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Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program

The CPUC, in compliance with Public Utilities Code § 2881, implemented a program to provide telecommunications devices to deaf or hearing impaired consumers.  This program, now called the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP), has two components:  a dual party relay system known as California Relay Service (CRS) and a specialized equipment program known as California Telephone Access Program (CTAP).  Subsequent legislation expanded DDTP to serve California individuals with hearing, vision, speech, cognitive and mobility disabilities.  The legislation that established the DDTP is listed below:

Legislation

Description

Senate Bill 597 (1979)
This provides for the distribution on a loan basis of telecommunications devices to certified deaf and severely hearing-impaired users.
Senate Bill 244 (1983)   California Relay Service This provides a dual party relay system, now called the California Relay Service (CRS), to connect TTY users with any other telephone user. The California Relay Service (CRS) uses third-party intervention to provide 24-hour contact with any other telephone subscriber.
Senate Bill 60 (1985)  Supplemental Telecommunications Devices for the Disabled This provides specialized telecommunications equipment to consumers with hearing, vision, mobility, speech and cognitive disabilities through the California Telephone Program (CTAP). Examples of this equipment are amplifying devices, telephone ringer signals, speakerphones and cordless phones.

DDTP is administered and operated by the Commission with advisory input from two advisory boards (TADDAC and EPAC). Program services and equipment are provided by vendors under contract to the CPUC.  The DDTP Administrative Contractor charged with the overall day to day operation of the DDTP is the California Communications Access Foundation (CCAF).  For available services, please visit the DDTP website or call 1-800-806-1191 (Voice)/1-800-806-4474 (TTY).    DDTP is funded by an all-end-user surcharge on landline and wireless phone bills, i.e., the California Relay Service and Communications Device Fund (CRSCDF) surcharge.  This all-end-user surcharge is billed and collected by telecommunications carriers which, in turn, remit the surcharge monies to a financial institution as directed by the Commission or its representatives.   

Questions about this program should be directed to Linda Gustafson by phone at 415-703-1801 or by e-mail to llg@cpuc.ca.gov.

The Commission continued to expand pilot efforts involving wireless phone in 2009/2010 with the Jitterbug cell phone.  Pilot participants are required to be California LifeLine eligible and CTAP-certified.  The Jitterbug pilot program is now closed to new participants.  However, given the success of the pilot program, Commission Decision 10-11-033 directed that wireless equipment become a permanent part of the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program/ California Telephone Access Program (CTAP).   

 

  

Last Modified: 12/20/2010


 
 
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