What is STAP?
The Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) helps people who have a disability that interferes with their access to telephone networks purchase basic specialized assistive equipment or services.
STAP typically covers the cost of most phones included in our voucher categories, which are listed below.
STAP Information and Resources
How to Apply for a Voucher
To be eligible for a voucher, you must:
- Be at least five years old at the time the application is submitted.
- Form 3906, Application for Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) or
- Form 3907, Application for Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP): Speech Generating Devices
- If you are applying due to a change of disability, Form 3926, Change of Disability, also is required.
- Provide proof of Texas residency, as listed on the application
- Have the application certified by one of the types of professionals listed on the application.
Note: It can take about 6 months before an application is processed.
Contracted local service providers may assist in completing and certifying applications at no cost to the applicant. For help with certification, click here.
Once your application is approved, a voucher is issued for the specified product. The voucher must be exchanged with one of the vendors registered with this program. The list can be searched by the city you live in or by the product that is listed on the voucher. Only STAP registered vendors can exchange a voucher. Not all vendors sell all equipment.
An applicant has 30 days from the date the voucher is exchanged to return the equipment for any reason.
Vouchers and Voucher Amounts
- Download the current vouchers and voucher amounts (PDF).
- View current equipment list and equipment values (PDF).
Products with 5-year Warranty
Download the STAP Vendor List (PDF). These vendors offer a 5-year warranty on their qualifying products purchased with a STAP voucher.
STAP Questions and Answers
Do I need to include which manufacturer and model device I want on the application?
No. You do not need to decide on either the model or manufacturer of the device that you are requesting when you submit your application. You do need to know what voucher category you want on your voucher.
Vouchers are printed with the voucher category (e.g., Amplified Telephone, Talk Back Number Dialed Telephone, etc.) with a maximum dollar amount. You are only required to select the category of device that will assist you in using a telephone from the list found in Section 2 on the application. For example, if a person who is deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind requires a device that amplifies the incoming volume of his or her telephone, the device type that would best address their need would be an amplified telephone, or one of the other amplifying devices on the equipment selection list.
After you receive a voucher, you can exchange it with a registered vendor for the specific device that you select at that time.
Where do I exchange my voucher?
A list of vendors is provided along with the voucher. You can also find a vendor to exchange your voucher for equipment by clicking here. You can search by city or product type.
How long before an applicant's 5-year anniversary date can a person reapply?
Once an applicant exchanges a voucher for equipment, he or she is not eligible for another voucher for another five years, referred to as the anniversary date.
An applicant may apply up to six months before the anniversary date. Applicants who apply between three months to six months before the anniversary date will receive a letter that states when the voucher will be printed. Applicants who apply three months or less before their anniversary dates will not receive a letter from ODHHS. After the applicant's anniversary date has passed, a voucher will be issued.
Is it possible to get another voucher if I have not used my current voucher which expired?
To get a new voucher, send back the old one with a request to reissue it. Use the address that is on the voucher. STAP staff will send a new voucher to you with a new expiration date. You will then have another six months to use it.
Can I change my mind and have the voucher issued for a different device category?
Yes, as long as the request to select a different device category is put in writing and signed by the applicant and mailed to the STAP office.
What if an applicant already exchanged a voucher for a device and then reapplies for another voucher for a device similar to the first device that they received? For example, can an applicant get an amplified attachment and then ask for an amplified phone? What if an applicant got an amplified phone the first time and then wants another voucher for an amplified phone that has stronger amplification?
A person can get a voucher for a second device only if his or her disability changes and the first device no longer provides adequate telephone access. If this is the case, the second application should be certified as the applicant having a change of disability and there must be a statement in writing that explains why the first device no longer meets the applicant’s needs.
Is an applicant who applies under "change of disability," and indicates that his or her disability has improved, eligible to request a different device? For example, an individual who is certified as deaf gets a TTY, then is certified as hard of hearing (due to a cochlear implant) and wants an amplified phone.
A person is not eligible to receive a new device by applying under change of disability if the previous device will still provide them telephone network access. In the example stated above, a previous applicant who received a voucher for a TTY can still use the TTY after their change of disability.
How long does it take before my application will be processed?
It can take up to 6 months before an application is processed.