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NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing
 
 

Telecommunications Access and Equipment

What Services are Available?

A wide variety of services and devices exist that enable people with hearing loss and speech-impairment to use the telephone and to be alerted when the telephone rings.

To learn which services and devices work best for the specific type of hearing loss and/or communication need you have, contact one of the seven Regional Centers nearest you. Staff will be happy to provide individualized guidance at no charge and designed to meet your own unique needs.

Hearing Aids

Low-income North Carolinians with hearing loss may qualify for a hearing aid with a telecoil, or "T-coil," switch. This switch enables individuals to use the telephone. Not everyone can benefit from this type of hearing aid. To find out if you could benefit from such a hearing aid, consult with an audiologist.

Adaptive Telephones

A wide variety of adaptive telephone and other telecommunications devices are available to Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Speech-Impaired individuals. These specialized devices enable these individuals to call standard telephone users such as their loved ones, to order a pizza or to make appointments.

Captioned Telephones

Low-income North Carolinians with hearing loss may qualify for a captioned telephone. These specialized devices enable these individuals to call standard telephone users such as their loved ones, to order a pizza or to make appointments. Captioned telephones differ from other adaptive telephones in that they contain a screen with text allowing the person to understand what the person at the other end of the line is saying.

Communication Devices

A wide variety of communication devices are available to individuals with a speech disability. Individuals do not need to have a hearing loss to apply for a communication device. These specialized devices enable individuals with a speech disability to access the telephone to contact family, friends, to order a pizza or to make appointments.

Telecommunications Relay Service (Relay NC)

Telecommunications Relay Service allows a Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind, or Speech-Impaired individual to use special equipment to call to a relay center. A specially trained operator relays messages between the relay user using a text telephone or an assistive device and a hearing person using a standard telephone. To use the telecommunications relay service, anyone can dial 7-1-1 almost anywhere in the United States. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Relay NC (PDF, 13.1MB) is the program operating this service in North Carolina. To learn more about this service, visit the RelayN.C. website Link goes outside of N.C. DHHS. or contact one of the division's seven Regional Centers.

To use Relay NC, just call 7-1-1.

To learn how to make the most of this service, visit the RelayN.C. website Link goes outside of N.C. DHHS. or contact one of our seven Regional Centers.

Note: Complete the TRS Remittance Form, which is only for companies that provide telephone or wireless services.

If you have questions regarding the form, please contact:

Mark Whisenant
Community and Telecommunications Resources Program Manager
2301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2301
Mark Whisenant
(919) 874- 2238

What Technology is Right for You?

Get an extensive list of technology that Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Speech-Impaired individuals use to assist with communication.

Who is Eligible?

All individuals who have hearing loss may contact one of the seven regional centers for general information about telecommunications devices. Those wishing to apply for a telecommunications device must meet certain eligibility requirements.

  • Up to 250% of poverty level.
  • Certificate of disability
  • Resident of North Carolina

For Relay NC, anyone can dial 7-1-1 to use telecommunications relay service. There is no charge for this service if the call is made locally. Long distance charges are based on the service you receive from your long distance carrier.

How to Apply/Contacts

Qualifying residents of North Carolina may apply for a telecommunication device though the division’s Equipment Distribution Service. Those wishing to apply for a device should contact one of the seven Regional Centers.

Your Rights

Your rights

 

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