The Iowa Utilities Board, by authority of the legislature, oversees two programs that provide telephone accessibility to Iowans who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have difficulty speaking.
RELAY IOWA is a telephone relay service that links people who are hearing, deaf, hard of hearing, and have speech difficulties with each other for communication over the telephone. For more information on how to use Relay Iowa, visit the Relay Iowa web site.
The Iowa Equipment Distribution Program, called Telecommunications Access Iowa, helps individuals pay for specialized telephone equipment. Qualified individuals can receive a voucher for approximately 95 percent of the average cost of specialized telephone equipment.
For more information on how to apply for an Equipment Distribution Program voucher, contact Telecommunications Access Iowa—call 800.606.5099 (toll-free voice), 515.282.5099 (voice), 515.282.5130 (TTY), 515.200.2899 (videophone), 515.237.3917 (fax), email TELEIOWA@aol.com, or access the TAI web site. A short 30-second public service announcement as well as a longer three minute version are also available for viewing.
To read the law that established the Iowa telecommunications relay service and the equipment distribution program, visit the Code of Iowa, Chapter 477C.
To read the rules that apply to the Equipment Distribution Program, including eligibility requirements, read Iowa Administrative Code 199, Chapter 37.
For more information on what is happening in telecommunications relay services on the national front, visit the Disability Rights Office, a division of the Federal Communications Commission's Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau. Also see the FCC’s webpage describing telecommunications relay service.
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