February 2, 2016
The state-funded Equipment Distribution Program has a new home at the Vermont Center for Independent Living. VCIL, a statewide disability rights organization, started hosting the program in January. Previously the program was housed at the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which had to close its doors due to bankruptcy.
Sarah Launderville, executive director of VCIL, said, “After the closing of the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, we were eager to offer our support in hosting the Vermont Equipment Distribution Program. Access to the phone is critical for people who are Deaf and have speech disabilities.”
She added, “EDP fits perfectly with our mission of working to promote the dignity, independence and civil rights of Vermonters with disabilities.”
The program helps income-eligible Vermonters who have trouble using a telephone and need adaptive equipment. This includes people who have physical disabilities and/or speech disabilities. To qualify, applicants must provide proof that they have a disability requiring adaptive telephone equipment to use the phone service, and income that is below the federal poverty guidelines for their household size. The VTEDP will purchase up to $750 of equipment for qualified individuals. The equipment is not owned by the individual who receives it through the program but is a long-term loan.
Some examples of the equipment that VTEDP pays for include, but are not limited to:
• CapTel phones, which display the text of the other person on the line for people who have trouble hearing but who can speak for themselves.
• TTYs (text telephones).
• Amplified phones.
• Voice-activated equipment.
For more information or to get an application or a copy of the eligibility income guidelines, please call 1-800-639-1522 or visit