Mobiles for those with Down syndrome can open up a whole world for the user. Down syndrome comes in many different forms and looks different for everyone. It is important that a child or adult with Down syndrome is still able to experience independence. To experience this they may also need to have extra support for daily life. For many parents or carers of those with Down syndrome it is important that if they are going to do something independently, they are able to keep in touch often. This is when a mobile phone can be a simple tool which allows those with Down syndrome to experience the world independently.
For some adults and young persons with Down syndrome a standard mobile can seem a bit too complicated. This is why a much simpler version of mobile phone can be more suitable. Some mobiles have been specifically been designed with simple use in mind such as the Doro 8035. Other mobiles designed for the everyday user can also be simple to use. This includes mobiles such as the iPhone SE and Google Pixel 4a.
Big button mobiles
It is common for those with Down syndrome to have poorer vision with 50% needing to wear glasses. Those with Down syndrome see the world differently, one which doesn’t have fine details and sharp contrasts. They therefore benefit from the world being made big and bold and learn visually.
This is why having a mobile with big buttons can visually be much easier to use. It can also be much easier to use physical keys rather than touch screen. Mobiles to consider are the Doro 6520, Binatone M250 and the Binatone M312.
Although smartphones are not for everyone, they do offer more accessibility options through personalisation. There are either smartphones designed to be simple to use such as the Doro 8050 or a general smartphone which has accessibility settings along with the ability to download apps. Smartphones are the modern phones of the future. People find they are more visual to use. This is due to more icons than text which those with Down syndrome may find they can grasp more easily. You also have the ability to connect more with the outside world which has its benefits and draw backs.
One of the main benefits of choosing a smartphone is the library of thousands of apps. These can be used to personalise the phone for your needs. This can include making text and icons larger, text to speech or simplified navigational buttons. Apps not only help with making the mobile easier to use but can also assist with other aspects of life such as navigation.
Along with apps to help with living there are a variety to help with different aspects of learning. Those with Down syndrome often have developmental difficulties. This means that learning visually is important for them and makes it easier for them to be able to communicate.
Another challenge which many with Down syndrome face is time and date orientation. This is often due to having impaired short-term memory. A mobile phone can therefore be a great aid. Not only does a mobile show the date and time in a digital format but most also have calendars and alarms which can be set with reminders. This enables the person to live independently and rely less on others to remember things.
When any young person first goes out alone many parents or carers want to be able to keep track of where they are for safety reasons. On most mobiles you are able to set up GPS tracking so you can check to see where the person is. Although for many they feel it is an invasion of privacy it can help to keep the user safe.
If you don’t want to track the person all the time some are able to send GPS locations only in emergencies. These mobiles have emergency assistance buttons which once pressed usually call or text set numbers with some also being able to send a GPS location. Being sent a GPS location can be much easier than asking the user to explain where they are as they may not know or may have difficulty communicating this information.
It is common for those with Down syndrome to have some degree of hearing loss. There are a variety of causes but having a mobile with clearer and louder sound or a mobile which can link directly to hearing aids can be beneficial. If you are looking for a mobile which has been specifically designed with hearing in mind the Doro 8035 or Doro 6620 are both good choices.
Along with the handset itself it is important to also take into consideration the network. If you have poor network coverage you will not have good quality sound when making phone calls. Using OpenSignal you can check to see what the coverage is like in the places you spend most of your time such as at home. Therefore, instead of just going for the cheapest SIM and the network coverage being no good you can check before you buy.