Specialized Telecommunication Assistance Program
The Specialized Telecommunications Program (STAP) is a state funded program sponsored by the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services (DARS). This division of DARS offers FREE assistive phone devices for Texas residents who have hearing loss. Texas residents are eligible to access this program once every five years.
Our audiologists are trained in determining what type of devices are best for your hearing needs. They will be happy to meet with you for a no charge consultation and assist you in completing the application for the devices you need. We then submit the application to Austin, and in 6-8 weeks you will receive a voucher from STAP for the devices authorized. You simply bring the voucher to our office in exchange for your phone devices. In some cases, if you use hearing aids, your hearing aids may need to be adjusted to accommodate the device.
Amplified Phones- Amplified land line phones can include corded or cordless models. All phones have a least 40 dB of amplification which can be adjusted for your specific hearing needs. The phones also have connections for amplified headsets and neckloops. They also ring louder than typical phones and some may include big buttons and answering machines.
Amplified Cell Phones- Amplified cell phones must have at least 20 dB of amplification in order to be covered by the STAP program. Although STAP will purchase the phone, you will be responsible for the plan coverage.
Bluetooth Phones- Bluetooth phones are phones that can be paired with an external Bluetooth compatible phone device. The Bluetooth compatible phone device is then connected with your hearing aids, allowing Bluetooth streaming of the phone conversation into your hearing aids.
Bluetooth hub-Bluetooth hubs are devices that will connect to non-Bluetooth phones allowing the phone to send a Bluetooth signal to a Bluetooth compatible phone device.
Ring Signalers- Ring signalers are external loud phone ringers that can be attached to a phone.
Amplified Neckloop- An amplified neckloop is an external neckloop that is plugged into the headset jack of your phone. When your hearing aids are in the t-coil program, the phone conversation is transmitted wirelessly to your hearing aids from the neckloop
Amplified Headset- Unlike the amplified neckloop, the amplified headset can be used without hearing aids. The head set is connect to the phone and provides the hearing impaired listening with an amplified sound.
Bluetooth Compatible phone devices- A Bluetooth compatible phone device, also known as a streamer, is an external device that will wireless connect to any device sending a Bluetooth signal, such as a cell phone, iPad, and computer. The Bluetooth streamer will then stream or transmit the signal to your hearing aids.
If you have a hearing loss, are a Texas resident, and have difficulty communicating over the phone, call us and schedule a complimentary consult on the free STAP phones device that would meet your needs.