According to the ABS, one in five Australians are registered as having a form of disability that impedes them in some way - be it one that affects their sight, hearing or other sensory functions.
There is a huge need for technology to come to terms with their telecommunication requirements – a need that is being seen to, and continually refined, by a mutual partnership between Trillium and Telstra, through their Big Button Multipurpose phone.
Telstra’s Universal Service Obligation assures that it maintains a commitment to developing technology through its Disability Equipment Program – that both addresses and services the needs of an aging population, and people with disabilities. Keeping this agenda in mind, consumers fitting into this particular niche have always longed for a basic, easy-to-use model that featured big buttons and an adequate, adjustable earpiece volume.
In partnership with Trillium, a specialist telecommunications engineering and design firm, Telstra developed the hugely successful Big Button Multipurpose phone. Released in 2005, this model not only met the needs of those with a hearing impairment – an issue addressed by the T1000 phone with its adjustable volume control function – but had large, highly legible dial, function, and designation keys.
According to a recent article published in the Telecommunications Journal of Australia, in the years following its release, the phone has had a popular take-up, with 17,000 customers opting to choose it as a rental handset.
The phone, available for purchase through Trillium, also incorporates an auxiliary input, allowing it to be activated from a separate larger device, such as a puffer or lever switch.
“We’re always looking to enhance the features of the phone, such as increasing ring volume levels,” explained Joe Raimondo, Commercial Manager at Trillium.
Further refinements are still being planned for the phone, as Trillium and Telstra continue to share the common goal of taking into consideration the needs of end users, and disability consumer representatives.