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Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc.


Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc.

Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI) is a statewide not-for-profit organization that administers the Specialized Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program for citizens of Florida who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind and Speech Impaired.

The Florida Legislature passed the Telecommunications Access Systems Act (TASA) in 1991. The intent of TASA (F.S. 427) is to provide access terminals required for basic telecommunications services for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Speech Impaired and Dual Sensory Impaired persons, in the most cost effective way.

In response to TASA, the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) directed local exchange telephone companies to form a not-for-profit corporation to fulfill the TASA requirements. FTRI registered with the Florida Department of State as a not-for-profit corporation, effective June 13, 1991, and is a 501(c) (3) corporation.

TASA mandates that the FTRI equipment distribution program and the Florida Relay be funded by a monthly surcharge billed to all land line telephone customers in Florida. The current surcharge is $.11 per month.

Equipment Distribution Program

The equipment distribution program operated by FTRI distributes specialized equipment for residents of Florida who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind or Speech Impaired.  The equipment is on loan to the individual for as long as they need it.  Types of equipment distributed include:

  • Text Telephone
  • Volume Control Phone for Hearing Impaired
  • Volume Control Phone for Speech Impaired
  • Voice Carry-Over and Hearing Carry-Over Phone
  • LVD: Large Visual Display for deaf and sight impaired
  • Gewa-Jupiter Phone or RC200: both for individuals who are hearing or speech impaired and mobility impaired.
  • Telitalk Speech Aid Phone: for laryngectomy patients
  • CapTel: voice carry-over with computer assisted captioning.
  • Visual, Audible or Tactile Ring Signalers
  • In-Line Amplifier

FTRI has contracted with 23 nonprofit organizations throughout the state to be Regional Distribution Centers (RDCs) to meet the needs of hearing and speech impaired residents.  At the RDC, you can have your equipment application processed, see a demonstration of your equipment, pick up your requested FTRI equipment, receive equipment training, receive ongoing equipment maintenance service, and obtain other local support services.