The importance of inclusivity and accessibility in residential buildings cannot be overstated – access control in particular is a key way for housing professionals to ensure that the tenant experience is seamless for everyone. Having the right accessibility features in place is crucial for the visual and hearing impaired, helping to improve their building entry experience and enhance their day-to-day lives.
At Intratone, inclusivity has always been important to us, and our wireless access control solutions are built with tenants of varying needs and requirements in mind. Many of our intercom systems include elements that make them accessible for all – here we outline three of these features and how they work:
1. Audio induction loop
This handy feature wirelessly transmits sound from the intercom in question to a person’s hearing aid, which means the hearing impaired can communicate more easily when they visit tenants in the building. For someone with a hearing aid, they can simply set it to the ‘T’ (Telecoil) setting to pick up a signal. Then, when the tenant speaks, the audio induction loop acts as an antenna to relay the signal back to the hearing aid. As long as the user has a compatible hearing aid, it helps cut out unwanted background noise and improves audio communication – without needing a receiver or handset. The accessible and user-friendly DD-02 intercom is just one of our devices which has an integrated hearing loop.
2. Keypads – and their different varieties!
The latest intercom keypads have several features that make visiting easier for the visually impaired too. Backlighting helps users locate and maintain visual attention compared to more muted devices, while yellow rings around the buttons provide a sharp contrast for those with reduced vision. Braille is also an optional feature on keypads like Intratone’s PB-02 and PB-01 intercoms, to enable visually impaired visitors to understand which button is which.
3. Direct dialling
Another user-friendly feature on many of our intercoms, such as the DD-01 intercom, is direct dialling. While scrolling intercoms mean visitors must search manually through every entry on the panel to find the right flat, systems with direct dialling functionality make it easier and faster to get through to the tenant in question. Like the term suggests, by simply pressing the flat number (e.g. 36), visitors can call residents directly. As well as being a helpful accessibility feature, direct dial intercoms can also be used for large blocks with many more units than standard scrolling intercoms.
Accessible for all
In addition to these features, all of our wireless intercom systems are powered by GSM (find out more about this technology here) which removes the need for static handsets in individual flats. Instead, residents can answer the door wherever they are via their preferred device – ideal for those with mobility issues.
Whether it’s for affordable housing or private dwellings, accessibility should be an important consideration for everyone! If you’re looking to take steps for your buildings to become more accessible, intercoms are a great place to start.