Resource Guide: DEAFBLIND & DUAL-SENSORY IMPAIRED
Last Updated; June 30, 2022
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
215 Brighton Ave.
Allston, MA 02134
(516) 320-0265 (V)
(781) 257-2000 (VP)
Regional Representative: Tara Brown-Ogilvie
Regional Assistant: Brenda Baroncelli
Website: Helen Keller National Center
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.
DRM Deaf-Blind Equipment Program
If you or someone you know is a Maine resident with severe combined vision and hearing loss, you or they may qualify for the NDBEDP (National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program). The program provides equipment and training at no cost to eligible individuals for the purpose of enhancing distance communication.
Examples of equipment:
- Laptop or desktop computers
- iPads or android tablets
- Computer software, such as screen readers or magnification software)
- Computer accessories including specialized keyboards, speakers, microphones, and mice
- Refreshable braille displays (for clients who already know and use braille)
- Amplified telephones and cellular phones
To qualify for equipment and services, applicants must submit an application and provide proof of annual income, and proof of disability by a doctor or other professional. After eligibility is confirmed, an in-home or at-work communication assessment may be conducted to find the best match of equipment and training to ensure successful communication.
For more information contact:
Scott Murray, Deaf-Blind Program Coordinator
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 Adults who are DeafBlind or have Dual Sensory Loss:
Resources Washington State Department of Services for the Blind-Blindness Awareness: https://dsb.wa.gov/resources/blind-awareness
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