Yes, there is a way to get a new telephone at no charge! Almost all states in the country have a specialized telecommunication equipment distribution program  for persons with disabilities. In North Dakota, IPAT is the source for the Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Service (TEDS) that makes available a variety of phones and accessories to meet the needs of individuals who are telecommunications-impaired and who might otherwise be disadvantaged in their ability to obtain such adaptive equipment. Funded through a telephone surcharge assessed on wired and wireless access lines in the state, the Aging Services Division of the North Dakota Department of Human Services directs the contract that allows IPAT to serve hundreds of consumers each year.

You are eligible if:

  • You are having difficulty using a telephone because of a severe hearing loss, speech impairment, or physical disability
  • You have applied for or have phone service in your home
  • You are a North Dakota resident age 5 or over
  • You meet current income limits
  • You are certified by a physician, audiologist, hearing instrument specialist, speech language pathologist, or appropriate professional as unable to use a telephone readily purchased from a retail store

For those of you living in the bordering states of MinnesotaSouth Dakota, and Montana check their programs for the specifics on eligibility and coverage.

To take full advantage of this opportunity here in North Dakota to receive a specialized telephone and/or appropriate accessories at no charge, obtain application information from either IPAT offices by calling 1-800-895-4728 or 1-888-540-4728 or by going to the IPAT website TEDS page.