The Big Button Phone – Versatility – Features – Safety

Thought I’d highlight the usefulness of Big Button Phones as a communication tool for all, and especially elderly and disabled people. It’s on my part, a pause from the never ending depressive issues surrounding us.

Big button phones over the years have developed to incorporate ‘assistive technology’ a term that refers to ‘any device or system that allows an individual to perform a task that they would otherwise be unable to do, or increases the ease and safety with which the task can be performed’ (Royal Commission on Long Term Care, 1999).

British Telecom (BT) for instance, in 1998, sold 250 000 of their Converse models, earning around £11 million. Of those sold, 60% were bought explicitly because of their accessibility features. Updated models still carry the Converse tag.

The Converse range had large, wide-spaced, colour-contrasted buttons and many hidden features.

Big Button PhoneFor example, the telephones had amplification features to increase the speaker volume, inducted coupling for users wearing hearing aids, high visibility call indicator lamps, and adjustable ringer volume and pitch controls. The Converse 300 also offered hands-free operation.

All major telephone manufacturers today incorporate assistive technoloogy in their product ranges.

In more recent years, mobile phones manufacturers now offer units with helpful features for people with impairments.

The trend of offering telephones with the latest technology to help with communication problems can only grow as life expectancy increases and more help for disabled people is hopefully embraced by society.

Dementia is now a major health issue, and for sufferers, as well as other infirm people living alone. the personal safety features incorporated in many telephones are of some reassurance for the user, their support services and relatives.

big button phoneThere is most probably a big button phone with features that could improve your safety and independence or possibly a relative of yours. Cost can be a drawback as more features usually mean more expensive products.

Typical features:

  • Compatible with most hearing aids
  • Handsfree
  • Speakerphone
  • Extra receiving volume control
  • Receiving tone control up to 10dB
  • Adjustable ringer level and tone
  • 11 one-touch memories
  • Message waiting indicator
  • Headset and shaker outputs
  • Big button keypad
  • Extra bright visual ringer indicator

Some big button phones also offer:

  • Panic Button
  • Door entry function
  • For memory and cognition problems – picture or photograph buttons
  • Strobe light and bed shaker alarms and notifications

“A telephone upgrade may be worth a thought”

View Big Button Phones

Big Button Phones – For Disabled and Elderly People

I was asked recently to suggest some products disabled and elderly people had found useful for everyday living tasks. One of them was a big button phone.

Using the telephone to communicate with family and friends is of great importance, especially if you live alone and are housebound. If you find it difficult to use an ordinary phone because of vision, hearing, memory or dexterity impairments there may be a big button phone to help you.

There are big button phones with safety features such as panic and emergency alarms.

There are big button mobile phones.

Some phones have picture buttons for memory and cognitive impairments.

For people with severe hearing difficulties there are phones with a strobe light alert and pillow shaker to indicate an incoming call.

Although the specification given of the phone below makes it quite expensive, there are variously priced models with features giving assistance.


Big Button Phone

This big button phone, although expensive, is packed with features

The big button phone shown enables, in an emergency, the user to press an SOS button on the pendant or main telephone. The unit then dials the five selected contacts (family/friends) for help until a response is received. If the first number is busy (or on voice mail) it will dial the next pre-programmed number. When the call is answered an emergency message is played, then, two-way conversation is possible through the panic button or hands free on the telephone. The phone has a powerful hands free speakerphone for hearing issues, two direct memories, one SOS button and 10 two touch memories as well as the big buttons to assist with sight and dexterity impairments.


Consider a big button phone if you are disabled, elderly or have a friend or family member who is.