Trouble hearing on the phone?
RCDS and FTRI can help.
Florida Telecommunications Relay Inc. (FTRI) is a statewide nonprofit organization that provides special telephones for Hard of Hearing, Deaf, Deaf/Blind, and Speech Impaired Floridians. Using this equipment helps people communicate more easily. If you experience frustration using the phone, FTRI may have a solution.
Although impaired hearing is the second most common disability among people over age 65, hearing loss can affect anyone. These phones are loaned to any Florida resident over the age of 3 on a long-term basis at no charge. The 12 cent surcharge on all landline phones in Florida pays for this FTRI program.
The FTRI program loans special communication equipment, such as amplified phones, corded or cordless, loud ringers, captioned phones, Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD/TTY, and phones that amplify outgoing speech. Many of these devices are Bluetooth capable and can be used with cell phones in the absence of a landline or as portable devices to take with you.
The local FTRI Regional Distribution Center (RDC) is located at Resource Center for Disability Solutions, 571 Haverty Court, Suite A, in Rockledge. There is also an office in the Vero Beach area with phone distributions there on the third Thursday of the month. RCDS provides services to people with any disability that assist them in remaining independent within their communities. FTRI phones, free transportation, and long-term loans of durable medical equipment are just some ways offered by RCDS to help ensure this independence.
To receive a phone at no cost, you must complete a FTRI application, have it signed or approved by a certifier (physician, audiologist, hearing aid specialist, speech therapist) and then call to make an appointment to receive a phone. If you wear hearing aids, you automatically qualify. If you don't have a medical professional certification, a quick 5-minute test showing hearing loss may also qualify you for a free phone.
For more information about the program and to receive an application for a FREE phone for you, a loved one, or a client/customer, call Michelle at the RDC in Rockledge at 321-633-6011 ext. 106 or visit rcdsfl.org to get more information on the services RCDS provides.