Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to receive a phone through the FTRI program?
Permanent residents of the State Florida who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind and speech impaired.
How much does FTRI equipment cost?
FTRI loans the equipment to qualifying Florida residents for as long as the individual needs it, at no cost.
How do I qualify or get a phone?
Complete an FTRI application; have it signed by an approved certifier, and either mail it to FTRI or visit a Regional Distribution Center in your area.
How do get an application for the FTRI program?
You may download and print an FTRI application from our website, or contact FTRI at 1-800-222-3448
How is the program funded?
Florida law (TASA F.S. 427) requires that both the FTRI Equipment Distribution Program and the Florida Relay Service be funded by a monthly surcharge that is billed to all telephone consumers (landlines) in the State of Florida. Currently the surcharge is 9 cents.
What do I do if my phone breaks?
If your phone breaks or malfunctions FTRI will replace it at no cost. Simply contact FTRI or the closest Regional Distribution Center to receive a new phone.
If I move to another city in Florida, may I take my phone with me?
Yes, as long as you stay within the State of Florida, you can take your equipment with you. However, please contact FTRI and give them your new apress.
What if I move to another state, can I take my phone with me?
You may not take the phone equipment out the State of Florida for more than 90 days, so if you are permanently moving you must return your equipment to FTRI or to the nearest Regional Distribution Center (RDC) prior to moving.
How will I know how to operate the equipment?
FTRI and the Regional Distribution centers will provide training on all of the phone equipment when you receive it.
Is FTRI a telephone company or a State agency?
No, FTRI is a non profit organization and the administrator of TASA law (F.S. 427). If you are having trouble with your phone line or phone service, you will need to contact your local telephone company.
What happens if the power goes out during an emergency will I still be able use my phone?
Most of the equipment that FTRI provides comes with battery backup for emergency situations. It's recommended that you purchase batteries and replace them every 6 to 12 months to be prepared for an emergency situation. Please read your equipment manual, contact FTRI, or your closest Regional Distribution Center for information about battery size, etc.
Do other states have equipment programs similar to FTRI's?
Many do, and you can find them online by using search terms such as: “phones for hard of hearing Georgia”, or “Pennsylvania deaf and hard of hearing equipment program”.
How can I get brochures or more information to share with others?
All that you have to do is contact the FTRI Outreach Department: 1-888-292-1950 ext. 232 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If I receive equipment from the program, what conditions will apply?
If you receive equipment from the program, you agree to the Conditions of Acceptance (COA) which includes following conditions:
- I understand that the equipment I am borrowing for telephone access belongs to FTRI; I do not own it. If I abuse the equipment, I can be held financially responsible for the replacement.
- I will take good care of the equipment to ensure it is not damaged, stolen, or lost. If it is damaged, stolen or lost, I will contact FTRI immediately at 800-222-3448 (Voice).
- If the equipment stops working properly, I will not try to fix it. I will notify FTRI at 800-222-3448 (Voice) and they will fix it.
- I will notify FTRI if my address or telephone number changes.
- I understand the equipment I receive today must be returned to FTRI if:
- I move out of Florida.
- I no longer need the equipment.
- I understand that I cannot sell, give away, or loan this equipment to anyone else.
- I understand that this agreement is binding for any additional or exchanged equipment that I receive from the program.
- Failure to comply with this COA may result in the applicant being denied participation in the FTRI Distribution Program.
- By signing this application, I understand that the user of the equipment is responsible for the use and operation of the equipment, and I agree to defend FTRI and release them of any and all claims, damages and expenses arising out of the use or misuse of this equipment by anyone.