FAQ22: Do some States offer FREE electrolarynx devices or services?
(1) CALIFORNIA: There is a program in California that offers free equipment loan of an Artificial Larynx, I believe either a Cooper Rand Intra Oral or a NuVois II. They also have a Speech to Speech Service where they have trained operators who can understand our impaired speech, and relay what we say, word for word, to the party that we are trying to communicate with. One simply needs to complete and submit a Certification Form to apply. These forms are available on-line at the website listed below. The Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP) is a California State mandated program, under governance of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Under the DDTP the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) distributes telecommunications equipment and services for individuals certified as having functional limitations of hearing, vision, mobility, speech and/or interpretation of information. CTAP is funded by a small surcharge that appears on all Californians' telephone bills. The money collected from this surcharge pays for both the California Telephone Equipment Loan Program (CTAP) and the California Relay Service (CRS). This surcharge appears on your phone bill as "CA Relay Service and Communications Devices Fund." All the information on this program can be accessed on-line at: http://www.ddtp.org
(2) TEXAS: Before purchasing your electrolarynx, apply for a voucher for a "free EL" from the State of Texas for a $35.00 processing fee. You can obtain the paperwork from:
The Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Austin, Texas 78711
Phone: 512-407-3250 or Fax: 512-451-9316
The paperwork is called Specialized Telecommunications Devices Assistance Program Voucher. You can also access this Texas office on the Internet and download an application to complete and send in. Their website for the application is at: http://www.tcdhh.state.tx.us/stap.htm
(3) SOUTH CAROLINA: Add SC to your list of states that provide a free AL. I had to fax off a lot of paperwork; copy of my drivers license, voters card, and a copy of my telephone bill plus a form signed by my SLP. They wanted to ensure I was a resident and, 5 days later, UPS was at my front door with a new one. If I pass on I must have a relative return it to them. Ron Gillette (Email: Poppi8@aol.com)