Minnesotans are facing changes in how they do business and how they connect with each other in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Many services typically provided face to face are now being provided over the phone or online. It is important to remember that one in five people has a hearing loss and may struggle to understand on the phone.
You may also receive telephone calls through video relay service (VRS), captioned phone relay, or other types of relay services. Do not hang up on these callers; they are calling for information or services.
Learn more about communicating clearly on the phone
- Communicating with people with hearing loss on the phone (PDF) includes tips for speaking clearly and handling relay calls.
- Communication Tips (online video) demonstrates effective communication, and also shows what not to do.
Having a hard time using the phone? The Telephone Equipment Distribution Program can help
Many people who find it difficult to use a traditional phone are isolated from their friends and family. It is especially important now that people have ways to connect even when they cannot see each other face to face.
If you or someone you care for is having a hard time using the phone, the Telephone Equipment (TED) Program can help! The TED Program provides phone equipment to people who have a hearing loss, speech, or physical disability that limits their use of a standard telephone.
Phones and other devices to bridge phone access are provided at no cost to eligible Minnesotans. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division staff are continuing to provide phones to those who need them. Phones can be shipped directly to your home.
TED Program application forms are available in English, Spanish, Somali and other languages on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division's website.
You may also call 1-800-657-3663 to request an application for yourself or someone else.