Telecommunication Device Distribution Program (TDDP)
Hello! Pennsylvania has a program called The Telecommunication Device Distribution Program, or TDDP. This program is run by the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University with support from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and the Public Utility Commission. The program has free equipment to help people with disabilities make phone calls. People with disabilities includes people who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, blind or have visual problems, have physical disabilities or intellectual disabilities. If you don't have a TTY, or other equipment you need for the phone or if your equipment is broken, contact us and apply. You must meet five qualifications. You must be six or older, live in Pennsylvania, have low income, have a phone line in your home, and not able to use a regular phone. Contact us if you think you meet these five qualifications. You want the equipment so that you can contact your family and friends, right?
To apply, you can go to the internet and see the application on the website. You can print an application, or you can contact us and we'll send an application in the mail. It's important that you read the application and fill everything out completely. You must include all of the required paperwork. If there are mistakes or documents missing, your application process to get the free equipment will be delayed. The required paperwork is listed on the application.
The Certification of a Disability is required. You need to go to a professional like your doctor, your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor or an audiologist. They need to sign that you have a disability. You must have a copy of your current phone bill to prove that you have a phone line in your home, a copy of a proof of income to show how much you money you earn, and proof that you live here in Pennsylvania. If you're not sure about what this paperwork is, look at the application instructions. The application has a list of approved equipment. You can read it and see which one will meet your needs. If you're not sure what will help, contact us and we'll discuss it. We can arrange to show you the equipment, or we can lend you the equipment. You can use it and see if you like it or not, and decide which one meets your needs. We want you to know that our website has some frequently asked questions signed for you. If you have more questions, please contact us. We look forward to it.
We have several different ways you can contact us. Our e-mail address is TDDP@temple.edu. Our fax number is 215.204.9371. The toll-free TTY number to call is 866.268.0579, or you can use the relay service to call us at 800.204.7428. Feel free to contact us to request an application or if you need help. Thanks.
Is the program free? Do I have to pay out of pocket?
The Telecommunication Device Distribution Program (TDDP) is free for people who meet the requirements for eligibility. You don't have to pay out of pocket and you can get the free equipment if you meet these requirements. You must: live in Pennsylvania, have a disability, not able to use a regular phone, able to learn to use this equipment, be six or older, have limited income, and already have a phone line in your home. You must attach the required paperwork that proves you are eligible.
There is a list of people who can sign the Certificate of Disability:
- A licensed doctor
- A licensed audiologist
- A licensed speech pathologist
- A representative from a government or state agency
(These representatives include the OVR counselor, a case worker from the Department of Public Welfare, Social Security Administration, the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Department of Aging, the Deptartment of Education, or the Department of Health.)
If the person who signs the Certificate of Disability is not on this list, then the signature is not valid. The person must be on the approved list before they can sign the Certificate of Disability.
Later, if the equipment I get breaks or stops working, who do I contact?
All the equipment that you receive through TDDP has a warranty for one year. If you have the equipment less than one year when it breaks, you can contact the vendor (like Teltex, ATI, Potomac Technology, or Hearmore) for more information. Fixing or replacing a broken device is your responsibility after you receive it from the program.
Why doesn't TDDP give me a free cell phone or a pager?
This program provides equipment for basic home phone services only. Equipment for wireless communication isn't available at this time. If you have questions, please contact us. You can call 1-800-2047428, the TTY is 1-866-2680579, or through Email, TDDP@temple.edu.
TDDP Program Manager
Telecommunication Device Distribution Program
A program of Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT)
1755 N. 13th Street
Student Center, Room 411S
Philadelphia, PA 19122