Toward mobile phone design for all: meeting the needs of stroke survivors.

In the July-August 2008 issue of Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, Greig and colleagues described a small, qualitative study of features of mobile phone handset design, documentation, and use that either enhance or hinder usability for people with aphasia. The authors noted that, despite considerable difficulties, study participants appreciated the social participation that mobile phones support. Findings to date of the Wireless RERC’s Survey of User Needs (SUN) reinforce the importance of wireless technology to people with disabilities. Since 2001, the Wireless RERC has surveyed over 3,000 Americans with diverse cognitive, physical, and sensory disabilities about their needs for mobile wireless technologies. About 84% of respondents own or have access to a cell phone or other mobile wireless device. SUN findings also reveal critical features of wireless devices and services that affect usefulness and usability for this diverse population. In May 2010, the Wireless RERC revised the SUN and again began collecting data. Since then, 333 individuals have responded to the survey, 46 of them stroke survivors. This article compares the survey results with the findings of Greig et al. The analysis supports the feasibility of inclusive and universal design in meeting the needs of wireless customers of all age and abilities.