The ability to communicate in a high tech world recently got easier for some people who have both vision and hearing loss. A national program can provide free technology, such as screen readers, screen enlargement software, Braille displays, iPhones and high-end phone amplifiers to individuals who meet the income and disability requirements.
If you have a combined vision and hearing loss and cannot afford communications technology that enables you to use a telephone, send an email, access the Internet or use other communications technology, you may be eligible for this program. The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program — which is also called iCanConnect — can also provide equipment installation, training and support to help you make the most of new technology. Additionally, a qualified program specialist can help you identify equipment that meets your needs.
To qualify, you must have a combined vision and hearing loss considered to be “deaf-blind,” which means it must cause extreme difficulty in attaining independence in daily life activities, achieving psychosocial adjustment or working. While there are no age limitations, your income cannot exceed 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For example, your household income must be under $92,200 for a family of four. Single individuals can make up to $44,680 a year and still qualify.
The equipment distribution program was created in 2012 by the Federal Communications Commission under the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.
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