1. Definitions.  As used in this article, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. “Deaf person” means a person whose sense of hearing is nonfunctional for the purpose of ordinary communication. [1995, c. 560, Pt. F, §13 (NEW).]

B. “Hard-of-hearing person” means a person whose sense of hearing is defective, but still functional, with or without amplification. [1995, c. 560, Pt. F, §13 (NEW).]

B-1. “Person with a disability” means a person who is unable to communicate by telephone because of a vision, mobility or other physical or mental impairment. [1997, c. 751, Pt. A, §1 (NEW).]

B-2. “Specialized customer communications equipment” means communications equipment used by persons with disabilities to conduct telephone communications or equipment that provides or assists in providing emergency alert notification to deaf persons or hard-of-hearing persons. “Specialized customer communications equipment” includes but is not limited to teletypewriters, artificial larynges, signaling devices, amplified handsets, telecoil technology, large number dial overlays, direct telephone dialing, fax machines, equipment necessary to use short message services or text message services and other equipment used by persons with disabilities to provide access to telephone networks and equipment that provides or facilitates emergency alert notification to deaf persons or hard-of-hearing persons. [2011, c. 173, §1 (AMD).]

C. “Speech-impaired person” means a person whose speech is nonfunctional or defective for the purpose of ordinary communication. [1995, c. 560, Pt. F, §13 (NEW).]

D. [1997, c. 751, Pt. A, §2 (RP).]

E. “Telecommunications relay service” means a service transmitting messages and information between a person using standard telephone equipment for spoken communications and a deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired person using a telecommunications device for the deaf. [1995, c. 560, Pt. F, §13 (NEW).]

F. “Late deafened” means that the sense of hearing of an individual is nonfunctional for the purpose of communication and that the individual must depend primarily upon visual communication. The loss of the sense of hearing for a late-deafened individual occurs after the development of speech and language. [2009, c. 174, §20 (NEW).]

[ 2011, c. 173, §1 (AMD) .]

2. Specialized customer communications equipment system.  The department shall consult with appropriate agencies and organizations serving deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired persons and persons with disabilities concerning the needs of the specialized customer communications equipment system. To the extent that funds are available, the department shall take steps necessary to preserve and maintain a viable specialized customer communications equipment system for use by deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired persons and persons with disabilities in this State, including, but not limited to, providing for repair services and equipment for loaning to persons whose specialized customer communications equipment is being repaired. The department may also use available funds to provide training in the use of specialized customer communications equipment.
[ 2003, c. 553, Pt. A, §2 (AMD) .]

SECTION HISTORY

1995, c. 560, §F13 (NEW). 1997, c. 751, §§A1-3 (AMD). 2001, c. 377, §1 (AMD). 2003, c. 553, §§A1,2 (AMD). 2009, c. 174, §20 (AMD). 2011, c. 173, §1 (AMD).