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PUC Exploring Offering iPads as Assistive Telecommunications Devices



February 10, 2015 (2015-03)
Contacts: Susan Ackerman, Chair, 503 378-6611, Stephen Bloom, Commissioner, 503 378-6611,
John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962, Jon Cray, RSPF Manager, 503-373-1400
Salem, OR.  The Oregon Public Utility Commission is looking for Oregon residents who have a loss in hearing, speech, vision, mobility, or cognition to take part in a pilot project.  The purpose of the pilot is to examine whether Oregon should offer iPads on a permanent basis as part of a state program that loans assistive devices at no cost to qualifying Oregonians to help them communicate on the phone.
The iPads will include various app packages tailored to meet the telecommunications needs of each individual.  Also, the iPads provided through the pilot project will be “locked down.” This means the device will have limited Internet access and cannot be used to download or purchase apps, games or other products from the Apple Store.
Participants in the pilot project must complete an application and be able to attend a two-hour orientation in Salem to receive training and an overview of the goals of the pilot project. Participants will also be asked to complete surveys during the pilot project in order for the PUC to gather information.
The deadline for applying to the Commission is no later than 5 p.m. PDT Friday, February 20, 2015. There are a limited number of spaces available.
If you or someone you know may be interested, call, (1-800-848-4442) or send an e-mail to puc.rspf@state.or.us.
The Oregon Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP) serves approximately 7,100 Oregonians who have a loss in hearing, speech, vision, mobility or cognition. The program is part of the Residential Service Protection Fund (RSPF), which is funded by a nine cent monthly surcharge on retail telephone bills.