Oregon Assistance Programs

Summary

In 1987, the Oregon Legislature passed into law a bill as part of the state's public policy that provides that adequate and affordable residential telephone service be available to all Oregonians.

Based on that legislation, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) implemented three special assistance programs: the Telecommunications Devices Access Program (TDAP), the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service (OTRS), and the Oregon Telephone Assistance Program (OTAP).

These programs are funded by a surcharge applied to the monthly bill of each retail subscriber who has telecommunications services with access to the OTRS.

The Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP)

The Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP) purchases and loans (at no cost to eligible recipients) special telecommunication devices to Oregonians who are deaf, hearing- and/or speech-impaired, or who have other physical disabilities that would prevent them from using a telephone. Special telecommunication devices such as a TTY (text telephone), visual signal, large visual display, telebraille, remote-controlled speaker phone and voice-activated cellular phone are examples of the telecommunications equipment distribute under the program. It enables these Oregonians to communicate more fully with family and friends, as well as businesses, and to play a more active role in society.

The Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service (OTRS)

The Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service (OTRS) was implemented to allow those utilizing the Telecommunication Devices Access Program to communicate with the hearing public, and vice versa.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) mandates that the 26 million persons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-impaired shall have access to the nation's telephone system through a relay service that is functionally equivalent in cost and quality to the service afforded an individual without a hearing or speech impairment. With the passage of the ADA, Oregon was required to provide relay services to meet the new federal requirements. Compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations occurred in 1992, and the relay service is currently operating very effectively.

Oregon Telephone Assistance Program (OTAP) / Lifeline
Residents in the Clear Creek Communications' serving area who receive one of the following qualifying benefits may be eligible for a reduction of $12.75 per month in their residential telephone service:

Food Stamps / Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Certain State Medical Programs or Certain Medicaid Programs at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Level

Contact Information
For more information on these programs or to apply, please contact the Oregon Public Utility Commission's Residential Service Protection Fund (RSPF) staff at (800) 848-4442; or write to: Public Utility Commission of Oregon, RSPF, PO Box 2148, Salem, OR 97308-2148; or online at http://www.oregon.gov/puc/Pages/rspf/index.aspx.