Mary Beth Green is a Telecommunications Relay Specialist with Relay Utah and explains how people can take advantage of the program.
If you were to line up the 250,000 Utahns who have trouble hearing, they would stand shoulder to shoulder from Provo to Ogden. That is more than 76 miles of Utahns who are hard of hearing or deaf.
Thousands of people throughout our state are connecting with friends and family and are able to live more independently using hearing assistive phones.
These phones are available at no charge as they are purchased for Utah’s hard of hearing and deaf with funds that are attained through a $.10 telephone surcharge that all Utahns pay, through their phone bill, to support this program.
Equipment Distribution Program
We have different phones to meet many different hearing difficulty needs. Some of these phones include:
– Cordless Amplified Phone, with volume control, amplifies and adjusts the tone of the incoming voice to produce clear sound quality. It includes an integrated digital answering machine with visual message waiting indicator and a speakerphone in the handset. Different from other phones you can buy from retailers, it is hearing aid compatible, meaning you will not get the feedback or screeching that is common with phones that claim they amplify.
– CapTel amplified phone uses voice-recognition technology to display the words being spoken in a digital display.
Equipment is available with no out-of-pocket costs, to hard-of hearing Utahns who currently participate in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Medicaid or other Department of Human Services or Public Assistance programs. You can review qualifications and fill out an application on the Relay Utah website at www.relayutah.gov. If you have any questions about your eligibility or the program, we encourage you to contact us at (801) 530-6715.