Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible to receive a phone through the FTRI program?
A: Permanent residents of the State Florida who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind and speech impaired.
Q: How much does the specialized phone equipment cost?
A: FTRI loans the equipment to qualifying Florida residents for as long as the individual needs it, at no cost.
Q: How do I qualify or get a phone?
A: Complete an FTRI application; have it signed by an approved certifier, and either mail it to FTRI or visit a Regional Distribution Center in your area.
Q: How do get an application for the FTRI program?
A: You may download and print an FTRI application from our website, or contact FTRI at 1-800-222-3448
Q: How is the program funded?
A: Florida law (TASA F.S. 427) requires that both the FTRI Equipment Distribution Program and the Florida Relay Service be funded by a monthly surcharge that is billed to all telephone consumers (landlines) in the State of Florida. Currently the surcharge is 11 cents.
Q: What do I do if my phone breaks?
A: If your phone breaks or malfunctions FTRI will replace it at no cost. Simply contact FTRI or the closest Regional Distribution Center to receive a new phone.
Q: If I move to another city in Florida, may I take my phone with me?
A: Yes, as long as you stay within the State of Florida, you can take your equipment with you. However, please contact FTRI and give them your new address.
Q: What if I move to another state, can I take my phone with me?
A: You may not take the phone equipment out the State of Florida for more than 90 days, so if you are permanently moving you must return your equipment to FTRI or to the nearest Regional Distribution Center (RDC) prior to moving.
Q: How will I know how to operate the equipment?
A: FTRI and the Regional Distribution centers will provide training on all of the phone equipment when you receive it.
Q: Are there any age requirements to receive a phone?
A: Applicants must be three years of age or older to receive most phones.
Q: Is FTRI a telephone company or a State agency?
A: No, FTRI is a non profit organization and the administrator of TASA law (F.S. 427). If you are having trouble with your phone line or phone service, you will need to contact your local telephone company.
Q: What happens if the power goes out during an emergency will I still be able use my phone?
A: Most of the equipment that FTRI provides comes with battery backup for emergency situations. It's recommended that you purchase batteries and replace them every 6 to 12 months to be prepared for an emergency situation. Please read your equipment manual, contact FTRI, or your closest Regional Distribution Center for information about battery size, etc.
Q: Do other states have equipment programs similar to FTRI's?
A: Many do---you can visit the TEDPA website for a listing of other state programs:
Q: How can I get brochures or more information to share with others?
A: All that you have to do is contact the FTRI Outreach Department: 1-888-292-1950 ext. 232 or