Welcome to the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunication Program (DDTP). The DDTP provides telecommunication access for Individuals with Disabilities.

The Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP) is a public program that 1) distributes specialized telecommunications equipment to persons with disabilities; 2) provides a dual-party relay system called California Relay Service; and 3) supplies assistance for speech generating devices.

In 1979, the California Legislature enacted Public Utilities (PU) § Code Section 2881.  PU§ Code Section 2881 required the CPUC to create a program that provides telecommunication access to individuals with functional limitations of hearing, vision, movement, manipulation, speech, and interpretation of information.  The California Legislature later expanded PU§ Code Section 2881 to include providing a dual-party relay system, specialized telecommunications equipment to other disability groups, and assistance for speech generating devices.  The program, which has since been named the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP), is governed by the following mandates:

PU§ Code Section 2881(a), which authorizes the provision of Teletypewriters (TTYs) to deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals;
Public Utilities Code Section 2881(b), which uses third-party intervention to connect telephone consumers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have difficulty speaking with other parties;
Public Utilities Code Section 2881(c), which authorizes the provision of other specialized telecommunications equipment to consumers with hearing, vision, mobility, speech, or cognitive disabilities; and
Public Utilities Code Sections 2881(d) and 2881(e)(1), which authorizes the provision of speech generating devices with DDTP as the provider of last resort and adds speech language pathologists as a DDTP certifying agent.

California residents who have difficulty hearing, seeing, moving, speaking, learning, or remembering can benefit from specialized telephone equipment, accessories, and services offered by the DDTP.  Examples of specialized telephone equipment include amplified phones for the hard-of-hearing, big-button phones for those with low-vision, and cordless phones for individuals with mobility disabilities.

California Relay Service (CRS) is a free service to those who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or with speech limitations. It allows individuals to communicate with other telephone users with the assistance of a trained communications assistant (CA) by dialing 711 or other designated toll-free numbers.

Traditional Relay Services (TRS): TRS enables Deaf, users with hearing loss, or those with speech disability to communicate with another party by Text Telephone (TTY). TRS enables those with a TTY to place a regular telephone call to another party with the assistance of a communication assistant which facilitates the call between both parties.

Speech-to-Speech (STS) Relay Service: STS enables people who have a speech disability to communicate with other people by telephone. Specially trained STS CAs re-voice the caller’s conversation to the person he/she is calling.

Visually Assisted Speech-to-Speech (VA STS): VA STS includes a one-way video connection that allows the CA to see the STS user as they are speaking. Seeing the caller’s mouth movements, facial expressions, and gestures enables the CA to better understand and re-voice for the caller.

Captioned Telephone Service (CapTel): CapTel is an amplified telephone with a screen that displays everything someone says in text, word-for-word, while the caller listens. 

 

The Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP) provides funding and support for persons with disabilities looking to purchase a speech generating device (SGD) for access to, and use of, the telephone network. To be eligible, an individual must first exhaust all public and/or private insurance sources available to him/her and be evaluated by a speech language pathologist. Qualified individuals can apply for DDTP SGD funding by completing the DDTP SGD Application Package for Funding, which consists of the application itself and supplemental documents.

Voice Options is a pilot program of the CPUC’s DDTP and presently administered by the California Department of Rehabilitation.  The purpose of the pilot is to provide eligible Californians who are unable to speak, or who have difficulty speaking, with a speech generating device.

Interested participants would first need to receive a demonstration of the speech generating device, which is currently an iPad with speech apps.  Additional information on eligibility, participation, and other program details can be found at https://www.dor.ca.gov/Home/VoiceOptions.

Applying is easy!

Advisory Committee

The Telecommunications Access for the Deaf and Disabled Administrative Committee (TADDAC) and the Equipment Program Advisory Committee (EPAC) advise the CPUC by making recommendations and providing input on DDTP equipment and services.  For general or participation information, please send an email to: ddtp@cpuc.ca.gov

 

Contact Information

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Email: ddtp@cpuc.ca.gov
Tel: 800-806-1191
ASL Now: 800-806-1191
TTY: 800-806-4474
Fax: 800-889-3974