Assistive Communication Technology (ACT) &

Telecommunications Equipment Distribution (TED) Programs

SWCDHH in partnership with the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, ODHH, is participating in the TED and ACT Loan Program which offers a person or group the option to borrow an Assistive Listening System, ALS.

TED Program can provide the following:

Captioned Telephone (CapTel)

Text Telephone (TTY)

Large Visual Display

Amplified Telephone

Phone Ring Signalers

Neck Loops

Voice-Carry-Over Telephone

Come visit our center to try out our live equipment free of charge! 

DSHS-ODHH TED Frequently Asked Questions 

Where can I see and try the TED Program equipment?
There are TED demonstration sites at the Regional Service Centers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing located in Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Pasco and Spokane.

Does my income disqualify me from getting equipment through the TED program?
No. Anyone who meets the qualifications (page 1) may apply for equipment, regardless of income. Your income determines whether or not there will be a cost to you.

Do I have to pay for equipment?
You may receive equipment at a reduced cost or free of charge.  The cost of equipment is determined by a sliding scale. Your family size and income is used to calculate the amount you must pay if any. 

What equipment may I choose from?
Available equipment can change from time to time. See pages 3-6 of the DSHS Form 14-264, “Application for Telecommunication Equipment Form 14-264.” We try to keep the equipment up to date, but as new technology becomes available, we sometimes add new options.  For specific model information, pleasecontact us.  You may select one (1) telecommunication equipment with accessories for that equipment, if available; and one (1) signaling device. 

How do I apply to receive equipment from the Telecommunication Equipment Distribution Program?
You can contact us to request an information and application packet OR download,  print and complete the application form, then send it to us for processing.

I received equipment in the past. May I re-apply for new equipment?
You are eligible to reapply for new equipment after three (3) years only if your current equipment from the TED Program is not working or no longer meets your needs.  If you receive the equipment at no cost, you must return that equipment before we can give you new equipment. You may contact us for more information. 

When will I receive new equipment?

The process to receive equipment can take four (4) to eight(8) weeks once your application is received.Equipment will either be delivered by a trainer or shipped directly to you. There are some devices that require delivery by a trainer. If equipment is delivered to you, a trainer will contact you to schedule a date and time to meet with you and others who may be interested. The trainer will assess your needs; and hook-up the equipment and show you how to use it. If the equipment is being shipped to you, we will send it at the beginning of the next calendar month. There is no charge for delivery and training on the use of TED equipment.


DSHS-ODHH Frequently Asked Questions: Assistive Listening Systems

Assistive Listening Systems create a direct, wireless connection between a source of sound and one or more listeners. This eliminates the effects of distance between the source of sound and the listener; such as background noise and reverberation (poor acoustics). Using an ALS, you should be able to hear as clearly as if you were standing right next to the source of the sound, even if you are actually sitting in the back of a large and noisy room.

Many ALSs transmit sound directly to the listener's hearing aid or cochlear implant sound processor. However, some types of ALS can be used even if the listener does not have a compatible hearing aid or cochlear implant.

There are three types of ALS: induction loop, FM, and infrared. None of these systems is inherently superior to the others; each has advantages and disadvantages.

How and Where to Borrow Assistive Listening Systems

ODHH has ALS equipment available for loan to state and local government agencies for the purpose of providing access for Washington residents with hearing loss. ODHH oversees the inventory of ALS at DSHS headquarters and within 7 Regional Service Centers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing throughout the state. ODHH also provides consultation to state and local government agencies to assist them in choosing the equipment that best meets their needs and the needs of the individual(s) with hearing loss.

DSHS and other state government agencies located in Thurston County may contact ODHH directly to borrow Assistive Listening Systems.

Government agencies located outside Thurston County, any non-profit and private companies may contact one of the seven Regional Service Centers directly to borrow Assistive Listening Systems.


Equipment Available:

With a personal amplifier the user has an option to use a headphone or a neckloop.
neck Loop
FM Transmitter/Receiver Kit that includes a portable amplifier, a microphone, up to 8 receivers with   options for headphones or neckloops.

FM System

For more information, you can read the ALS FAQ.