These changes mean that manufacturers will now report on more than 110 mobile phone features as part of the Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) available online at www.mobileaccessibility.info. GARI was launched in 2009 and is administered by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF).
"These changes are a direct result of our discussions with users and groups around the world and will make it even easier for consumers to find a phone that will meet their individual needs," said Michael Milligan, secretary general of the MMF.
New features to be reported on include whether a particular phone has:
- Adjustable maximum volume control for those with limited or poor hearing;
- A front facing camera that can be used by deaf people to sign or for those with limited dexterity to use two-way video conferencing rather than having to hold and use the phone in a conventional way;
- High contrast display mode that can help people read the screen where there is a high ambient light level or where they have impaired vision;
- Voice notes; which can help those who have short term memory loss to remember things that may otherwise be forgotten.
"Of course these features can be of interest to all mobile phone users, but for those with a disability they can make a big difference in the way you can use your phone and to communicate with others - so their value is even higher," added Milligan.
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