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Maximus to oversee and help modernize a program that provides a communications lifeline to Californians with disabilities

We have been awarded 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), called “California Connect,” which provides communication and telecommunication services and equipment to eligible Californians with hearing, vision, cognitive, mobility, and speech-related disabilities.

After a competitive process, the CPUC selected Maximus to provide oversight and administrative support for this state-mandated program. Maximus will act as the Primary Program and Contract Administrator for the CPUC, implementing the program’s policies, directives, and project management processes to guide operational and program modernization. The work Maximus performs under this contract and with the oversight of the CPUC will make sure services are delivered in a timely manner to those who need them. In addition, Maximus will support the program’s current and new technology and operational improvements to meet federal and state regulations and 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, 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 supports residents who have difficulty hearing, seeing, moving, speaking, learning, or remembering by offering functional equivalent telephone equipment, accessories, and services. 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 include the California Relay Service, which offers access to a specially trained communications assistant and automated speech recognition technology that relays phone conversations to another individual, as well as the distribution of mobile tablets with specialized applications and speech-generation devices.

In addition, Maximus is working with two CPUC advisory groups — the Telecommunications Access for the Deaf and Disabled Administrative Committee and the Equipment Program Advisory Committee — that help the CPUC make certain the program’s services and equipment meet the needs of residents with disabilities.

Maximus also operates the California LifeLine Program on behalf of the CPUC to provide eligibility determination, contact center services, web-based enrollments, and document intake and processing. The LifeLine program provides discounted home phone and cell phone services to qualified households, as a way to help consumers lower the cost of their phone bills.