If you are a senior or individual who is deaf, hard of hearing, or have difficulty speaking, you could qualify for a free assistive phone or other telecommunications equipment provided by the Georgia Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program (GATEDP).
GATEDP was founded in 2003 by the Georgia State Legislature and overseen by the Public Service Commission to enable seniors and individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have difficulty speaking to get the telecommunications equipment they need to stay connected. The program is administered by the Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a statewide nonprofit organization that provides a variety of assistive services to the deaf and hard of hearing, their family members, friends, and local, state and federal agencies.
To apply, individuals must complete an official application and submit supporting documents, including proof of income, proof of Georgia residency, proof of phone service in their home, and a certificate of need form. Applications can be completed online or sent via mail or fax. They can also be hand delivered to your local Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing office.
Free equipment training is provided for all approved GATEDP applicants. Once you select your equipment, your assigned trainer will teach you how to use it properly and answer any questions you may have.
FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS ANYONE BUT REGISTERED USERS WITH HEARING LOSS FROM USING INTERNET PROTOCOL (IP) CAPTIONED TELEPHONES WITH THE CAPTIONS TURNED ON. IP Captioned Telephone Service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone. There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund.