[nfbwatlk] deaf-blind equipment program

Becky Frankeberger b.butterfly at comcast.net
Fri Aug 5 22:15:35 UTC 2016

FCC News - 1 Update 
Unique position for Deaf-Blind open at Sprint Accessibility - 1 Update 
FCC >: Aug 04 09:27PM -0500 

Media Contact:
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509 will.wiquist at fcc.gov
For Immediate Release
Successful Pilot Program for Low-Income Americans with
HearingandVisionLossMadePermanent --
WASHINGTON, August 4, 2016 - The Federal Communications Commission today
adopted an order to make permanent its program that provides communications
equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. The Commission
launched the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP),
also known as "iCanConnect," as a pilot program in 2012. Since then, the
program has provided up to $10 million annually to support programs that
distribute communications equipment, helping Americans with hearing and
vision loss to connect with family and friends and become more independent.
Through iCanConnect, consumers who are deaf-blind and who meet income
guidelines can receive free equipment designed to make telecommunications,
Internet access, and advanced communications services accessible.
Installation, training, and other technical support are also available. To
date, thousands of Americans with hearing and vision loss have benefitted
from the pilot program. Breaking down accessibility barriers for this
population has afforded Americans with combined hearing and vision loss a
means to enhance social interaction, acquire information, and obtain skills
and training to become gainfully employed.
Today's action, in the form of a Report and Order, uses the lessons learned
over the past four years of the pilot program to adopt rules that will
ensure a seamless transition to a permanent program that is efficient and
effective. First, the rules maintain the program structure used in the pilot
program, by which the Commission certifies one entity per state or territory
to distribute equipment and provide related services. These certified
entities may carry out these responsibilities either on their own or through
collaborative arrangements. In addition, as was previously the case in the
pilot program, a single entity can apply for certification to serve the
residents of multiple states. The new rules also maintain existing
certification criteria, which include expertise in the field of
deaf-blindness, the ability to communicate effectively with individuals who
are deaf-blind, adequate staffing and facilities, and experience with the
distribution and use of communications equipment. Additionally, for the
permanent program, the Commission will begin considering an entity's
administrative and financial management experience as a criteria for
Today's action also makes iCanConnect available to more consumers by
extending the program to residents of the U.S. territories of Guam, Northern
Marianas, and American Samoa, in addition to the 50 states, District of
Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, for a total of 56
certified programs. The Commission has also retained requirements for income
and disability eligibility and verification to participate in the program.
People who are both deaf and blind use varied methods of communication -
including American Sign Language, spoken English, and braille - as well as a
wide variety of communication technologies. As a result, each person has
varied equipment and support needs. In order to ensure that each individual
receives the equipment that is most suited to their needs, certified
entities may receive reimbursement, up to their annual funding allocations,
for the distribution of off-the- shelf and assistive equipment as well as
for related services, which may include individualized assessments,
equipment installation, and training. For the first time, the Commission
will also allow reimbursement to state programs for train-the-trainer
activities up to 2.5 percent of their funding allocations to address a
persistent shortage of qualified staff to train deaf-blind individuals on
how to use the equipment they receive.
In addition to defining the broad contours of the program, the rules adopted
. Continue support for national outreach to supplement local outreach
efforts of the
certified programs.
. Establish requirements for reimbursement claims, semiannual reports,
record retention,
annual audits, and other measures to ensure effective oversight of the
program and to
prevent waste, fraud and abuse.
. Establish performance goals and direct the development of performance
measures for the
. Direct the establishment of a centralized database, which certified
programs will use for
reporting purposes and may use for generating reimbursement claims, to
facilitate effective oversight and reduce administrative burdens.
Action by the Commission August 4, 2016 by Report and Order (FCC 16-101).
Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai approving.
O'Rielly approving in part and concurring in part. Chairman Wheeler,
Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai and O'Rielly issuing separate
CG Docket No. 10-210
Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500 TTY: (888) 835-5322
Twitter: @FCC www.fcc.gov/office-media-relations
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full
text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515
F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

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Unique position for Deaf-Blind open at Sprint Accessibility "" >: Aug 04
02:44PM -0400 

Feel free to share in other lists. 
Sprint will be hiring at least one (1) Customer Relationship Manager to
focus on serving the Deaf-Blind. We will also be releasing an RFP for
outreach programs and consulting with various SMEs. The job posting can be
found below: 

Becky Frankeberger
Butterfly Knitting
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becky at butterflyKnitting.com


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