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Do you have trouble speaking or being understood when talking on the phone? This page provides information about a number of products and services which can assist people who have Commplex Communication Needs (CCN) or have trouble being understood when talking on 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 have CCN or trouble being understood when using the telephone.

Apple iOS – iPhones and iPad

iOS features that help people with CCN or have trouble being understood using the phone. For more information on accessibility features of Apple products, visit the Apple Accessibility page.

Face Time

FaceTime lets you communicate visually, whether you use sign language, gestures, or facial expressions.


iMessage lets you chat with others via text.

Speak Selection

Speak Selection helps with speech development by speaking the words you're reading. Or you can compose your own text and have your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch speak for you.

There are also many third-party speech apps that can turn your iOS device into a powerful augmentative communication device.

Switch Control

iOS 8 introduced many changes to Switch Control to make it a better user experience. Navigation within the Switch Control menu has improved and is now more efficient.


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 features

The Android platform supports teletypewriter (TTY) modes for connecting a TTY device.

TalkBack', Android's text-to-speech feature–can be activated from the power menu and TalkBack now supports gestures to trigger actions, navigate applications, and traverse text.

Android supports many Augmentative Alternative Communication applications.

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.

As a number of different mobile handset manufacturers use the Android operating system on their phones individual handsets may have additional features which may be useful. To find out more about specific handsets the Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) website has an easy to use searchable database listing the features of interest for people who are Deaf or have difficulty hearing when using a mobile phone.

National Relay Service

There are a number of services available through the National Relay Service (NRS) specifically to assist people with CCN to make and receive phone calls, including SMS relay for people who have trouble speaking on a mobile phone when they are out and about, teletypewriter and web text services for people who need to communicate using text. Contact info, Voice 1800 555 660(freecall), TTY 1800 555 630 (freecall), or online.

Useful contact information



Web Address

Australian Communications and Media Authority

Telecommunications regulator

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

Peak telecommunications consumer organisation

Carers Australia

Peak organisation for carers

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations

Australian peak organisation representing the disability sector

Australian Human Rights Commission

Australian Government funded organisation representing and protecting Human Rights

Communications Rights Australia

Advocacy and information service for people with little or no speech

Communications Alliance Ltd

Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry organisation in Australia


Australian Federal Government social security agency

COTA (Council on the Ageing National Office)

Represents interests of older Australians

Physical Disability Australia

Peak organisation representing the interests of people with a physical disability

Department of Communications

Australian Federal Government Department of Communications

National Disability Insurance Agency

Implementing Australian Government's National Disability Insurance Scheme

Department of Social Services

Australian Federal Government Department of Social Services

Independent Living Centres Australia (inc)

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


Australian Federal Government workplace modifications program for people with disability

National Disability Services

Peak body for non-government disability service organisations

National Ethnic Disability Alliance

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

National Relay Service (NRS)

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

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

Women with Disabilities Australia Peak organisation representing interests of Australian women with disability