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State can provide phone for hearing impaired

I have a special hearing phone given to me by the state. It was some time back. The phone at this time is not working properly, so I called the state to see if they know of a way to repair it in Medford. The woman said no. My phone carrier does not want to handle it. I remember years back you had a picture of a group that was deaf, including a pastor. I wonder if they could help me. I did call the Lion's group to see if there was someone for me to call, and then again the answer was no. Could you please help me? I'm unable to hear instructions on the phone.

— Need help

Your phone likely came from the state Telecommunication Devices Access Program, which provides adaptive telephone equipment at no cost to eligible Oregonians who have hearing, vision, speech, mobility and/or cognitive impairments.

There are no income restrictions to receive a phone, which — technically speaking — is on loan from the state to the recipient.

We talked to a representative at the program, and he said rather than trying to get the phone repaired, you should send the defective phone back and a replacement will be sent to you.

Your question arrived to us through the mail, so we'll assume that is how you would like to contact the state — especially with your phone not working.

Write a letter explaining that your phone is not working and you need a replacement, and send it to Public Utility Commission of Oregon, P.O. Box 1088, Salem, OR 97308-1088. Ask for an application form to fill out and a Disability Certification form. The Disability Certification form needs to be filled out by your audiologist, hearing-aid specialist, doctor, nurse practitioner or other medical specialist saying you have hearing loss or are deaf.

Once the state receives your completed application and Disability Certification form, it will mail out a replacement phone within seven to 10 business days. The state will also send you a mailing label to send back the broken phone at no cost to you.

If you have Internet access, the application and form are available at www.puc.state.or.us/rspf/tdapapp.pdf.

Other ways to reach the program are:

  • Regular telephone: 800-848-4442
  • TTY: 800-648-3458
  • VP: 971-239-5845
  • Fax: 877-567-1977
  • Email:


— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.