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Self Reliance, Inc.

Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc.
Michael Yelapi

Michael Yelapi

Michael Yelapi has been working for the Center for Independent Living Self-Reliance, Inc. as a Deaf & Hard of Hearing Service Coordinator for 11 years in Tampa. Michael was born deaf and grew up in Massachusetts. On 1993, Michael has moved to Florida. All of his life, he has been working for the deaf and hard of hearing services such as Vocational Rehabilitation, Job Coach Services, Children Programs, Group Homes and Case Management.

About Self Reliance, Inc.

Self-Reliance, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1978. Their mission is to promote independence by empowering the person with various disabilities and improving the communities in the Tampa Bay area.

Self-Reliance, Inc. offers five cores of the services:

  • Information & Referral
  • Peer Support & Mentoring
  • Advocacy
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Transition Support

Services that we provide for the deaf and hard of hearing consumers: 

  • Device Equipment Services:
    • Doorbell Flashers
    • Wake-up Alarm Flashers 
    • Baby Crying Signalers
    • Smoke Alarms (Thought the local fire department)

We also offer a variety of amplified telephones to meet the need of the person with a mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss. 

Self-Reliance, Inc. also provides case management services such as filling out the applications online for

  • Social Security
  • Immigration
  • Food Stamps
  • Medicaid
  • HART
  • HUD/Section 8 Housing
  • Health Insurance Enrollment
  • Advocacy
  • Mail Reading
  • and other services. 

We also do host various workshops: 

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Know Your Rights When You Are Using the Interpreter
  • American Sign Language Classes 
  • Basic Computer Training
  • Driver Education Preparation
  • English as Second Language
  • USA Citizenship Preparation

Phones for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI) offers several amplified telephones

Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI) offers a variety of amplified telephones to meet the need of persons with a mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss. These amplified telephones are available at Self-Reliance. Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI) is a statewide non-profit 501(c)3 organization that administers the Specialized Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program for citizens of Florida who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind and Speech Disabled. FTRI is also responsible for the education and promotion of the Florida Relay Service.

To qualify for a FREE special phone, you must be:

  1. A permanent Florida resident
  2. At least 3 years old
  3. Certified as having a hearing loss or speech impairment

 Call us for applications or appointments at (813) 375-3965