- Disabilities & the Disabled
Free Phone Equipment for Hard Of Hearing, Speech Impared, Deaf And Blind Impaired Florida Residents
If you’re a Florida resident and have been diagnosed with a hearing impairment, speech impairment, or visual disability, odds are you are qualified to receive free telephone equipment from the state of Florida!
OK, so there are a few additional requirements, such as being age 3 or over, and being able to provide actual proof of Florida residency but that is most of the battle! The state of Florida has a division known as Florida Telecommunications Relay Inc, or FTRI for short. They administer the program in conjunction with multiple local based organizations to be able to provide equipment for you at no cost.
The application process is fairly simply and straight-forward. You simply complete the application, have your doctor certify the paperwork, and you can either mail it in or bring to one of 23 regional distribution centers around the state. Many of the 23 distribution centers even go out into the community to make their services known and to display the many different types of equipment they can offer. It’s not just telephones!
Other equipment that is available at no cost are amplified wired telephones, amplified cordless telephones, as well as really loud external ringers, visual ringers,, and even speaker phones. If you have a hearing impairment and you travel, they can also provide you a travel amplifier for use on most standard analog telephones. If you have a visual impairment, TTY devices are available as well as braille communicators for those that are deaf and blind.
So is there a catch? DO they send you ancient equipment from the 1970’s? Nope! Technically you are only borrowing the equipment and FRT inc. actually owns it, but that is a good thing! In the application, you even agree that if the equipment is faulty or breaks, you will immediately notify them so they can provide replacement equipment. If there is a point when your impairment improves and you no longer need the equipment, you are asked to return it. When you receive your equipment, there is no guarantee that the equipment will be new, but it will be cleaned, refurbished, and inspected to insure proper working order. The equipment that is offered is high quality, durable, and rugged so you shouldn’t have a problem.
So what are you waiting for? If you or a loved one lives in Florida, be sure to download the application and get started! Remember, many folks that have an impairment, can benefit not only from the ability to make and receive calls for themselves, but it also will go along way in regards to their independence. Many people also report that once their loved ones are able to better communicate, they are generally more positive, and some have a better outlook on life.