With a coverage area of 3,000 square miles, FTC has been committed to providing cutting-edge communications technology to the residents of Clarendon, lower Florence, Lee, Sumter and Williamsburg counties since its founding more than 70 years ago. And the cooperative’s dedication to service extends to all area residents, no matter what type of special assistance they might need in accessing and using FTC’s offerings. In fact, at FTC, there is a strong belief among leadership and the workforce alike that providing communications services to area residents with special needs is one of the most important obligations the cooperative has to the communities it serves.
As such, FTC offers a range of accessibility services geared specifically toward customers with disabilities. Consider these offerings the cooperative provides to extend vital communications capabilities to some of the area residents who need it most:
- Alert Line: This Voice service could benefit anyone who might need to reach out for help (or anything else) without having to physically dial the telephone. It allows the account holder to choose one telephone number he or she would like to reach simply by picking up the telephone receiver. It can be an emergency, family, or business number and either local or long distance. FTC will program the selected number for the line (with long-distance numbers being billed long-distance rates), and if a number is not dialed within 10 seconds of the phone receiver being lifted, the chosen number will be dialed automatically.
- Closed Captioning: A big help for those with hearing difficulties (or anyone who wants to follow a television program with the volume down), closed captioning provides written notes on the screen during a TV program or movie. The notes convey all dialogue and other relevant audio such as sound effects, speaker identification and additional non-speech elements. And to avoid obscuring visual elements, the writing’s on-screen positioning changes as needed.
- Local Store Accessibility: Service dogs are welcome at all FTC store locations and all store locations are wheelchair accessible. For customers paying over the phone or in person, Customer Service Representatives can read bills aloud upon request.
- Relay South Carolina: A free service for all South Carolina residents, Relay South Carolina (RSC) connects individuals who are deaf, deaf/blind, hard of hearing or have a speech disability with users of standard telephones. Whether calling on a standard telephone or a text telephone (a special phone with a typewriter-style keyboard), Relay makes communication simple 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- South Carolina Equipment Distribution Program (SCEDP): Administered by the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, the South Carolina Equipment Distribution Program (SCEDP) distributes free specialized telephones, cell phone accessories, alerting devices and tablets to qualified applicants who are having trouble using a standard telephone. For more information on SCEDP, consumers can call 1-877-225-8337 (voice) or 1-877-889-8337 (TTY) or reach out via email at AmplifyLife@scedp.org.
- Speed Dialing: Helpful to anyone who might need to reach a contact quickly without having to remember or fully dial a phone number, Speed Dialing enables a phone to remember and dial frequently called numbers and emergency numbers quickly and accurately. FTC offers two Speed Dialing Speed Dialing 8 allows users to press a single button (followed by the # key) to reach one of eight selected frequently called numbers. Speed Dialing 30 allows users to press a pair of buttons (followed by the # key) to reach one of 30 different programmed phone numbers.
- Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS): The Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is a means for the hearing- and speech-impaired residents of South Carolina to conveniently place and receive telephone calls. No charges apply to local calls. To fund the service, local telephone companies collect a monthly charge per phone line from every customer. All voice subscribers of FTC can dial 711 to access TRS.
- Teletypewriter (TTY) Dialing: A person with a hearing or speech disability can use the telephone system via a Teletypewriter (TTY) or other device to call people with or without such disabilities. FTC’s Voice service is compatible with TTY equipment.
- Video Descriptions: For those who are blind or have impaired vision, FTC offers audio-narrated descriptions on popular channels, including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, USA, Disney Channel, TNT, Nickelodeon and TBS. For more information on the Audio Accessible Guide, contact 843-365-2154.
- Wireless Services – Hearing Aid Capability: As wireless carriers move from analog to digital services, accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing is a concern. Digital technology means more features and improved efficiency, but some digital phones can cause interference for users of hearing aids. To make sure deaf and hearing-impaired customers can use digital wireless devices, theFederal Communications Commission (FCC) updated the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 (“HAC Act”), passing regulations to increase the number of hearing aid-compatible wireless devices. f View FTC’s list of hearing aid compatible devices that work well with hearing aids, and to make sure the device has the features you need, view the Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative’s database of devices with accessibility features that work best for consumers.
Looking for a trusted local provider that can meet all your home’s communications needs? FTC, your all-in-one technology company, offers Internet, Wireless, Voice, Security and Digital TV, along with a range of accessibility services designed to help meet the needs of customers with disabilities. To explore all that FTC has to offer, visit ftc.net today.