Maximus Chosen to Administer California’s Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program

Maximus, a global leader in government services and employment, has secured a contract from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to provide program and contract administration services for the state’s Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP), branded as “California Connect.” This initiative offers communication and telecommunication services and equipment to eligible Californians with disabilities related to hearing, vision, cognition, mobility, and speech.

After a competitive selection process, the CPUC chose Maximus to oversee and support the administration of this state-mandated program. As the Primary Program and Contract Administrator, Maximus will implement policies, directives, and project management processes to guide both operational and program modernization. Under the oversight of the CPUC, Maximus will ensure that services are delivered promptly to those in need, while also supporting the program’s technological and operational advancements to comply with federal and state regulations and meet consumer needs.

“We bring deep experience in operating and overseeing statewide programs that serve populations in need of essential services. We also help governments achieve outcomes that increase people’s independence and self-sufficiency,” said Laura Rosenak, Senior Managing Director at Maximus. “As we work with the California Public Utilities Commission to provide potentially life-changing services, we will leverage our expertise to best support people with disabilities.”

California Connect assists residents with hearing, vision, mobility, speech, learning, or memory challenges by providing functional equivalent telephone equipment, accessories, and services. The equipment includes amplified phones for the hard-of-hearing, large-button phones for those with low vision, and cordless phones for individuals with mobility disabilities. Services also include the California Relay Service, which offers access to specially trained communication assistants and automated speech recognition technology to relay phone conversations, as well as distributing mobile tablets with specialized applications and speech-generation devices.

Additionally, Maximus collaborates with two CPUC advisory groups — the Telecommunications Access for the Deaf and Disabled Administrative Committee and the Equipment Program Advisory Committee. These groups help ensure that the program’s services and equipment meet the needs of residents with disabilities.

Maximus also administers the California LifeLine Program for the CPUC, providing eligibility determination, contact center services, web-based enrollments, and document intake and processing. The LifeLine program offers discounted home phone and cell phone services to qualified households, helping consumers reduce their phone bills.

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