Clearing Our Path

Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

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Home > Design Needs > Interior Design Elements > Public Telephones

Public Telephones

Placement of public telephones in a building, whether on desks or counters or in private booth facilities, should address the needs of all users, including those who prefer to use a phone from a seated position.

Longer cords can facilitate the use of a phone for someone unable to get close to it (e.g., someone who needs to remain seated in a waiting area). Provide adjustable volume controls on phones and a shelf to support a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) for people who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing. Public telephones in large areas, such as hotel lobbies or office buildings, should have some form of noise buffering. This will assist anyone with hearing loss to more effectively use the telephone equipment.

Telephones should be placed in recessed areas so that a person using a phone is not obstructing the path of travel. Where this isn’t possible, telephone stations should be detectable using a long cane and should not protrude into the main route of travel.