New program unveiled for deaf-blind individuals

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“It’s a program that was setup through the FCC for people who have both hearing and vision loss and we’re trying to connect them with technology that would help with distance communication,” said Kirscher.

Guam – September is National Deaf Awareness Month and to raise awareness of deaf issues, people, and culture, the Helen Keller National Center announced a new program for deaf-blind individuals here on Guam.

Cathy Kirscher, the Regional Representative for the Helen Keller center visited Guam last week to coordinate with Guam’s Department of Integrated Services for individuals with disabilities.

Their goal is to provide much-needed accessibility to deaf-blind individuals through a new program called “I Can Connect.”

“It’s a program that was setup through the FCC for people who have both hearing and vision loss and earn under $48k -240k a year and what we’re doing is trying to connect them with technology that would help with distance communication, and that would be internet email, texting, face time, and phone calls,” said Kirscher.

According to Kirscher, the program has been running stateside for several years and Guam has just recently been included.

In fact, around $50K in permanent funding for the program has been allocated for our island alone.

Kirscher is hoping that any individuals on Guam who qualify for the deaf-blind program receive the assisted technology with these new funds.

“We’re hoping that we’ll at least have five individuals participate in the program. So far, we found three in the last two days,” she said.

For more information regarding the “I Can Connect” program or to find out if you qualify for the assistive technology, you can contact Ben Servino at 475-4646.