News & Updates
The Latest News:
Attention United States Veterans
Are you a veteran? Did you know that if you are enrolled with the VA you can receive free assistive technology that works with your hearing aids? Some of the free devices that your VA audiologist can provide you with include: remote microphones, TV streamers, TV Ears, Pockettalker, amplified phones, and a variety of alerting systems. Contact your VA audiologist today for more info!
Affordable Connectivity Program news
Update 1-25-2024: The ACP is winding down
Please see the Federal Communications Commission video.
Take a look at the flier.
February 7, 2024: The ACP new enrollments will end.
March 2024: Decide if you want to keep your current internet plan or change to a less expensive plan.
April 2024: ACP funding will run out.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) ACP can save you $30 to $75 a month towards your Internet service. You may be qualified for the program if you already receive certain types of government assistance. After you apply and get your identification for this program, you can apply the subsidy to your bill. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. This project is federally funded.
Get Connected to Phone or Internet Service through the Lifeline Federal Program
Lifeline is a federal program dedicated to making phone and internet service more affordable for low-income households. This benefit provides eligible consumers with a monthly discount of up to $9.25. Consumers living on Tribal lands are eligible for an enhanced discount of up to $34.25 per month.
- USAC’s Lifeline Support Center helps you apply for the program, understand eligibility requirements, and keep your benefit current through an annual recertification process.
- Lifeline consumers must apply for Lifeline and then sign up with a participating phone or internet company, recertify annually, and keep their information up to date.
- Phone or Internet company enrolls you in the Lifeline program, manages your service, and answers questions about your service, phone or device, or bill.
- Learn more by clicking HERE.
Helpful Free Apps Make Life Easier
Apps, Smartphones, Captioned Phones, etc!
Apps on Smartphones:
Most people now own smartphones. Smartphones increase access to our world and handle virtually everything that is involved in our lives. Wikipedia defines a smartphone as: “A mobile phone with an advanced mobile operating system. Smartphones typically combine the features of a cell phone with those of other popular mobile devices, such as personal digital assistant, media player and GPS navigation unit. Most smartphones have a touchscreen user interface and can run third-party apps, and are camera phones. 2012 and later smartphones add high speed mobile broadband 4G LTE internet web browsing, motion sensors and mobile payment mechanisms.”
A smartphone has a touch screen, but a “regular” phone does not. Smartphones come in two varieties, either an Apple product, as in the iPhone, OR an Android, which is everything else.
There are A LOT of apps available smartphone and tablet users. AzTEDP has experience with the iPhone and iPad products and have found many helpful apps. Many of these apps, or similar apps, can also be found for the Android market at the Google Play Store.
Deaf Communication Apps:
These apps are designed for Deaf or Hard of Hearing American Sign Language users to place and receive Video Relay Service (VRS) and Video Phone (VP) calls over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.
IPCTS (Federally funded by the FCC) Telephone Apps:
IPCTS (Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service) telephone apps are designed for severely to profoundly Hard of Hearing/deaf/Deaf users who speak for themselves. These apps are used to place telephone relay service calls over a WiFi or cellular data connection. Note: If the Smartphone has cellular service, just the smartphone is needed to serve for both voice and reading captions. Tablets may also be used for this purpose and service requirements vary. The cost for using these apps is funded by the FCC.
"Smart" and convenient captioning to communicate face-to-face with severely HOH or Deaf person:
Speech-to-Text: Use a Smartphone or tablet when a Hard of Hearing/deaf/Deaf person can’t hear when communicating face to face with another person. It can be used in casual conversations, restaurants, or anywhere face-to-face conversation is not successful due to an inability to hear. Just open any blank smartphone or tablet and look for the microphone icon on the keyboard. Tap and speak clearly. Watch the voice to text (Automatic Speech Recognition) "ASR" magic appear! Please note that ASR is not 100% accurate, but better than slow pencil and paper.
White Noise (for Tinnitis)
This is by no means a comprehensive list of what is available, so get on your device and see what may be helpful to you or a loved one! Technology is a great thing!
And if you don't have a smartphone, but still have a regular phone at home, don't worry, you can use the internet and your regular home phone for captioning phone calls!
Captioned Telephone Via the Internet:
A computer or other device provides the captions for the user to read, but a telephone of any kind is also needed so that the Hard of Hearing /deaf/Deaf user can to speak to the other party.
CapTel Customer Service Open 24/7
CapTel customer support is available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week., except on major holidays. This ensures that people who rely on the CapTel captioned telephone service have access to help whenever they need it, day or night. Just call 1-866-269-7477.
(As always, the AZRS CapTel Captioning Service is available 24/7 every day, including holidays.)
As a reminder, CapTel 800 and 840 users have one-touch access to customer support. They simply press the blue CUST SERV button on their CapTel phone to be immediately connected to a helpful Customer Service Representative. Other ways to reach CapTel customer support:
Phone: 1-888-269-7477 (V/TTY/CapTel)
Online Chat: www.CapTel.com/customer-service.php
Email: [email protected]
En Espanol: 1-866-670-9134
Attn: CapTel Customer Service
450 Science Drive
Madison, WI 53711
Captioned telephone landline only (no internet required) CapTel 840 is available FREE in Arizona! For information on applying to receive a Captioned telephone, go to the Products tab above. CapTel is only appropriate for people with severe to profound hearing loss who can speak for themselves.