Kevin Lee of Washington State depends on technology to keep in touch with others.
In recent years, the 40-year-old from Renton, who has combined hearing and vision loss, has relied on email to stay connected with family, friends, specialists, and counselors. With the help of iCanConnect, Lee is now able to take advantage of other communication technologies, strengthening his relationships and enriched his life.
iCanConnect provides assistive communication equipment to people with significant combined hearing and vision loss who meet income guidelines. A representative from the Helen Keller National Center told Lee about the program earlier this year.
Lee’s hearing loss was diagnosed in his teens. Diabetes, Wolfram Syndrome and cataracts all contributed to his vision loss.
Through the iCanConnect program, Lee received an iPhone 5s, a personal computer and screen reading software, all free of charge. Now he has more ways than ever of connecting with the people in his life. “I’ve always communicated through email, but the iPhone makes it easier to make a call,” says Lee.
In just the past few years, technology has revolutionized the ways in which people with combined hearing and vision are able to keep in touch with others.
iCanConnect provides braille devices, amplified phones, tablets and other communication devices. Equally important, the program provides the expert training needed to learn how to use the equipment.
Steve Peck, program manager for iCanConnect in Washington State, says that Washington’s Department of Social Services – Office of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing is giving people with combined hearing and vision loss a new sense of independence and freedom through iCanConnect. “The implementation of the program overcomes many years of communication barriers and inaccessibility,” says Peck.