Programs for Consumers with Disabilities

On This Page:
Telecom Relay Service ♦ Equipment Distribution Program ♦ Deaf/Hearing Impairment ♦ Visual Impairment ♦ Lifeline
 
Vermont offers several programs to help consumers with disabilities stay connected to the telephone system.

 

Vermont Telecommunications Relay Service (VTRS)

The Vermont Telecommunications Relay Service (VTRS) is a free service for all Vermonters, connecting deaf, hard-of hearing, deaf-blind and speech-disabled individuals with users of regular telephones. The service is available twenty-four hours a day/seven days a week by dialing 711. VTRS is funded through the Vermont Universal Service Fund. For more information, the VTRS website has in-depth information about relay-related services provided to consumers.

 

Vermont Equipment Distribution Program (VTEDP)

The Vermont Equipment Distribution Program (VTEDP) provides free TTYs and other adaptive telephone equipment for people with disabilities who meet the program's income guidelines. To qualify, applicants must provide proof that they have a disability requiring adaptive telephone equipment to use the phone service, and income that is below 200 percent of poverty level for their family size. The VTEDP will purchase up to $750 of equipment for qualified individuals, with the possibility of a waiver of the $750 cap under certain circumstances. The program is currently operated by the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which has more information and instructions on how to apply.

 

Discounts for Deaf Consumers & Consumers with Hearing/Speach Impairments

Consumers who are deaf, or have hearing or speech impairments, and use a TTY or other adaptive telephone equipment are eligible for a forty percent discount on in-state voice services, including local and in-state toll service. The discount applies to all usage charges, including local and in-state toll per minute charges, and the usage component of optional calling plans. For more information about this discount, contact your local telephone company, or in-state toll company. If you have problems obtaining the discount, or need more information, contact the Consumer Affairs & Public Information (CAPI) Division.

 

Free Directory Assistance for Consumers with Visual Impairments

People who are blind or visually impaired qualify for free in-state directory assistance. This service is available only if your local phone company offers directory assistance. For more information about this discount, contact your local telephone company, or in-state toll call provider. If you have problems obtaining the discount, or need more information, contact the Consumer Affairs and Public Information Division.

 

Lifeline Telephone Service Credit Program

The Lifeline Telephone Service Credit Program is available to income-eligible Vermonters, including those with disabilities, for assistance in reducing the cost of paying for basic telephone service. For more general information about the program, see the Lifeline Telephone Service Credit Program page; or for information about how to apply for the Lifeline Program, please visit the Economic Services Division webpage, Phone Assistance in Vermont.