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Do you have trouble using complicated phone instructions? This page provides information about a number of products and services which may make it easier to use the phone.

It includes information about the features included in the popular mobile phones using Apple iOS or Android; home phones and services available from telco's; and specific services to assist people who can sometimes find it confusing when using the telephone.

Apple iOS – iPhones and iPad

For more information on accessibility features of Apple products, visit the Apple Accessibility page.

Guided Access

Guided Access helps people with Autism or other attention and sensory challenges stay focused on the task (or app) at hand. With Guided Access, a parent, teacher, or therapist can limit an iOS device to stay on one app by disabling the Home button, and even restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen. So wandering taps and gestures won't distract from learning.

iOS 8 includes a new time limit feature to Guided Access which can be used to set the time an app is usable.

Apple devices that have the TouchID sensor can now also be used as an alternative to the passcode for disabling Guided Access.

Speak Selection

Speak Selection can help with reading. Highlight text on the screen, tap Speak, and your device reads the selected text out loud. It can also be set to highlight words as they're being read. Voices, dialects and speaking rate can be adjusted to preference.

iOS 8 has a new Speak Screen option with two finger flick.

Dictionary

Dictionary definitions are integrated into iOS. Get quick access to definitions and commonly used phrases to help with spelling, pronunciation, and grammar.

Safari Reader

Safari Reader reduces the visual clutter on a web page by removing distractions. It strips away ads, buttons, and navigation bars, allowing you to focus on just the content you want. And Safari Reader works with Speak Selection and VoiceOver, to provide auditory reinforcement for what you're seeing.

Support

The Apple Accessibility Support Line is a helpline dedicated to assisting iOS users with vision, hearing, motor or learning impairments. It is a 24 hour service which allows you to directly speak with an Apple representative who is trained in providing support using accessibility services. To access this service call 1300 365 083 (local and national telephone rates apply).

Android

Google Voice Access app

The Google Voice Access app provides capability to operate Android devices by speech commands. The app is available to download free of charge from Google Play store.

More information about accessible apps and other mobile devices can also be found on the GARI website.

Jeenee Mobile Service

Jeenee Mobile is a not for profit social enterprise telco dedicated to making mobile accessible, inclusive and affordable for those Australians who live with disability. Jeenee Mobiles services are designed to support individuals regardless of their disability type or level of literacy or numeracy skills. Jeenee Mobile also caters for individuals who live with multiple disability types. Jeenee Mobile provides mobile phone plans coupled with individually customised handsets/tablets and apps including GPS locator services and one button press access to a 24/7 Help centre staffed with disability trained consultants.

People use the 24/7 help button when:

  • they are worried or need support – the everyday "what if /what do I do now" moments when people are not around their family or carers
  • they may be lost, confused or uncertain. Jeenee Mobile consultants can locate people with our gps locator services and help get them back on their way
  • they are in need of emergency services. Jeenee Mobile consultants organise the immediate support and keep the their family or carer up to date

Jeenee Mobile also deliver training about safe and secure phone use for people who live with disability.

More information can be found on the Jeenee Mobile website.

Optus

Free Operator Assisted Directory Service

Optus customers with a disability who need assistance to access directory services can call 133 937 (general inquiries option) to apply for a free operator-assisted service.

On the call a customer service rep will ask you a series a questions to ascertain you meet the criteria. Optus Operator Services will then provision your request and, once approved, will contact you to provide you with the directory numbers to use. This free service will allow you to call in, seek directory assistance and be through connected for local, national and international calls. Standard mobile call charges may apply for calls from mobile phones.

For more information, visit Optus’ Disability Services page.

Useful contact information

Organisation

Role

Web Address

Australian Communications and Media Authority

Telecommunications regulator

www.acma.gov.au

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

Peak telecommunications consumer organisation

www.accan.org.au

Brain Injury Australia

Peak organisation representing Australians with acquired brain injury

www.braininjuryaustralia.org.au

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations

Australian peak organisation representing the disability sector

www.afdo.org.au

Australian Human Rights Commission

Australian Government funded organisation representing and protecting Human Rights

www.humanrights.gov.au

Carers Australia

Peak organisation for carers

www.carersaustralia.com.au

Communications Alliance Ltd

Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry organisation in Australia

www.commsalliance.com.au

Centrelink

Australian Federal Government social security agency

www.centrelink.gov.au

COTA (Council on the Ageing National Office)

Represents interests of older Australians

www.cota.org.au

National Disability Insurance Agency

Implementing Australian Government's National Disability Insurance Scheme

www.ndis.gov.au

Department of Social Services

Australian Federal Government Department of Social Services

www.dss.gov.au

Independent Living Centres Australia (inc)

Provides independent information about assistive technology products through State and Territory offices

www.ilcaustralia.org

JobAccess

Australian Federal Government workplace modifications program for people with disability

www.jobaccess.gov.au

Inclusion Australia (National Council on Intellectual Disability)

Peak organisation representing interests of people with intellectual disabilities

www.ncid.org.au

National Disability Services

Peak body for non-government disability service organisations

www.nds.org.au

National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA)

Peak organisation representing people from non-English speaking backgrounds with disability

www.neda.org.au

Department of Communications

Australian Federal Government Department of Communications

www.communications.gov.au

National Relay Service (NRS)

Australian Government relay service providing telecommunications service for Deaf, hearing impaired or speech impaired consumers

www.relayservice.gov.au

Physical Disability Australia

Peak organisation representing interests of people with a physical disability

www.pda.org.au

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)

Fast, free and fair dispute resolution service for small business and residential customers who have a complaint about their telephone or internet service

www.tio.com.au

Women with Disabilities Australia Peak organisation representing interests of Australian women with disability www.wwda.org.au