The 1994 Kentucky General Assembly enacted legislation which directed the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) to establish a program to distribute specialized telecommunications equipment (STE), to deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired persons in Kentucky. The distribution program is funded through a surcharge on Kentucky telecommunication access lines. Household income is not considered when determining eligibility. This program increases the accessibility of the telecommunications system to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf blind or speech-impaired.
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a legal resident of the state of Kentucky for at least one year. Official identification shall be provided by the
applicant, with a matching address as listed on the application, to establish residency.
- The minimum age of an applicant shall be five (5) years. For a wireless device the applicant shall be thirteen (13) years of age. In the case of applicants between five (5) and eighteen (18) years of age, parents or guardians shall apply on behalf of applicants and assume full responsibility for the equipment;
- Be deaf, hard of hearing, deaf blind or speech-impaired such that the applicant cannot use telecommunications equipment for communication without adaptive equipment. Applicants shall provide, at their own expense, professional verification that they are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf blind or speech impaired. A licensed physician; GP, IM, ENT or an APRN or PAC, or an audiologist, hearing instrument specialist, speech pathologist or eye specialist must provide this verification. Verification of vision loss shall be requested to qualify for some equipment.
Upon request, applicants shall provide a copy of the telephone bill that shows the name, address, and telephone number on the bill. If the name on the telephone bill does not match the name on the application, ID must be provided by the applicant with a matching address. Identification must be provided for wireless devices.