Photo Credit: Perkins School for the Blind, administrator of the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
North Carolina’s DeafBlind community is celebrating the 10th anniversary of a remarkable program called “iCanConnect,” which distributes at no charge to eligible North Carolinians with both hearing loss and vision loss specialized equipment and software designed to enable distance communication, such as over the telephone or in a meeting room. In the past 10 years, iCanConnect enabled close to 300 North Carolinians to experience dramatic improvements in their ability to function independently in many areas of their lives, including becoming gainfully employed.
Since February 2013, the Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DSDHH) has been administering the program, also known as the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program. The program was established by the Federal Communications Commission in response to the mandate from the 21st Century Video and Communications Accessibility Act of 2010.
Specialists at DSDHH and the Division of Services for the Blind work closely together to evaluate individual communication needs, recommend appropriate equipment and/or software, and provide assistance with installation and training. To learn more about the program, visit iCanConnect’s website.
Read a testimonial from William “Billy” Pickens III, a DeafBlind resident of Charlotte, on how much the iCanConnect program has expanded his world. In the article, Billy noted, “The equipment and training I received through iCanConnect has given me access to the world around me. It’s a phenomenal program and anyone who is DeafBlind should know about it.”