Do you or someone you know struggle to hear on the telephone, perhaps avoiding it all together?
If you answered yes, then know you are not alone.
There are more than 55 million individuals in the United States currently experiencing some degree of a hearing loss and 700,000 right here in Arizona. Although it can be frustrating, there is good news. You or your loved ones can improve the ability to communicate on the phone with the help of the Arizona Telecommunication Equipment Distribution Program (AzTEDP).
What is AzTEDP?
Since 1986, TTY’s have been available to individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing so they could access the public telephone system. Today, AzTEDP has grown to become one of the most comprehensive telecommunications loan programs in the nation, offering free telecommunications equipment to qualified applicants in Arizona who have trouble hearing or speaking.
The program is administered by the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing, a government agency that provides a variety of assistive services to qualified individuals who have difficulty hearing on the telephone.
What kinds of equipment are available?
Volume control telephonesTTY’s Visual alerts and flashing devicesHands-free phonesCap-Tel phonesAmplified phones
Interested in applying?
To apply, individuals must print and complete an official application completed by an AzTEDP certified professional and submit supporting documents, including proof of United States Citizenship and Arizona residency to the main AzTEDP office.
For more information on Arizona Relay Service, the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing or to download an application, visit http://www.acdhh.org/home/aztedp.
About the Author: Connie Short is an outreach manager for Arizona Relay Service which is administered by the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. As an outreach manager, Short works to raise awareness and promote the different types of relay services available for the deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled communities throughout the state. Short is a graduate of Arizona State University.