Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program Information

Communication is essential for staying healthy, holding a job, managing a household, and participating in the community. Modern technology has vastly expanded the way most people communicate through voice, data, and video services. But for people who have combined vision and hearing loss, special equipment may be necessary to make a phone call, send an email, or access the Internet.

How do I choose the best equipment to suit my needs?

A qualified program specialist can help you identify equipment that will meet your needs.

How do I learn how to use the equipment?

Program specialists are also available to train you to use the equipment.

How does this equipment distribution program work?

This program provides communications technology free of charge to low-income people of all ages who have combined vision and hearing loss. The FCC has set aside funding to support one program in each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These participating programs will distribute this communications equipment to qualified individuals and provide equipment installation, training, and support to help recipients make the most of this technology.

Is this program for me?

If you are a person who has combined vision and hearing loss, and you cannot afford communications technology that enable you to use a telephone, send an email, access the Internet, or use other communications technology, you may be eligible for this program.

What kind of equipment will be distributed?

This program provides a wide range of hardware, software, and applications to suit the varying communications technology needs of people who have hearing and vision loss. Examples include products that are available to the general public and may be accessible to people with hearing and vision loss or products that are adaptable through the use of specialized equipment, such as screen enlargement software, screen readers, or braille displays.