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PUC Launches iPad as Assistive Telecommunication Devices

October 12, 2015

Contacts: Susan Ackerman, Chair, 503 378-6611, Stephen Bloom, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, Karla Hunter, Policies Analyst/Communications Coordinator, 503 373-0044, Jon Cray, RSPF Manager, 503-373-1400

Salem, OR  The Oregon Public Utility Commission announced earlier this year, it was recruiting Oregon residents to participate in a pilot project for the Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP).  The purpose of the pilot was to examine whether the Commission should include iPads to help Oregonians who have a loss in hearing, speech, vision, mobility, or cognition to communicate on the phone.  A total of twenty-six individuals participated in the pilot and the majority recommended that the program make iPads available to qualifying Oregon residents.  As a result, TDAP began to offer iPads to Oregonians in August.   

The iPad comes equipped with a protective case and is preloaded with telecommunications or related apps specific to the individual’s needs.  For example, a person who has a hearing loss may use an app that captions what is said when they make or receive a call on their iPad.  A person who is deaf may use an app that allows them to make or receive calls via an American Sign Language interpreter. 

If you or someone you know may qualify for an iPad, please visit www.rspf.org, call 1-800-848-4442 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., or send an e-mail to puc.rspf@state.or.us to request an application or obtain additional information about available apps, etc. 

The Oregon Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP) serves approximately 7,000 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.