Missouri’s Telecommunication Access Program (TAP) provides equipment to qualifying people with disabilities who have difficulties using the phone or internet. To qualify for the Telecommunications Access Program, an applicant must:
- Be certified by a licensed physician, audiologist, speech pathologist, hearing instrument specialist or qualified agency as unable to use traditional telecommunications equipment or computer equipment due to disability;
- Be a resident of the state of Missouri;
- Have access to basic telephone service for TAP-T; have a computer and internet service for TAP-I. For the TAP Wireless pilot, you must have WiFi access or mobile phone service (depending on selected equipment);
- Meet financial income standards (Generally, an applicant has an annual adjusted household income under $60,000 for two people, with $5,000 being added for each additional dependent).
TAP for Telephone provides access to basic voice telephone calling (both sending and receiving) for people with all types of disabilities through the delivery of adaptive telephone equipment. The program provides such equipment as text telephones, voice carry over phones, phone for hearing carry over, amplified phones, Braille phones, hands-free phones and photo phones.
TAP for Internet provides to Missourians who cannot use traditional computer equipment, the adaptive computer equipment necessary for basic access to the internet and e-mail. The program provides such equipment as screen enlargement software, screen readers, adaptive keyboards or alternative pointing devices such as trackballs or rollerballs. The TAP-I program provides consumer support during the selection and initial usage of the adaptive equipment.
The new TAP Wireless Project will provide wireless equipment for people with disabilities who may not traditionally have access to this equipment. The world of telecommunications is changing drastically and new improvements in accessibility are being introduced for people with disabilities. The project covers equipment from a very simple large button cell phone to an iPhone or iPad with accessibility apps pre-installed.