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Can you hear on your phone?

By Tonya Villwock, Independent Living Services Coordinator—Branch Offices

The Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP) is a Wisconsin statewide program that helps people with disabilities buy adaptive telephone equipment that they need to live independently. TEPP is paid for by the Universal Service Fund (USF), which was established by the Public Service Commission.

Here are some of the pieces of equipment and features TEPP can assist people in securing:

  • Large print or talking caller ID
  • Lights that flash when the phone rings
  • More memory buttons to pre-record phone numbers
  • Equipment, such as a louder amplified headset, that can eliminate the need for you to ask people to repeat themselves while on the phone

There is NO catch! All you have to do is fill out an application and meet these three requirements:

  1. Be a Wisconsin resident
  2. Be a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, or who has speech, mobility or motion limitations
  3. Have a need for adaptive equipment in the home

There is no age or income limit, but an applicant can only apply every three years.

Contact Independence First at 414-291-7520 V/Relay if you would like to see what kinds of adaptive phone equipment is available (including the FREE emergency response phones we received funding to distribute). We will help you fill out the TEPP application, assist in ordering you the correct equipment and help you get your independent living needs met!
For more information on TEPP, please go to the TEPP website