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Mobile Phones Accessibility Discussion Axel Leblois , G3ict. November 1, 2010 Odessa. Three Tenets of Universal Design. User centered: Recognizing the range of different capabilities and skills, past experiences, wants and opinions within the population

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three tenets of universal design
Three Tenets of Universal Design

User centered: Recognizing the range of different capabilities and skills, past experiences, wants and opinions within the population

Population aware:  Understanding the quantitative population statistics is vital to inform design decisions

Business focused: Achieving profitability in the commercial context and sustainability in the public context

the raku raku story 2001 2009
The RakuRaku Story 2001-2009
  • NTT DoCoMo Market Situation in 2001
    • Overall penetration of cell phones in Japan: 82.6%
    • NTT DoCoMo market share: 51%
    • Opportunity: rate of utilization decreases significantly with age (90+% aged 20 to 50; less than 30% above 70)
  • Decision to tackle issue across organization, products and services
    • Adoption of Universal Design principles
    • Cell phone handsets, stores & services

Source: NTT DoCoMo presentation at

ITU – UNESCAP meeting in Bangkok, August 26, 2009

example of raku raku accessible and assistive features and services
Example of “RakuRaku” Accessible and Assistive Features and Services

A large screen with large characters

Dedicated buttons to call certain pre-recorded numbers automatically

“Read aloud” menus and text

Voice input text messages and email

Access to a network of talking books (Bibulio-net, 12,395 titles as of March 2009) with an integrated DAISY player

An optional bone conductor receiver to transmit sound waves directly from bone to nerve

initiative launched september 2001
Initiative Launched September 2001

How many Raku-Raku phones have been sold by NTT DoCoMo in Japan since then?

initiative launched september 20011
Initiative Launched September 2001

How many Raku-Raku phones have been sold by NTT DoCoMo since then?

15 Million!

the raku raku
The RakuRaku

A real world story involving a leading telecommunications company

When marketing discipline meets accurate demographic statistics

Illustrates the power of Universal Design to address the needs of persons with disabilities

the demographic challenge data analysis and awareness raising for policy development
The Demographic Challenge: Data Analysis and Awareness Raising for Policy Development

“People with disabilities are often invisible in official statistics”

Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2006, UNESCO

beyond pwds 57 of microsoft windows customers use its accessibility features

Very likely

to benefit



to benefit


Beyond PWDs: 57% of Microsoft Windows Customers Use its Accessibility Features

57% of computer users

(age 18-64 in the US) are likely or very likely to benefit from accessibility features

  • 1 in 4 users experiences a visual difficulty.
  • 1 in 4 experience pain in wrists or hands.
  • 1 in 5 has a hearing difficulty.

Not likelyto benefit


Study commissioned by Microsoft,

Conducted by Forrester Research

in 2003

mobile phones and services accessibility
Mobile Phones and Services Accessibility
  • Basic accessibility features are easy to implement,

and exist today:

    • Ergonomic design
    • Adaptive display and sound
    • Hearing aid compatibility
  • New handset technology includes:
    • Text to Speech, voice recognition
    • Scanner capability
    • GPS – triangulation positioning
    • Bone sound conduction
  • Remote services
    • Emergency services
    • Digital libraries
    • E-Government services
    • Blue tooth proximity services
policy alternatives
Policy Alternatives

Private sector initiative (Japan)

Voluntary multi-stakeholder negotiation (France)

Strict regulation (Canada)

accessibility charter among mobile operators france case study
Accessibility Charter among Mobile Operators – France Case Study
  • Government, users, operators sign charter in 2005
  • Voluntary program with milestones and monitoring for implementing features with defined priorities:
    • Necessary features
    • Comfort features
    • Desirable new features and evolution
    • Marketing codification of accessibility features
france case study results
France Case Study - Results

Each operator offers between 10 and 20 accessible handsets in 2009

Specialized point of sales with trained personnel

New services launched (News in sign language, accessible city and accessible mobile tourism web sites etc.)

basic hearing accessibility features
Basic Hearing Accessibility Features

Visual alerts to notify the user of incoming calls/messages

Adjustable volume control

Display of missed, received or dialed calls through call logs

Visual or tactile indicators showing what has been pressed on the keypad, and visual display of text

Text based messaging options

SMS to Avatar translation for deaf illiterate (Tunisia)

One on one video for sign language communications

vision basic accessibility features
Vision – Basic Accessibility Features

Tactile markers to help orient fingers on the keypad

Audible or tactile feedback to confirm a button has been pressed

Adjustable font sizes

Audible cues for low battery, caller waiting or ending a call and volume level

Adjustable brightness/contrast controls for the display

The size of the main display

Backlit display

speech basic accessibility features
Speech – Basic Accessibility Features

Text Messaging/SMS


Instant Messaging

Multi-media Messaging

Predictive Text

Re-use of personalized SMS messages

Video one on one for sign language


Ability to use the phone in 'hands-free' mode

Predictive text input

Call answered by pressing any key

Voice recognition for dialing or accessing features within the phone

No pinching, twisting or rotation of the wrist needed

Candy bar design to avoid extra movements (that a phone with a folding or sliding design requires)

Flat back on the phone to allow for operation on a table top rather than having to be held

Optional accessories such as a Bluetooth headset or keyboard making texting and talking much easier


Menus and instructions clear and simple to understand

Providing simple instructions when something is required from the user

Providing enough time for people to enter the required information

Ability to associate photos with telephone numbers

Other features that may be useful include:

Having a choice between audio, visual or vibrating alerts to let users know when they're receiving a call

Keys provide audio, visual and tactile feedback when pressed

Popular functions such as placing a call controlled by repeating pre-recorded voice commands

Help menus designed to anticipate the information being sought

Keypad shortcuts to make every step quick and efficient

what the future holds
What the Future Holds