What is the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP)?
The California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) is a California State mandated program administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
What is CTAP’s goal or primary purpose?
The primary goal of the Program is to provide specialized telephone equipment and services to Californians who may have difficulty using a standard telephone. CTAP phones make it easier for these individuals to connect with friends and family, conduct business and access medical and safety services.
How is the program funded?
The Program is funded by a small surcharge that appears on all telephone bills in California. The money collected from this surcharge pays for both the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) and the California Relay Service (CRS). This surcharge appears on your phone bill as "CA Relay Service and Communications Devices Fund."
What type of phone equipment is available to CTAP customers?
CTAP offers a wide range of specialized products including:
How much do I have to pay for a specialized telephone?
The equipment is free of charge to eligible customers approved in our Program.
Who can get a free specialized telephone?
To be eligible to receive free specialized telephone equipment through our Program, you need to meet these criteria:
- Hard of Hearing
- Low Vision/Blind
There is no age or income requirement.
How do I get certified for my California Phone?
The certification section of your application form must be signed by an authorized Certifying Agent verifying your need for a specialized phone. Authorized Certifying Agents certify only those individuals whose impairment(s) make it difficult to use a standard telephone.
Certifying Agents Authorized by legislation and/or the CPUC are:
If you don't have one of these available, we can help you find a professionalCertifying Agent to sign your form.
Are there any age restrictions?
No. California Phones are available to all eligible Californians, regardless of their age.
What about income requirements?
There are no income requirements to be eligible for a free California Phone.
How do I get an application form?
You can obtain an application form in any of the following ways:
What happens once my application is approved?
Once your application is approved, we will send a CTAP Approval letter requesting that you contact us at our CTAP Contact Center. That way, we can determine your individual needs and match you with the appropriate equipment and services. If needed, you can also be trained in the use of the equipment and services. Sometimes a combination of equipment and services are needed together to enable the customer to use the telephone. If it’s convenient, you can also visit one of our local Service Centers.
What can I do if I am not able to go to a Service Center?
Please call, email, or Web chat with the Contact Center. In conversation with you, the Customer Advisors at the Contact Center can often determine the best phone for you and send it to you. If necessary, they can assess your eligibility for a Field Visit.
Who qualifies to receive a Field Visit?
There is no cost for a Field Visit.
Can I get more than one specialized phone? For example, can I get one for my kitchen and one for my bedroom?
No. A customer certified in our Program is eligible to receive only one amplified telephone, TTY, or specialized telephone equipment for use at home.
Do businesses qualify for CTAP equipment?
California non-profits, state agencies, and some educational institutions may be eligible to receive TTY equipment, but would not qualify for other Program equipment. However, we can provide the names of companies that sell equipment similar to what we offer. Under the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, many employers are responsible for providing this equipment to their employees.
We hope this information has been helpful. If you have further questions, pleasecontact the CTAP Contact Center.
There are a wide variety of California Phones available. Many phone models offer a combination of specialized features. One of our Customer Advisors will help you choose the best phone for your individual needs.
It’s easier to see these buttons – so it’s much easier to dial your call.
Enhanced volume control makes it easy to hear almost every word of the conversation.
Never miss another call – this phone features a red light that flashes for incoming calls.
CapTel phones allow you to read incoming conversation in text, plus have a moderately amplified handset to help conversations flow smoothly.
It's not always easy to remember a number – but you never forget a face. Speed dialing is a snap with this phone.
CTAP offers a range of phones specially designed to address stuttering and other speech related issues.
It's not always easy to get to the phone in time. A handy portable phone that can be carried with you is the answer.
Every day, specialized California Phones from the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) enable over half a million Californians to stay connected.
There's a California Phone for every need. For example, there are amplified phones that make it easier to hear conversations. Big button phones that are easier to dial. Phones with lights that flash for incoming calls. Convenient portable phones – and more. We also offer phones that are specially designed for individuals with more significant disabilities.
California Phones are available to all eligible California residents. Individuals can receive free phone equipment with certification by a medical doctor, a licensed audiologist, a qualified state agency, or a hearing aid dispenser.
CTAP is a program of the California Public Utilities Commission Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program.
The program is funded by a small surcharge that appears on all telephone bills in California. This surcharge appears on your phone bill as "CA Relay Service and Communications Devices Fund."
For more information, please visit www.ddtp.org