Better Hearing Institute


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Financial Assistance

Maine Center on Deafness

Address:   68 Bishop Street, Suite 3
                   Portland, Maine 04103

Phone:      (207) 797-7656 TTY/V

Toll Free: 1-800-639-3884 TTY/V outside the Portland calling area
Fax:          797-9791 FAX




The Maine Center on Deafness (MCD) is a nonprofit community resource center that provides general information and referrals, D/deaf advocacy, consumer information, outreach services, support services and auxiliary aid information. MCD's focus is on linking the D/deaf population with existing community services. MCD works with the D/deaf population in any area in Maine where there may be a need and with service providers who wish to work with this group. MCD provides advocacy and promotes systemic change for Maine’s D/deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened, as well as provides education and awareness related to HIV/STD prevention, and offers social support groups for Maine’s D/deaf, Hard of Hearing and nonverbal developmentally delayed and mentally ill residents.


Services offered

Free TTY Directory

Free videophone with Relay

Come to MCD and use our FREE videophone with relay services provided courtesy of Maine Relay - Hamilton Services.

Equipment Program

MCD also has an Equipment Program which offers free and reduced cost specialized telephone equipment, and provides trainings to businesses and residents on using the Maine Relay System. Through the MCD Equipment Program both Telecommunications (TEP) and Emergency Notification System (ENS) equipment are available.


Depending on your income there are three options available to obtain equipment:

Lending: For persons who live on a limited or fixed income, equipment will be provided to fit your telecommunication needs. You are responsible for insurance that covers the equipment for fire, theft, or other damage. If your equipment needs repair due to normal use, MCD will loan you equipment while we get yours repaired. Equipment must be returned when you move out of Maine or no longer need it.

 Cost-Share: If you are not eligible for the Lending Option or prefer to own your own equipment, you can purchase it at a reduced cost based on your income. You can choose from a wide variety of available equipment. You own the equipment and can take it with you anywhere, including out of Maine. You are responsible for any needed repairs and any warranty obligations.

Direct Purchase: If you do not want to provide income information you can purchase telecommunications and alert equipment at a discounted rate.  Contact us for more information.


You must be a Maine resident and have a physical or cognitive disability that affects your ability to use regular telephone equipment. For example, you may be deaf, hard of hearing, blind, have low vision or difficulty speaking.


You must have proof of your disability. For example, a note from a doctor or other licensed professional, a copy of a signed audiogram OR a diploma from a school for the deaf and/or blind.

To apply

Request an application form from MDC or download it from

Equipment Problems

If you have telecommunications equipment from this program and it is not working correctly, or does not meet your needs, please contact us.




  • Agree not to lease, sell, give away, or allow a lien or mortgage to placed upon the equipment during the loan
  • Agree to provide adequate insurance to cover loss against fire, theft, or other happenings.
  • Agree to keep the equipment in good condition and avoid damage.
  • Agree to inform Maine Center on Deafness if the equipment breaks down.
  • Agree not to remove or permit another person to remove equipment from the state of Maine without written permission from the Maine Center on Deafness.
  • Agree to keep monthly service plan current on all 1-way and 2-way pagers.
  • Agree to return the equipment to the Maine Center on Deafness at its request.