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State and local governments and people with hearing loss

State and local governments provide a variety of services for people with hearing loss. I plan to eventually get comprehensive information concerning state and local support posted. In the meantime, here are a couple of the better known services and how to access them.

The Telecommunications Relay Services offered by the states provide communications access for people with hearing loss. These free services allow a person using a TTY or a voice carry over phone to conduct a phone conversation with a person using a standard voice telephone. A relay operator or communications assistant (CA) does the “translation” necessary between the two modes of communication.

Many states also offer a Telecommunications Distribution Program, which distributes telephone equipment to people with hearing loss. Some states distribute the equipment at no cost, while others do so at reduced cost.

Each state operates a Vocational Rehabilitation program which is intended to assist people to secure and maintain employment.

Many state and local governments (as well as the Federal government) also provide emergency warnings of various dangerous situations via radio. Special radios allow notification of people with hearing loss.