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Trace Center Reference Designs for Cell Phones

The Trace Center is in the process of generating a series of reference designs for cross-disability accessible cell phones. The designs meet all of the specifications in the FCC/Access Board Guidelines. The first design, Reference Design 1, is intended to show how a single phone can be designed so that it would be cross-disability accessible as well as usable and attractive to mass market customers.

Reference Design 1 uses only technologies that are already found in today's cell phones (although the software in the telephones today may not currently be written to use these technologies in an accessible fashion). The only exception to this is hearing aid compatibility with digital wireless phones. The design assumes that industry will develop a solution to this problem in conjunction with ANSI C63 and that that solution would be incorporated into this design.

The cost to implement the features described in the reference designs is nominal. Basically, it involves the addition of a single button to the key pad on the front of the phone and an alteration of the software instructions that tell the phone how to behave. (A design which does not require the addition of the extra button is also possible.) All of the technologies described and used in this phone are already present in other cell phones today. Most of them are in low cost phones. A couple technologies are currently only found in mid-range phones, but we expect these technologies to be available in the inexpensive phones shortly (except where there are marketing reasons for companies to reserve some features for higher end phones for product differentiation rather than cost reasons).

The following information is included in Reference Design 1:

  1. A brief description of the Reference Design 1 cell phone including notes as to how the access features are actually related to standard product features that would be desirable by mass market users.
  2. A series of tables listing each of the FCC guidelines, how the guidelines are met in the proposed reference design, and comments about cost and ease of implementation.

Reference Design 1

Reference Design 1 in brief

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This reference design is a project of the Trace Research and Development Center, which is funded in part by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the Department of Education under grant numbers H133E50002 and H133E980008. The opinions contained in this material are those of the grantee and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Education.