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Understanding ImpairmentsBack to overview
Your ability to move about can impact how you communicate. Having the right handset can make a big difference if you need longer to get to the phone, or you're unable to sit or stand for a long time.
What limits our mobility?
Mobility is about more than being able to walk about. Our ability to be mobile can be caused by a physical or neurological condition, as a result of ageing, injury or a medical condition – and it can happen at any age.
As technology advances, our communication devices are more mobile than ever, which means impaired mobility doesn't have to mean limiting your independence.
Recognising mobility issues
It's sometimes hard to admit when you're not able to move about as easily.
There's no embarrassment in asking for help – many people need a little extra assistance sometimes, and you may only need to make a few simple changes to improve your day-to-day life.
If you're taking a little longer to get to the phone, or if you're finding sitting or standing while talking on the phone a little hard, we can help improve how you communicate.
Cordless phones, longer ring times and other handy features
BT has many products and services that can help you communicate more easily if mobility is an issue.
Bring the telephone to you
An extension cord or an additional socket can let you have the telephone in a more accessible place. DIY extension socket kits and cords can be bought online from www.bt.com/shop and other retail outlets. Alternatively you could arrange for BT to fit a socket for you by ringing 0800 800 150. There is a standard charge for this service.
Take the phone with you
A cordless telephone is great – you can make and receive calls wherever you are in and around the house. Many cordless telephones have more than one handset connected to the line, which means you can have them in different locations with at least one always on charge. We suggest keeping a corded phone connected as well, in case you need to make a call during a power cut.
Let your caller leave a message
Using an answering machine or free BT Answer 1571 means your caller can leave a message for you to listen to when it is convenient to you. BT Call Minder (additional fee required) is similar to BT Answer 1571 but lets you set the number of rings before the answering service takes a message and you can record your own greeting message.
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Getting help with mobility
There are several organisations that can help you if you have mobility issues. Your local authority might be able to help with special equipment and assessing your needs. An occupational therapist can also work out what extra support you require.
Organisations like Age UK and the Disability Living Foundation can also be a great source of information about mobility. As well as learning about your rights and available benefits, if they are a part of our Try Before You Buy scheme you'll find product recommendations to help you connect with others.
Support from BT
We've been actively supporting people with impairments for years. But to help you we need to understand your needs and requirements, so make sure you tell us about your impairments, so we can offer you the best service.
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Simple tips to help with mobility
If you or someone you know is having trouble getting about their home, there are ways to make it easier for them to communicate.
- Bring things you use regularly closer to you, perhaps by using a telephone extension lead. Make sure wires and smaller items are out of the way to avoid tripping.
- Consider moving furniture and equipment around so your space is more accessible.
- Ensure your home is well lit
- If you use a wheelchair, consider cordless or wireless devices that you can take from place to place.
- Keep items in the place where you'll need to use them – keeping a pen by your phone is always good idea.
- If you need time getting to the door, consider an intercom system.
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Other ways to get information
BT can provide written information and bills in alternative formats, free of charge. Most of our product guides and information booklets are also available in alternative formats. However, it may be easier to download product guides on to your PC. You'll find lots of other information available in our download section.
If you find it difficult to use The Phone Book, try using the online version provided free at www.thephonebook.bt.com
Alternatively you may be eligible for our 195 free directory enquiry service. For an application form, ring the registration team on 0800 587 0195. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 09.00 to 16.30. You'll need to complete an application form, which will need to be signed by your doctor.
If you use the BT 1471 or BT Answer 1571 services you can return the last call made to you by pressing a single button on your telephone. The call connection fee for both of these services is free to BT customers signed up to the 195 service. All other call charges apply.
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