Telecommunication Assistance Program (TAP)

TAP is a financial assistance program for the purpose of making distance communications and telecommunications devices available to low-income individuals who are severely hard of hearing, Deaf, or Deaf-Blind in Wisconsin. TAP provides funding for specialized telecommunications equipment or assists with paying co-pay costs. TAP applicants can only apply once every three years.

There are three program options available when applying for TAP assistance: TAP Copay; TAP Equipment Purchase Assistance (TEPA); and TAP Plus.

For information about each program option select the corresponding tab below. Please contact the TAP Program Coordinator by email or call 608-266-2536 if you have questions or need assistance.

1. TAP Copay

TAP Copay assistance is available to cover the $100 copay costs required by the Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP) available through the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin for the purchase of approved distance communications devices.

TAP Copay eligibility criteria:

2. TEPA

TEPA assistance is available to cover up to an added $150 toward the purchase's additional out-of-pocket costs that otherwise would be a hardship for program-eligible applicants to pay. TEPA works in combination with the TAP copay assistance.

TEPA eligibility criteria:

3. TAP Plus

TAP Plus assistance is available to cover the costs of approved specialized telecommunications equipment up to $250 for program eligible applicants who are not applying for the larger TEPP assistance voucher.

TAP Plus eligibility criteria:

TAP program application requirements:

  • Submit a completed application by choosing one of the following: online application or printable version application form, F-02306 (PDF).
  • Submit a completed hearing loss certification form, F-22554 or audiogram.
    • People who are able to sign the Hearing Loss Certification form include: licensed physicians, certified audiologists, or hearing instrument specialists.
      • Hearing instrument specialists completing the form will also need to provide an exam result or report for one of the following procedures performed within six months of the signed TAP application (pursuant to Chapter HAS 4 under the Hearing and Speech Examination Board (PDF):
        • Recording and interpretation of audiograms and speech audiometry to determine proper selection and adaptation of hearing instruments.
          Appropriate masking when indicated.

        • Speech audiometry by live voice or recorded voice, including speech reception threshold, speech discrimination testing, and most comfortable loudness measurements and loudness discomfort levels.

        • Pure tone audiometry, including air conduction testing and bone conduction testing.

Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP)

TEPP helps people with disabilities with purchasing the specialized equipment they need for distance communications. TEPP is paid for by the Universal Service Fund, which was established by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. In most cases, TEPP requires applicants to pay a $100 co-pay towards their equipment purchase. Visit the TEPP website for eligibility requirements and program information.

iCanConnect

iCanConnect provides individuals with both significant vision and hearing loss with free equipment and training. iCanConnect is a national program with local contacts that helps people stay connected with friends, family and the world. Visit the iCanConnect website for income and disability eligibility requirements.

Financial Assistance for Hearing Aids and Hearing Assistive Technology for Adults who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf-Blind

Hearing aids range in cost from $1,000 to $4,000, which is not affordable for many people. However, various programs exist to help people with lower incomes purchase hearing aids and other assistive hearing technology at lower out-of-pocket costs. Agency list, P-00591 (PDF)

Last Revised: July 28, 2020