Helping to connect everyone

Do you have difficulty hearing, seeing or pressing tiny buttons?

None of these should stop you from using a mobile or getting online.

Here are some ways to make life easier.

Helping you see

There are lots of phones to choose from. But which ones are best if your vision isn't 100%?

  • We've got phones with bigger buttons and larger screens, and we can show you how to change the text size and background to suit you
  • Many modern phones have voice dialling, so you can call a number just by saying a couple of words
  • The Extra Help section below might also be useful: it provides information on free directory enquiries, bills and contacting us

Choosing the right phone

We asked people with visual impairments to try some of our phones and tell us which are best if you find it difficult to see. They told us the iPhone is especially good because the text is automatically white on black (a good combination) and you can make the words bigger. The iPhone also has voice commands enabling you take charge of your phone by talking to it. You can even get it to read out the text that's on the screen. However the iPhone is controlled by a touchscreen, there are no buttons, so make sure it works for you before you buy.

It's also worth looking for a phone with:

  • 'haptic' feedback – this means that when you press a key, the phone vibrates
  • audio feedback – so you can hear instructions
  • a back-lit keypad – in case the light is poor
  • adjustable contrast – to help make text easier to read
  • adjustable font size – in case you want larger letters
  • large, clear, screen display and voice calling – to cut down on how much you have to read
  • Audible battery indicator – so you can hear when you’re running low

We've also launched EE phone simulators which let you explore the phone online and learn about its capabilities. You can try out the iPhone 5, HTC One XL and Samsung Galaxy S III 4G. The simulators are like having an expert in the room to show you how to use all the phone's great features.

The RNIB website also has a 'Beginner's guide to mobiles and smartphones' which provides lots of useful advice on the world of mobiles and choosing the right device.

The Mobile Manufacturers Forum also has a website with information on phone features that aim to help accessibility issues.  You can visit it here.

Choosing the right plan
Choose a plan that suits the way you use your phone. If you find it easier to talk on the phone rather than text, we offer pay as you go (PAYG) and pay monthly (PAYM) plans that give great value on voice calls. Visit the EE, Orange and T-Mobile shops for details.

Helping you hear

Mobile phones offer a great way of keeping in touch with your friends and family if you're deaf or hard of hearing. On most phones you can adjust both the speaker and the ringtone volume. But there's a lot more you can do to make communicating easier than just getting your phone to shout at you:

  • It's best to choose a phone which has a strong vibration alert and/or a screen that flashes when the phone rings.
  • Most phones can send text messages but getting a phone that can also send photo messages is always useful: a picture can say so much... so you don't have to
  • You can use your phone along with an induction loop to boost the sound signal to your hearing aid. Induction loops are used in lots of public buildings like railway stations, courts and concert halls.
  • You can also use text phone services to discuss your needs with us. Text phones either have a keyboard built in or let you link up to one, making it so much easier to type your conversations with all your fingers (rather than just two thumbs). Contact us by dialling 0870 240 9598 from your text phone and asking to be connected to 0800 079 2000
  • Use RNID Typetalk™ via the BT Relay Assist service on 0870 240 9598 (text) & 0870 240 5152 (voice)

The Extra Help section below might also be useful: it provides information on free directory enquiries, bills and contact details

Choosing the right phone
When looking for a phone it's therefore worth checking whether it has the following features:

  • A vibrating alert or a flashing light on the screen - so you can feel or see when someone's calling you
  • Haptic feedback - so when you press any key the phone vibrates so you don't accidentally call someone
  • Volume control - so the other person is loud enough
  • Ability to change the ringtone - so you can choose one that you can hear
  • Hearing loop - so your phone calls can be transmitted to a hearing aid
  • Video calling - many smartphones now support video calls so you can use things like iPhone Facetime to see people as you chat
  • Access to the internet - so you can view all the amazing content that the web offers, while you're on the go

We've also launched EE phone simulators which let you explore the phone online and learn about its capabilities. You can try out the iPhone 5HTC One XL and Samsung Galaxy S III 4G. The simulators are like having an expert in the room to show you how to use all the phone's great features.

The Mobile Manufacturers Forum also has a website with information on phone features that aim to help accessibility issues.  You can visit it here.

Choosing the right plan
We can help you find a plan that'll suit the way you use your phone - and your pocket. If you find it easier to text rather than talk, we offer pay as you go (PAYG) and pay monthly (PAYM) plans that give great value on texts. Customers using text relay can also ask to subscribe to our special text relay tariff, which offers a 60% discount on your line rental.

Get the latest technology

  • EE, Orange and T-Mobile all have High Definition (HD) Voice. It's exciting stuff. HD Voice offers crystal clear, superior sound quality and is available on HD Voice handsets
  • There are also some excellent phone-friendly products that enhance sound and reduce interference for sale at the Action on Hearing Loss shop

Dexterity

If you find it difficult to handle a phone, or to operate the keys, you may prefer one with larger buttons or a touch screen.

  • Some phones also have rubber cases that are easier to grip and provide extra protection if dropped.
  • And, of course, voice dialing could be the answer to all your problems. Then you'll just be a word or two away from your nearest and dearest... and anybody else you need to call.
  • The Extra Help section below might also be useful: it provides information on free directory enquiries, bills and contacting us

Choosing the right phone
We got some experts to have a look at our phones and tell us which are best if you generally find a phone hard to handle. They told us the Samsung B2100, which we offer on our Orange brand, is especially good because its strong design means it survives being dropped - whether onto the floor or into a pint of water.

We've also launched EE phone simulators which let you explore the phone online and learn about its capabilities. You can try out the iPhone 5HTC One XL and Samsung Galaxy S III 4G. The simulators are like having an expert in the room to show you how to use all the phone's great features.

The Mobile Manufacturers Forum also has a website with information on phone features that aim to help accessibility issues.  You can visit it here.

Choosing the right plan
Given that you probably find it easier to talk than text, it would make sense to opt for a pay as you go (PAYG) or a pay monthly (PAYM) plan that gives you great value on voice calls.

Extra Help

Free directory enquiries

  • If phonebooks are no good for you, then you may be eligible for 195 free directory enquiries. It's a very straightforward service: call 195 to register
  • Each time you use it the operator will ask for your PIN (the one you were given when you registered) before you tell them your request. The operator can also connect any standard call for you. The 195 part is free, the onward call connection is chargeable

Making your bill clear
Large print or Braille? Audio cassette or CD? It's your choice. We can supply your bill, and other stuff - like manuals or terms and conditions - in various formats, within two weeks. Contact customer services (details below) to get your bills in a way that suits you.

Letting a friend help you out

  • Let someone else help: a friend or relative can deal with your bills, with your permission
  • That person will then have access to all your account information and receive your monthly bill. To set up a third party scheme contact customer services, details below

EmergencySMS

  • EmergencySMS lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK send an SMS text message to the UK 999 service, where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire rescue or coastguard
  • Download the emergencySMS leaflet and register for the free Emergency 999 service

Communicate using a textphone

Text Relay is a national telephone relay service for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired or deaf-blind. Text Relay connects people using a textphone with people using a telephone by converting text messages to voice.

Text Relay is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are charged at your telecommunications provider's standard rate.

If you’d like to contact us by textphone you can contact us through Text Relay Assist by dialling 0870 240 95 98. This will connect you with a relay assistant directly who will then dial our customer services. The numbers for each of our brands can be found below.

Contact customer services

EE customers Call 150 from an EE phone, or 07953 966 250 from any other phone or through Text Relay Assist.

T-Mobile customers Call 150 from your T-Mobile phone, or 0845 412 5000 from any other phone or through Text Relay Assist.

Orange customers If you're a PAYM customer call 150 from your Orange phone, or 07973 100 150 from any other phone or through Text Relay Assist.  If you're a PAYM customer call 450 from your Orange phone, or 07973 100 450 from any other phone or through Text Relay Assist.