Special Phones for Californians Who Need Them

by Chris Bjorklund

If you or someone in your family has difficulty using a standard telephone, you may be eligible for a free phone that makes it easier to make and receive calls. The California Telephone Access Program (CTAP), sponsored by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), provides free devices to California residents who have difficulty hearing, speaking, moving, seeing or remembering due to an illness, disability or medical condition. There’s no income restriction, but you do need a doctor’s signature on your application.

The various types of phones and devices do everything from make voices louder and numbers easier to read to flash a light when a call is coming in and convert conversation to text. Visit www.ddtp.org or call (877) 546-7414 for more information. You can even try out the different phones at any one of seven CTAP service centers, including one in Oakland.