California Phones To Facilitate Special Needs Telephones To Seniors At Upcoming June 2nd Meeting

By Jim Nickerson

High Desert Daily

(Victorville)–Do you often feel like people on the phone are mumbling?  Do you have to ask them to repeat themselves during a conversation?  Do you wish your phone had a “volume” control?  It is not easy to admit that you are getting older, or that your hearing isn’t what it used to be.  But there is help and if you qualify it could be free!

On June 2, 2011 the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP), sponsored by the California Public Utilities Commission will be offering a viewing of special-needs telephone equipment as well as offering equipment upgrades to those who qualify.

The meeting is being held in conjunction with the Equipment Program Advisory Committee will be held at the Victorville Senior Citizens Center, 14874 S Mojave Drive in Victorville.  Senior Citizens will be able to see demonstrations of specially designed equipment for hearing as well as visual and physical impairments.

The Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP) is a public program mandated by the California State Legislature and administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The DDTP has two components: the California Relay Service (CRS), which includes Speech to Speech, and the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) which provides assistive telecommunications equipment. The mission of the program is to provide access to basic telephone service for Californians who have difficulty using the telephone.

The CPUC established a formal structure for the DDTP in 1989 to oversee the operations of the mandated programs, encompassing both the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP), which distributes equipment, and CRS, which provides operators to relay telephone conversations to those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-disabled.

Equipment will be available free of charge for persons who bring a letter from a Medical Professional describing the disability or impairment and specifying the need for special equipment.  If you have a need or know of someone who does and can not attend the meeting the CTAP web site is http://www.californiaphones.org.

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