University of Puerto Rico to Facilitate iCanConnect for the Island Territory

April 21, 2014
iCanConnect logo

San Juan Puerto Rico – Perkins School for the Blind is now partnering with the Puerto Rico Assistive Technology Program (PRATP) – part of the University of Puerto Rico – to administer the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP), for people who have significant hearing and vision loss in Puerto Rico.

NDBEDP, which is promoted as iCanConnect, provides access to communications technology so people who are deaf-blind have the ability to stay connected with family, friends and members of their community.

For many people with combined hearing and vision loss, the price tag for an iPad, or braille reader or screen magnifier can be out of reach, but iCanConnect offers access at no cost for people who meet income guidelines. The program also provides expert one-on-one training for consumers so they can learn how to best take advantage of their new technology.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to work with PRATP to bring the benefits of the iCanConnect program to Puerto Rico,” said Marcia Brooks, national project manager for NDBEDP.

The Puerto Rico Assistive Technology Program will coordinate all assessment, equipment procurement and training for consumers who apply to the program in Puerto Rico. Program coordinator Maria Miranda says it will provide great benefits to the deaf-blind community in Puerto Rico.

“This sector of our society has been underrepresented and underserved for years, but we are determined to push on forward, so that we can promote a real systems change that directly and positively impacts the deaf-blind community and their families. Assistive technology represents an abundant source of opportunities. We have to make it accessible for those who need it so that they can experience its life-changing benefits for themselves.”

iCanConnect is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Learn more at www.iCanConnect.org. Click on “State Partners” to find each state’s contacts. The website is accessible to users with low vision and those who use screen readers, and it features video with captions, audio description, and American Sign Language (ASL).  Information about iCanConnect is also available by calling 1-800-825-4595 Voice or 1-888-320-2656 TTY.