Resource Guide: DEAFBLIND & DUAL-SENSORY IMPAIRED
Last Updated; January 27, 2023
Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI)
45 Commerce Drive
150 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0150
TTY Users Call Maine Relay 711
DBVI provides rehabilitation, education, independent living services and training to blind and visually impaired consumers (including DeafBlind) of all ages throughout the state.
Dual-Sensory Impaired/Loss Resources
Patty Sarchi, an advocate for the individual with a dual-sensory impairment/loss, will assist with information and support to find resources that may be needed regarding the loss of sight and hearing. Communication by telephone or email is preferred.
Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) - New England Regional Office
2 Abbott Street
P.O. Box 152
Woburn, MA 01801
(516) 320-0265 (V)
(781) 257-2000 (VP)
The Regional Representatives of HKNC are located in ten offices across the country. They are responsible for connecting with individuals, families, communities, and state stakeholders within their regions to foster collaborative efforts in improving services for individuals with various levels of combined vision and hearing loss ages 14 and up. Visit the HKNC-Regional Representative webpage for more information: HKNC Regional Representatives
The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP)
iCanConnect, the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP), provides free access to distance communication technologies to people with significant combined hearing and vision loss who meet federal income guidelines.
iCanConnect-Perkins School for the Blind
iCanConnect is a national program with local contacts to help people stay connected with friends, family, their community, and the world. iCanConnect provides free equipment and training to people with both significant vision and hearing loss who meet disability and income guidelines.
In Maine, Perkins School for the Blind is responsible for iCanConnect, and works with Helen Keller National Center and others to provide in-state service. Contact Brenda Baroncelli with questions about applying in Maine, and download an application.
People eligible for iCanConnect receive an assessment to identify solutions to support their distance communication goals. Then, participants are provided equipment and training that meets their needs. Examples include smartphones, tablets, computers, and braille devices.
See how iCanConnect is helping people with both significant vision and hearing loss to stay connected:
For general iCanConnect questions, contact Laura Vaughan, Perkins School for the Blind, 617.972.7619.
New England Consortium on DeafBlindness (NEC)
175 N. Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Tracy Evans Luiselli, Ed.D., Director
(617) 972-7517 (V)
(617) 924-5525 (TTY)
(617) 972-7354 (FAX)
Website: New England Consortium for the Deafblind Technical Assistance and Training (NEC)
The New England Consortium on DeafBlindness (NEC) provides technical assistance (consultation and training) on behalf of infants, children, and youth who are deafblind or at risk (infants to age 22). NEC staff work in collaboration with school personnel and Maine agencies, and provide professional development to service providers working with learners who have combined vision and hearing support needs. The NEC grant is funded by the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Services are provided at no cost to local school districts.
Resource List for DeafBlind or have Dual Sensory Loss:
Braille Institute: https://brailleinstitute.org/ virtual classes
Resources-Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Inc (TDI): https://tdiforaccess.org/
Apple-possible access for dual sensory loss clients-2018 Article: https://tdiforaccess.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Vol.-49-Issue-1-2018-Addressing-Needs-Issues-DeafBlind-Community-America-2_compressed.pdf
DeafBlind 101: An Introduction to Combined Hearing and Vision Loss was created to help increase awareness and understanding of the unique challenges experienced by people who have both hearing and vision loss: https://mn.gov/deaf-hard-of-hearing/learning-center/trainings/#/detail/appId/1/id/400794
Ageing and Dual Sensory Loss:
Ageing and Dual Sensory Loss
Washington Sensory Disabilities Services:
Washington Sensory Disabilities Services
Intro to Deaf Blindness/ Unique learning needs:
Usher Syndrome Coalition