Augmentative and alternative communication and cell phone use: one off-the-shelf solution and some policy considerations.

Use of cell phones has grown dramatically; however, there remains a gap between people with disabilities and the general public in regard to access to cellular telephony. This article describes the importance of cell phone use among people who use augmentative communication devices. An “off-the-shelf” solution is described and illustrated with the goal of improving access to mobile communication among individuals with significant communication disabilities. Finally, a discussion of the need for universal design of cell phones that includes such features as infrared ports, volume range, speakerphones, matrix displays, EZ buttons, voice dialing, and messaging is presented.