Are there any free / donated smartphones for the disabled?

A Dominy Cusraque May 14, 2013
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I am handicapped. While I have found seemingly limitless places to _donate_ a smartphone, I can’t for the life of me find a way to _obtain_ one. I barely live on a tiny fixed income.

The features of a modern smartphone would improve my quality of life immeasurably, as I would feel much safer leaving my home. GPS, the ability to communicate with my doctors via multiple methods, & disabled-specific apps that I have heard of would quite literally change my life for the better.

Can you help? Thank you so much. – A

  1. Tim Brookes
    May 17, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    One thing I'll say, if you ever decide to swallow the price and buy a phone (say you bought an iPhone) then I'd thoroughly recommend never signing up to a contract/plan and instead using the pay-as-you-go/prepaid plans that so many offer these days. We've literally just published this article about getting a cheaper iPhone using an MVNO, you might want to read about it just in case you do decide to go the expensive route: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/which-us-carrier-offers-the-best-iphone-prepaid-plan/

    You might end up paying a slab of dosh for the actual phone, but you'll save money on rolling contracts by just buying the airtime/data/calls you need and not having a lock-in contract. This is 100% of the time cheaper than going to a big carrier and taking out a 2-year plan. Plus, you're not their slave once you've signed on the dotted line.

    I wish I could help with charities and stuff but I can't find anything beyond what's already been mentioned. It might be worth approaching local disability groups or fundraisers to find out if they know of any such programs.

    Optionally consider getting a slightly older device second hand - a used iPhone 4S for example will probably set you back half the price of a new iPhone 5. In a few months, there will be a flood of used iPhone 5s on eBay and the like as Apple are surely bound to announce a new iPhone soon. If you are going to do it this way I'd recommend an iPhone over Android as they tend to be a lot better updated as they age, so older devices still get software updates and security patches. The iPhone also puts Android to shame when it comes to Accessibility features, something you may appreciate. Siri is also remarkably good at text dictation and answering all the important questions in life!

    Hope this helps somehow :)

  2. A Dominy Cusraque
    May 16, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Thank you so much for the information.Is Virgin Mobile reputable/reliable/etc?

    • susendeep dutta
      May 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Virgin Mobile is a reputed multinational company,and a subsidiary of Sprint.So,it operates on the airwaves of Sprint.So,you can assume it as another form of Sprint.

      Virgin Mobile is spread across various parts of the world and one of them is USA.

      Virgin Mobile USA site.

  3. Paul Pruitt
    May 15, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Try freecycle or craigslist for getting a phone. For service, you need data service too with a Smartphone. Unfortunately PayAsYouGo plans start at like $35 for Virgin-Mobile's unlimited data with 300 telephone minutes, which I think is the cheapest provider. However you might have to buy the phone from them.

  4. A Dominy Cusraque
    May 15, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    While poverty is, umm, a problem, I want a smartphone specifically for features that a regular cell doesn't have - things like speech to text as I have severe tremors, GPS/Mapping so my memory disorder doesn't leave me hopelessly lost in the city, & photo overlay so I can find things textually when neuro-ophthalmologic difficulties hide them in blind spots. My odd set of ailments, combined with empty pockets, conspire to keep me housebound, & a smartphone is the best solution (short of a 24/7 slave!) I can conjure.

  5. Paul Pruitt
    May 15, 2013 at 5:01 am

    I think he's from Boston, Mass, USA. Cool pictures in Google images.

    If you are in poverty, you can get a free cell phone and service from the US government here: https://www.safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Public/NewHome.html. I had one a while ago. It worked fine.

    As for a smartphone and smartphone service I don't know. I did a limited search...Beware of scams!

  6. Rajaa Chowdhury
    May 15, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Kindly mention your country of residence to try to do an appropriate search to try to come up with something, if it exists.

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