1.10 Ensure compatibility with assistive technologies

Users with impairments often use assistive technologies to enable them to provide inputs and perceive outputs. These include additional earpieces, hands-free kits, hearing aids and text-based terminal systems.`

Telecommunications devices should be able to connect with assistive technologies, detect input from them and generate outputs in a way that they can detect.


Many users have impairments that cannot be overcome solely within the design of the telephone itself. For these users, it is imperative that whatever technologies they use can be integrated with their telephone. This includes both technologies designed specifically for this purpose, such as text terminals and head-sets, and other general assistive technologies, such as hearing aids. If users are unable to use their normal assistive devices, they may be unable to use the telephone.

Directions and Techniques

Enable coupling to a hearing aid

There are a number of ways of coupling a telephone to a hearing aid, including inductive coupling, infra-red, direct electrical connection, or by matched acoustic transducers.

International standards relating to coupling of telephones earphones to hearing aids include:

  • ETSI (European telecommunications Standards Institute) ETS 300
  • ITU (International Telecommunication Union) ITU-T P.370

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) symbol

European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) symbol
Symbol for systems that facilitate people with impaired hearing.

Provide input and output sockets

A standard output jack socket will enable users to connect an earphone or headset. Provision for two handsets will enable a user to listen with both ears or a second person to listen in and relay what is said using sign language or by repeating the message so that it can be lip read. Input sockets can be provided for external plug-in keyboards or for coupling to a computer, which can be used as a text terminal, for dialling or as a personal phonebook.

How you could check for this:

There are no specific test methods recommended for this guideline.