Using mobile phones if you have MND

Friday June 21st marks Motor Neuron Disease Awareness Day and we take a look at how technology might help someone who has MND and might be struggling to use a mobile phone.

A diagnosis of a condition such as MND is life changing and there are probably a million and one things to consider. One of the important things is that technology can help you stay connected to the people that you know and love.

Smartphones such as the iPhone and those running Android both have some really useful features that someone with MND might find useful.Iphone stock photo

  • If hand function is difficult but your voice is still strong, you can control your phone by using your voice.   It is worth noting that you may need some help setting your phone up so you can "wake" it up by using your voice.
  • Using your phone with your voice means that you can call your contacts by saying "Call....and then the name of your contact"
  • If you have difficulties with using your voice but you have a little bit of hand movement you can now connect a  wired mouse and keyboard to newer Android phones using technology called OTG (On The Go).
  • If you only have a little bit of movement you can connect a switch so you can use your phone more easily to text or browse the internet.  There are all sorts of different ways of setting a switch up for Apple or Android

Did you know that a smartphone can also be used to help with communication, helping someone with speech difficulties to make themselves understood?  For more information on Communication Aids, have a look at our factsheet.  The MND Association has compiled a list of useful apps.

If using a wheelchair to get around, it might be a good idea to consider mounting the phone.  If you have an occupational therapist or a Physio they will be able to give you some useful advice.

If you are wondering how to get any of this set up, we have a network of volunteers who can support you.  Just give us a call on 0800 269 545 or drop us an email to

You can also read our previous content relating to MND.