Do you have trouble using the telephone, or do you know someone who does? Individuals of all ages and abilities use telephones to communicate with their friends, family members, co-workers, and others.
Individuals with disabilities that keep them from using a standard telephone might benefit from specialized telephone equipment, such as amplified telephones, captioned phones, phones with large buttons, and speaker phones. These phones can be costly, but there is a program that can help.
Pennsylvania’s Telecommunication Device Distribution Program (TDDP) provides specialized landline telephone equipment, FREE, to eligible Pennsylvanians with disabilities that prevent them from having independent access to the telephone. This includes people who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, blind or have visual problems, or have physical or intellectual disabilities. Here are the eligibility guidelines for TDDP:
Applicant must be:
A Pennsylvania resident
6 years of age or older
Applicant must have:
A disability that prevents independence on a standard phone
An individual gross income of less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines
Current telephone service
The ability to learn how to use the requested device(s).
Need more information? Don’t know what kind of phone could help? Contact Linda Mesavage at (570)347-3357 (voice), firstname.lastname@example.org or contact TDDP at (800)204-7428 (voice), (866)268-0579 (TTY), TDDP@temple.edu (email), or visit http://disabilities.temple.edu/tddp. Free demonstrations and equipment loans are also available to help you determine what equipment what might work best for your needs. TDDP is implemented by Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT), a program of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, in conjunction with the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and the PA Public Utility Commission (PUC).