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Specialized Phone Program

Man in wheelchair smiling. Quote that states, "Now I can make my own phone calls without having to depend on someone else."

The Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Services (TEDS), also known as the Specialized Phone Program, is designed to provide specialized telecommunications equipment to meet the needs of individuals who are communications impaired and who might be otherwise disadvantaged in their ability to obtain equipment to easily and independently use a standard phone.

ND Assistive contracts with the ND Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division, to implement the Specialized Phone Program. The funds for equipment, client services, and administration for the Specialized Phone Program are provided through a telephone access-line surcharge.

Who is eligible?

  • North Dakota residents who:
    • Have difficulty using the telephone because of a severe hearing, speech, or physical (including vision and cognitive) impairment
    • Currently have or are in the process of obtaining landline or cellular phone service
    • Meet income criteria
  • Not a North Dakota Resident? Each state has it’s own specialized phone program. Contact your state’s Aging and Disabilities Resource Center to discover where your state’s program is housed. Please note that each state’s specialized phone program has its own eligibility requirements and parameters for the phone equipment it provides.

What types of equipment are available?

  • Hearing
    • Amplified landline phones with extra-loud ringers, corded or cordless
    • CapTel captioned phones. Please see our FAQ Sheet about CapTel phone line and internet requirements.
    • TTYs (text telephones)
    • Cell phone amplifiers
    • Ring signalers, such as lamp flashers and bed shakers


  • Speech
    • Landline phones with outgoing speech amplification (for users with soft voices)
    • TTYs
    • Electrolarynx phones


  • Physical
    • Switch-activated phones
    • Voice-activated phones
    • Cell phones with built-in accessibility features that have been customized to meet an individual’s functional needs


  • Vision
    • Large-button landline phones with talking keys
    • Memory dialers
    • Voice dialers
    • Cell phones with built-in accessibility features that have been customized to meet an individual’s functional needs
    • Large-screen mobile devices


  • Cognitive/ Memory
    • Photo dialing
    • GrandPad by Consumer Cellular
    • Amazon Echo Show

What is the cost?

  • There is no cost to receive equipment through the Specialized Phone Program.

How long may the equipment be kept?

  • Equipment received through the Specialized Phone Program is the property of the State of North Dakota. It is the program participant’s to use so long as they need it and remain a North Dakota resident.
  • If an individual has equipment that is no longer needed or is in need of repair, please contact ND Assistive.

Affordable Phone and Internet Service

If you are having difficulty paying for your phone or internet service, check out our blog post about two government programs that can help: Affordable WiFi for Low-Income Households.


Please note: ND Assistive does not provide assistance with paying for phone or internet service.

Apply for Equipment

  • Complete and submit the application for the Specialized Phone Program.
  • The application may be completed online or downloaded from this page. Choose one format.
  • Per request, ND Assistive can send out applications in the mail or via fax.
  • Individuals must complete the Condition of Acceptance form included with the application.
Please contact ND Assistive with questions: 



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