Services for the Disabled Consumer

The mobile operators work with a number of organisations supporting services for accessibility. Information can be readily found on their individual websites or guidance given from the in-store teams.

Safety awareness for children online has become front of mind for the industry, partnerships with children’s online safety organisations and charities are helping inform the public on how to adapt to changing technology in relation to their child’s welfare.  

Examples of Services to Support

Next Generation Text (NGT) Service.

The NGT Service enables you to communicate with other phone users using real-time text, either directly or over a text-relay service. If you can’t speak or hear on the phone, or you prefer not to, NGT lets you have real-time text conversations linked to your phone calls, letting you stay connected whether you’re at home or out and about if you have downloaded the NGT app, onto your smartphone or tablet. You can download the app for free, as long as you have a compatible device. It’s available from both the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Simply use your smartphone or tablet to go to your app store and search for NGT Lite. www.ngts.org.uk.

Large Print, Audio or Braille Documents.

If you have a visual impairment, all operators can provide you with bills and other important documents in Braille, Audio and larger fonts.

Emergency SMS.

Customers who have difficulties hearing or are speech impaired and who need emergency assistance can send an SMS to 999 or the European emergency service, 112. The text will then be converted and passed to the appropriate emergency service.  www.emergencysms.org.uk 

Ofcom Easy Read Guide on How to use your mobile phone.

Ofcom, the communications regulator, has published a guide to using a mobile phone, designed to be easily understood by people with learning difficulties. It offers advice on how to get the most out of your mobile phone and how much it could cost. It gives useful information, in a clear and simple way on:

  • The different types of phones available.
  • The possible cost of mobile phone calls and ways to pay.
  • Services which are free for disabled customers that could help you.
  • What to do if something goes wrong.

Useful links

Ofcom guidance on telecoms services for disabled customers

Mobile phones – ease of use (RICA report) 

The Global Accessibility Resourcing Initiative