Super simple phone for mentally disabled person

I'm looking to get simple mobile phone for a mentally disabled person. She only needs it to call her boyfriend, parents, carer and possibly emergency services. She's illiterate and not good with numbers (Innumerate?) and struggles with the 'Slide to unlock' on most smartphones.

I've heard of simple phones targeted towards children with pre-programed numbers accessed by dedicated buttons and I think that would be perfect for her. Anyone know of any specific phones like that?

Flip phone perhaps?


I haven't seen those pre-programmed child phones for years. Not sure if anyone still makes them.

That's a good question.
I have also seen something like the Jitterbug senior phone on TV that was obviously an Android skin on a smart phone with big numbers and a 911 button. I forget what it is called but I think it was something like Whateverphone 1.

It depends on her disability but I could foresee a big market for a phone with pictures instead of numbers. I had a similar super genius idea when working at Black & Decker. I was designing the control panel for a new blender. There were so many choices the controls were confusing to me in English and we invented the damn thing. I was also expected to get the controls translated to every language on earth so we could sell it in Europe, Asia, South America, etc.

Then I brought my design idea to a meeting. A blender with pictures on it that you didn't have to be literate to use. Plus one blender for all markets saved the company thousands.

I am sure that some smart people could program an Android skin like the HTC Sense Touch I have on my phone that is catered to persons with disabilities. Maybe it could be something where an agency Roots a donated Android, sets up the pictographs for the client and hands them a custom user interface? I hope that such a thing already exists. The world needs that.

Something like this maybe?
Amplified Mobile Phone CL8350

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Yeah, something like that. I live in Australia though so I'll have too look into importing and carrier bands etc.

No offense but why does such a mentally deficient person have a boyfriend? It seems like they're a mentally a child, worse since most kids can use an iPad. Isn't there a consent issue here?

Maybe keep it on topic.


Those types of phones seem to be very rare these days. There's some phones meant for the elderly that are sometimes easier to use.. you could quite possible get a cheaper android phone and customise the home screen with the contacts you need you can add direct dial numbers to the home screen. and then lock the home screen from edits.

Stephen Hawking can't use an iPad either. Just saying... Anyway, she can still communicate effectively and rather than thinking of her mental/learning abilities like that of a child, think of them more like that of a 90 year old. Anyways, as Eden said:

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Some Android smartphones (ex. Asus Zenfone 2) have an "easy" mode, which enlarges the apps significantly, and hides a lot of the apps. If the options suggested by other users don't fit her needs, you may want to check that out.

Because she wants to.

I have a mental illness disability and am very high functioning. I have a girlfriend with pretty bad mental problems, much worse than me in some ways. I don't want to be too specific but her issues are more like brain damage, rather than being challenged or insane like me :-p In some ways she is a child, but inside she knows she is a 34 year old woman. Truth be told, she is more of a BFF than a GF.

It is not sexual, I don't even kiss her. Just hugs.

Second: "Mentally deficient person" is offensive to some people, please don't refer to us that way (not to be the PC police, no not our kinda PC, the annoying one). We prefer to be called
Persons (first)
with (we have a disease, we are not the disease)
a Mental Disability. Or a person suffering from mental illness, you get the idea.
I am certainly not deficient, nor is my "girlfriend". I have degrees in art and engineering and had a long career while sick, before I got too sick to work.

Third: She is a semi-smart person trapped with a broken (please do not call us deficient, we are sick) brain. I can see her trying to get the words out while I can see the short circuits in her head making sparks behind her eyes. But she lives alone, gets where she needs to and does what she has to. She's capable of making the right choices.

I take her on dates and drive her to the store and hang out and watch movies or play games. I really love her, and she knows that and she loves me, but she is incapable of figuring out what that really means. Bottom line is we got each others backs.

edit: What a ranter I am, I forgot the thread.
She uses a basic Samsung Android from Cricket.


That's not what I meant. The type of person I was describing was someone like lennie small from of mice and men and I thought that's what the OP meant i.e. Very low iq.

"knowledge puffs up, but love edifies."
Thank you for that.

Yeah... I guess I understood that you may have been trying to fight abuse against people with a mental disability. And I agree with you completely. This is #IStopStigmaBy awareness season by NAMI (national alliance for mental illness). I saw an opportunity to educate a nicer way to call people with mental illness (while containing my inner saltiness because how you said it rubbed me the wrong way a little).

I can recommend Doro phones. They are made for seniors, with a simple UI and big buttons, they come in a variety of flavours, from smartphones to dumb and/or flip phones with hardware buttons. My father and my grandfather has or has had them. Here is a random search on an Australian price comparing site, just to see if they are available to you.