print off the checklist and take it with your while you are shopping for your mobile device. This checklist (.doc format)  has been formatted so that you can easily print it off.

 

Visual Display

___ Does the mobile device include a large screen? A larger than average screen facilitates magnification. 

___ Does the mobile device include a backlit screen? This additional source of illumination for screens enhances luminance and contrast.

___ Does the mobile device include an anti-glare screen? This coat or layer placed over screen reduces reflection from external light sources, enhances contrast and facilitates discerning foreground from background.

___ Can the mobile device allow you to adjust for brightness?

___ Can the mobile device allow you to adjust the contrast?

___ Will the mobile device allow for high contrast mode? This setting allows the highest possible brightness ratio of the lightest to the darkest parts of all elements on the screen.

___ Does the mobile device have high contrast focus indicators? This setting provides for highly visible indicators on onscreen elements that currently have focus.

___ Does the mobile device allow for a grayscale display? This setting allows the translation of all colours on the screen into their grayscale equivalents

___ Can the mobile device allow you to adjustable font size?

___ Can the mobile device allow you to adjust the fonts type?

___ Can the mobile device allow you to adjust the colours?

___ Does the mobile device allow you to customize the layout (i.e., re-arrange the user interface elements)?

___ Does the mobile device allow for customizable themes, i.e., changing the appearance of all elements on the screen (including fonts, colours, etc.)?

___ Does the mobile device allow for panning? Panning allows you to navigate content larger than the screen.

___ Does the mobile device allow for magnification (i.e., increasing the size of all elements on the screen) with panning?

___ Does the mobile device allow for magnification with word wrap? This will allow you to increase the size of text on the screen while avoiding the need for panning.

___ Does the mobile device allow for textual alerts and notifications? 

___ Does the mobile device allow for graphical alerts and notifications such as icons?

___ Does the mobile device allow for customizable visual alerts?

___ Does the mobile device have no visible screen flicker?


___ Will the mobile device include a video/TV out port allowing for compatibility with external monitors and/or magnifying equipment?

 

Auditory Display

___ Does the mobile device include speaker for displaying auditory information?

___ Does the mobile device include headphone connection for external headphones?

___ Does the mobile device include controls for changing the volume?

___ Does the mobile device include a control for muting all sounds?

___ Can you customize the auditory alerts and notifications on the mobile device?

___ Does the mobile device allow for sonic alerts and notifications (e.g., beeps)?

___ Does the mobile device allow for spoken alerts and notifications (e.g., “new message”)?

___ Does the mobile device read out numbers when the digit is dialed?

___ Does the mobile device convert written text into speech?

___ Does the mobile device include a screen reader (Link to appropriate section on SNOW)? 

___ Does the mobile device allow you to customize the screen reader settings?

 

Tactile Display

___ Does the mobile device include vibration?

___ Can you present all system alerts and notification through vibration with this mobile device? 

___ Can you customize the vibration properties (e.g., pattern, frequency, strength) for all vibration alerts and notifications?

___ Does the mobile device include a built in Braille display?

___ Is the mobile device compatible with an external Braille display?


Hardware Controls (including numeric keypads, QWERTY keypads, volume controls, other physical buttons)

___ Does the handset include physical controls (i.e., keys and buttons) for controlling the handset functions?

___ Does the mobile device include guarded/recessed controls that prevent keys from being activated accidentally?

___ Can the keys and buttons on the mobile device be identified tactilely (different sizes and/or shapes)?

___ Does the mobile device include an identifiable nib on '5' key (standard numeric keypad only) to allow you to orient to the keys?

___ Does the mobile device include identifiable nibs on 'J' & 'F' key (qwerty keypad only) to allow you to orient to the keys?

___ Does the mobile device include physical controls (i.e., keys and buttons for the QWERTY keypad) for entering text?

___ Does the mobile device include additional sources of illumination (i.e., backlit controls) for the physical controls to facilitate identification?

___ Does the mobile device include physical feedback for the controls so that all keys and buttons provide a means to identifying their activation tactilely?

___ Does the mobile device include a D-Pad for directional control (typically up, down, left, right) in order to navigate the user interface?

 

Hardware Keypads and Software Keyboards

___ Does the mobile device include a standard keypad layout?

___ Do the individual controls visually discernible, i.e., include clear labels and outlines?

___ Are the controls on the mobile device larger than average?

___ Are the labels for the controls larger than average on the mobile device?

___ Does the mobile device include high contrast control labels? 

___ Are there graphic labels for controls describing the purpose of each control on the mobile device?

___ Does the mobile device includes keypad shortcuts?

___ Does the mobile device allow for customizable visual feedback for the controls? 

___ Does the mobile device allow for customizable auditory feedback for the controls?

___ Does the mobile device allow for customizable tactile feedback for the controls?

___ Does the mobile device allow you to customize the key sensitivity? This allows you to change the amount of time required for a key to be continuously pressed before it is activated.

___ Does the mobile device allow you customize the pointer sensitivity? This allows you to change the amount of movement required on a physical pointer to change the position of its on-screen equivalent?

___ Does the mobile device allow you to enable Sticky Keys? This allows for sequential activation of modifier keys.

 

Touch screens

___ Does the mobile device include a touch screen?

___ Does the mobile device include allow you to explore the touch screen eyes-free by providing auditory feedback without activation?

___ Does the mobile device provide alternatives to multi-touch (i.e., simultaneous interaction with two or more points on the screen)?

___ Does the mobile device provide alternatives to gesture control (i.e., tactile paths on the touch screen)?

 

Orientation Control

___ Does the mobile device provide alternatives to orientation control (i.e., by tilting the mobile phone)?

___ Does the mobile device allow for customizable orientation control?

 

Voice Control

___ Does the mobile device include voice control (i.e., controlling all phone functions through speech only)?

___ Does the mobile device allow for customizable voice control? 

 

Alternative Access

___ Does the mobile device support software-based (programmatic) control (i.e., control all phone functions through software only)?

___ Can the focus navigation of the mobile device be separate from activation?  That is the elements on the screen may receive input without being activated.

___ Is the mobile device switch accessible?

___ Does the mobile device support a stylus/mouth stick support?

___ Does the mobile device support an external keyboard?

 

Other Hardware-Related

___ Does the mobile device include non-slip surfaces that increase grip?

___ Does the mobile device include a flat back so that it can be used reliably on a flat surface?

___ Does the mobile device allow for single-hand operation (with left or right hands)?

___ Can the mobile device be slid or flipped open/close easily?
___ Is the mobile device free of hazards to you?

___ Does the mobile device include a lanyard connector?

___ Does the mobile device allow for custom mounting (includes cradles, car/bike kits, etc.)?

___ Does the mobile device provide feedback (visual, tactile and/or auditory) when the connector has been engaged/disengaged?

___ Does the mobile device allow you to restore it to its’ original factory default state?

 

Call

___ Does the mobile device allow for speed dial (or one-touch dial)?

___ Can the mobile device automatically answers and ends a call when opened and closed, respectively?

___ Does the mobile device allow for automatic redial (redialing the last number with a single key, tap, or keypad shortcut)?

___ Does the mobile device allow you to automatically answer incoming calls?

___ Is a speakerphone included allowing for calls at a distance from the mobile device?

___ Does the mobile device allow you to automatically use the speakerphone feature when answering any calls?

___ Does the mobile device allows you to use any key to answer the phone?
___ Does the mobile device allow you to dial using you voice only?

___ Does the mobile device allow for customizable caller ID (by audio, visual and/or vibrating)?

___ Does the mobile device allow for customizable call alert (by audio, visual and/or vibrating)?
___ Does the mobile device allow you to create call alert profiles? This allows you to change the alert patterns of incoming calls (e.g., ring, and then vibrate)

___ Does the mobile device allow for push-to-talk (i.e., half-duplex, walkie-talkie-type communication)?

 

Text input

___ Does the mobile device allow you to enter text through speech only?

___ Does the mobile device offers word alternatives when entering text (i.e., predictive text input)?

___ Does the mobile device suggest the most likely word after the user inputs the first few letters (automatic word completion)? 

___ Does the mobile device include previously entered words by the user in automatic word completion (adaptive word completion)?

 

Other Features

___ Does the mobile device include a built-in camera?

___ Does the mobile device support external (3rd party) mouse/pointers?

___ Does the mobile device include voice recording functions?

 

Preferences and Customization

___ Does the mobile device allow for changing all accessibility-related settings? 

___ Does the mobile device allow you to change the screen timeouts?

___ Does the mobile device allow you to change the timeout of system alerts and notifications?

___ Does the mobile device support symbolic communication methods?

___ Does the mobile device have a simple, easy to use user interface?

___ Does the mobile device allow you to change all playback properties (e.g., size, speed, etc.) of media players?

___ Does the mobile device incorporate user-defined words in all text-input functions?

___ Does the mobile supports different locales?

___ Does the mobile device allow you to change the labels of any user interface element?

___ Does the mobile device allow you to change the layout and sequence of all operational elements (includes widgets and applications)

 

Help and Support

___ Is there electronic documentation available on your mobile device?

___ Will you be able to get on-demand accessibility information for your mobile device?

___ Will you be able to get access to trained customer service people?

 
This checklist is based on the ‘Mobile Wireless Handset Accessibility Assessment,’ authored by the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC).