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Phone access for people with disabilities

The Telephone Equipment Distribution (TED) Program helps people with physical or speech disabilities find easier ways to use the phone. For example, if you have difficulty holding or dialing the phone, the TED Program offers a variety of hands-free solutions. If your voice is too quiet to be heard clearly on the phone, the TED Program may provide an amplifier. If you qualify, you may receive devices at no cost.

The TED Program can help people with physical or speech disabilities apply for discounted phone service through programs such as the federal Lifeline or the state Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP). You can learn more about Lifeline and TAP on the Minnesota Department of Commerce's Phone Discounts webpage. TED can also help you apply for internet service discounts through your internet service provider.

For other assistive technology not related to using the phone, you can learn more on the Minnesota STAR Program (System Technology Achieving Results) website.

Devices

Devices available from the TED Program include:

  • Hands-free speakerphones
  • Bluetooth headset for hands-free use of a smartphone or flip phone to get the best sound without interference from background noise
  • Smart displays (Echo Connect and Echo Dot): connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth technology. It allows you to make and receive calls using voice controls, hands-free.
  • Eye gaze technology smartphones: if you have limited use of your hands, eye gaze technology allows you to use your eyes to place and receive calls.
  • Voice amplifiers: makes your voice louder, so you can be heard over the phone.
  • Electrolarynx device: helps provide speech to someone with a speech disability.
  • Various adaptive switches for people with limited mobility or motor control.
  • Other assistive devices for individuals with multiple disabilities.

To discuss your specific needs, contact us.

View eligibility requirements and download application

Don’t qualify? Find out where you can purchase these devices:

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