I think I can speak for the mass majority of the disabled community when I say, we want the same things as everyone else as far as our gadgets/technology goes. Sometimes our varying disabilities mean we have to get creative to operate or handle them with ease, but the LAST thing we want is a “disability/elderly marketed aid” that screams that terrible medical visual we all know and HATE when it comes to stuff that’s supposed to make our lives easier.
So over the years I’ve scoured the interweb high and low for your average, stylish, trendy, make your friends jealous type of phone/tablet accessories that will aid you without anybody blinking an eyelid!
Here’s my top “10 Disabled-Friendly YET Stylish Phone/Tablet Accessories” that don’t scream
I first came across this from watching YouTubers like daily vloggers Cullen & Katie. It’s practical use for someone who has trouble gripping their phone is with this, you can grip the POPSocket itself, whole to your ear OR slide it between your fingers so no “grippage” is involved at all. It comes in a variety of colours and patterns to go with your phone case or personality AND you can even stick two on there, tie your headphones around them so you’ll never lose them or extend the POPSockets spring fully when you need to prop it up like as stand to watch your favourite videos. Win win!!
FYI they’re crazy expensive on Amazon or from the manufacturers website but on eBay or the infamous Wish app they’re pennies and I’ve never had an issue with the cheapo version (touch wood!)
2. Magnetic charging points
I was so excited when I realised my now old (R.I.P 🤕) Sony Xperia Z3 had a magnetic charging point option! Being someone who has to wrap the charging cable around my hand several times to get enough grip to unplug standard charging cables, and broke my fair share doing that… This was the answer to my prayers! My bank balance surely thanked this discovery too. Sadly when I upgraded to the Xperia XZ I was disappointed to see they’d discontinued this feature. But all is not lost, as you can get a little magnetic adapter that stays in your regular charge point to then attach it to a dock, mount or magnetic cable charger. Or just switch to a Samsung phone and the circular mount and be done…
3. Handy hand straps!
These are so simple but so clever. They’re attachable to most modern and older mobile phones. They come in any colour and wording/embellishments as you like. Best of all if you are a frequent phone dropper, you can either wrap your mobile around your wrist using it or if you’re a wheelchair user and like me constantly forget I’ve got it wedged in my lap, you can thread the hand strap through your seat belt to save you money on repairs 👍 These are available at most mobile unlocking shops and places like eBay, AliExpress or Amazon…
4. Flexible phone/tablet mounts
This isn’t something I use personally, but several people I know rave about these bad boys! If you’re quite weak/suffer from spasms/tire easily from holding your device or perhaps struggle to hold it AND work it at the same time, these flexible phone and tablet mounts are perfect! Somce have strategically placed hinges (which is better stability wise) and some have a completely flexible arm that can mould into the easiest accessible position for you. Some clip them on to bedside tables or even keep them attached to their wheelchairs/trays for everyday use!
5. iPhone Armband case
Marketed for the fitness fanatic, means at first glance this accessory may not scream to the disabled community. Thinking outside the box, this unlikely product could just as easily strapped to the lower arm or even your leg, plus it’s weather proof! Your friends see you with this you’ll instantly look like you hit the gym regularly despite your alter motives for this baby 😉
6. Wireless Bluetooth earphones or earpiece
(Pictured: 2 styles of wireless bluetooth devices for your mobile. One with two earphones with a wire that goes around the back of your neck and one that’s an earpiece, looped over and behind the ear with a small microphone extention)
These wireless bluetooth devices are great if you struggle to hold your phone upto your ear/tire easily during conversations or struggle to answer the phone fast enough. There’s a few different kinds. The earphones that go around the back of your neck and the earpiece type. With the earphones one you have a navigation switch on the wire for volume/answer/hang up and on the earpiece version you tap it against your ear to answer/tap x amount of times for volume up and down etc. Both are rechargeable and last upto 10hrs!
7. The ever popular Selfie Stick!
You can actually get light weight versions of the Selfie Stick and as always – in a wide range of colours or patterns to suit your taste. These are great if you find holding up your phone to take photos in general a struggle. You can hold the end of the pole in your lap, taking away the outstretched arm dilemma that’s needed to take that perfect snap 👌. Plus it can fold up small enough to fit in your handbag.
8. Charger wire holders
Cute and so simple! If you’re like me, I’m forever losing my charger wires down the side of my bed and bedside cabinet. Every single night without fail I’d have to get someone to fish it out for me. It lead me to think, gosh they’ve got organisers for pretty much everything now days, so they must have something to help with charger wires. Low and behold these cute little guys popped up on eBay. Sorted!
9. Wallet phone/tablet cases!
(Pictured: A leather wallet case with wrist strap. Has standard wallet features on the left inner side such as card slots and coin compartment, on the right inner is where you attach your mobile device)
What makes these phone/tablet cases so functional is that, a) You have your money, cards and mobile device in one place, b) when magnetically clamped shut it protects your device and c) the wrist strap gives you that extra safety if you lose grip of your mobile OR again you can thread the wrist strap through a wheelchairs lap belt and keep everything accessible and secure on your person! I will say though, if you’re going to purchase a wallet case try not to go for a cheapo version. Personally I’ve gone through a lot of cheapos/fake leather ones and use it threaded through my lap belt and I’ll be honest with you, it starts falling apart within weeks. So definitely buy a genuine leather one would be my advice…
And last but not least…
10. A mobile battery backup
Out of everything in this Top 10, I think I’ve saved the best and most important for last. If there’s one thing that plays on your mind on a long day out, is using your phone too much and running out of battery. It’s OK if you’ve got a car, you can just plug it in and go, but if you use public transport and use your phone to pass time especially travelling to and from work etc, it can easily drain your battery. As a person with a disability, not having a working phone and being miles from home can be a nerve wracking or situation. Everyone should have one of these battery backup devices in their bag, you just never know when you may need it. I wouldn’t be without mine. Just remember to charge it up first!
That’s a wrap! I hope this blog post has proven helpful to some of you. If you’ve found a disabled-friendly yet totally not designed for that reason phone/tablet accessory that’s not mentioned above, I’d love for you to link us to it in the comments! 👇🔊💌