Virginia Technology Assistance Program provides equipment for military Veterans living with hearing loss or difficulty speaking.

 As our nation prepares to honor the service of military members this Veteran’s Day (November 11), the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) and Virginia Relay would like to remind Virginia residents that Veterans who are living with hearing loss or difficulty speaking are automatically eligible to apply for specialized telecommunication equipment through Virginia’s Technology Assistance Program (TAP).

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, hearing loss is the top service-related medical issue for military Veterans, with more than 2.7 million Veterans currently receiving disability benefits for hearing loss or tinnitus. For many of these Veterans, the ability to use a telephone is vital to living independently at home, or to working independently in the workplace. To ensure these individuals can place and receive telephone calls with confidence, in 2012 VDDHH and Virginia Relay announced that Virginia Veterans with hearing loss or difficulty speaking and documentation of Honorable Discharge would automatically qualify for TAP.

Equipment available through TAP include text telephones (TTY), amplified telephones, captioned telephones, Voice Carry Over (VCO) phones, ring signalers and more. Equipment is provided on a Loan-to-Own basis to Veterans in Virginia who meet the following qualifications:

  • A Veteran with hearing loss or difficulty speaking and proof of an Honorable Discharge (form DD-214)
  • A Veteran with hearing loss or difficulty speaking and documentation of a service-related disability rating from the U.S. Veterans Administration
  • A surviving spouse or child of a Veteran who was killed in the line of duty and has a hearing loss or difficulty speaking
  • An active member of the Virginia National Guard who has completed the required initial active-duty service

Beyond Veterans, other qualified TAP applicants include individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind or who have difficulty speaking. Applicants must also be Virginia residents and meet income eligibility requirements that are based on household income and family size. There are no age restrictions; however applications from minors must be co-signed by a parent or legal guardian.

To learn more about TAP, please contact VDDHH at 1-800-552-7917 or visit vddhh.org.

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