TAP Phone

The Telecommunications Access Program includes the Telecommunications Access Program for Telephone (TAP-T) and Telecommunications Access Program for Internet

What is TAP for Telephone?

The Telecommunications Access Program for Telephone (TAP-T) provides access to basic telephone use (both sending and receiving) for individuals with all types of disabilities. A full range of adaptive equipment is provided at no cost for those that meet the eligibility requirements. The program provides such equipment as text telephones, voice carry over phones, phones for hearing carry over, amplified phones, Braille phones, hands-free phones and photo phones.

What is TAP for Internet?

The Telecommunications Access Program for Internet (TAP-I) provides to those who cannot use traditional computer equipment, adaptive computer equipment necessary for basic access to the internet and e-mail.  The program provides such equipment as screen enlargement software, screen readers, adaptive keyboards or alternative pointing devices such as trackballs or rollerballs.  The TAP-I program provides support during selection and initial usage of the adaptive equipment.  The TAP-I program will not provide computers or adaptive equipment not needed for basic internet access.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

  • You must be a resident of Missouri.
  • You must have a certified disability that prevents you from accessing or effectively using basic telephone service with standard telephone equipment or basic computer equipment.
  • You must have access to basic telephone service for TAP-T; have a computer, internet service and e-mail account for TAP-I.
  • Your annual adjusted income cannot exceed $60,000 for an individual or individual with spouse. (Add $5,000 for each additional dependent in household.)

Contact MERIL for answers to these and other questions:

  • What kind of equipment does the program provide?
  • How do I select equipment?
  • How do I get my disability certification?
  • How do I get the equipment?
  • What do I do if I need help using the equipment?


Radio Spot – Low Vision Center and TAP Telephones

**If you are trying to read a script below and it does not automatically download, right-click the link and save to view.

MERIL Low Vision Center and TAP Telephones – June 2016
Low Vision Center and TAP Telephones Script – June 2016


Low Vision Resource Center

This Resource Center provides low vision aids* and equipment for people age fifty-five (55) and over with low vision, to assist them in gaining or maintaining independent living skills.

MERIL staff have been trained by Rehabilitation Services for the Blind to be specialists in providing quality services in rehabilitation and equipment for people who are blind and those with low vision. Our goal is to impact the independence and productivity of people receiving services.

MERIL accepts donated low vision equipment and makes those items available to others in need.

*Low vision aids include optical magnifiers to aid people with low vision.

For further information or to schedule an appointment, contact our Director of Community Access at 816.279.8558.



  • Public Video Phone (VP) Room: A public video phone is available at the MERIL offices in St. Joseph and Maryville, to anyone needing a place to call.  This service is free to anyone who does not have access to a video phone.
  • Galloway Resource Library: Come take a look at our resources for individuals who are blind or Deafblind, including emergency preparedness material written in Braille and information on new technologies available.  Anyone interested in learning more about sign language, Deaf culture or interpreting may view the variety of books and videos we have to browse or check-out.
  • Public Computer Lab

    MERIL’s public computer lab is available during normal business hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, located at our 4420 S. 40th Street office in St. Joseph.  American Business & Technology University (ABTU), generously donated four new computers and flat screen monitors in an effort to help remove barriers in education.  All of these computers are equipped with internet access.