iCanConnect/GA Program

National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program

NDBEDP is the Georgia National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program that 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.

Mission

I Can Connect/GA

The goal of the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) is to ensure that every person with combined hearing and vision loss has access to modern telecommunication tools and the training necessary to use them, granting every individual the opportunity to interact with the world as an involved, contributing member of society.

FCC Mission

FCC

The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) enables low- income individuals who are deaf-blind to access 21st Century communications services.  This program will help ensure that qualified individuals have access to the Internet, and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services.

GCDHH iCanConnect/GA Application Form
To open and print the documents below, you must have Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® installed on your computer. If you do not have this program, you can visit www.adobe.com to download a free copy.

Download iCanConnect/GA Application (Updated – 8/31/17)

or

Get the application through icanconnet.org for Georgia Residents (Word Document)

If you would like an application mailed or faxed please call 1.877.659.4574.

Overview:

The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) supports local programs that distribute equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind (have combined hearing and vision loss) to enable access to telephone, advanced communications, and information services. This support was mandated by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) and is provided by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). For more information about NDBEDP, please visit iCanConnect.org.

  • Who is eligible to receive equipment?
  • Under the CVAA, only low-income individuals who are deaf-blind are eligible to receive equipment provided through the NDBEDP. Applicants must provide verification of their status as low-income and deaf-blind.

  • Income eligibility
  • To be eligible, your total family/household income must be below 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, as shown in the following table:

    2017 Federal Poverty Guidelines

    Number of persons in family/household

    400% for everywhere, except Alaska and Hawaii

    400% for Alaska

    400% for Hawaii

    1

    $48,240

    $60,240

    $55,440

    2

    $64,960

    $81,160

    $74,680

    3

    $81,680

    $102,080

    $93,920

    4

    $98,400

    $123,000

    $113,160

    5

    $115,120

    $143,920

    $132,400

    6

    $131,840

    $164,840

    $151,640

    7

    $148,560

    $185,760

    $170,880

    8

    $165,280

    $206,680

    $190,120

    For each additional person, add

    $16,720

    $20,920

    $19,240

    Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    For purposes of determining income eligibility for the NDBEDP, the FCC defines “income” and “household” as follows:

    “Income” is all income actually received by all members of a household. This includes salary before deductions for taxes, public assistance benefits, social security payments, pensions, unemployment compensation, veteran’s benefits, inheritances, alimony, child support payments, worker’s compensation benefits, gifts, lottery winnings, and the like. The only exceptions are student financial aid, military housing and cost-of-living allowances, irregular income from occasional small jobs such as baby-sitting or lawn mowing, and the like.

    A “household” is any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address as one economic unit. A household may include related and unrelated persons. An “economic unit” consists of all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household. An adult is any person eighteen years or older. If an adult has no or minimal income, and lives with someone who provides financial support to him/her, both people shall be considered part of the same household. Children under the age of eighteen living with their parents or guardians are considered to be part of the same household as their parents or guardians.

    See Section 2 for the family/household income information that must be provided with this application.

  • Disability eligibility
  • For this program, the CVAA requires that the term “deaf-blind” has the same meaning given by the Helen Keller National Center Act. In general, the individual must have a certain vision loss and a hearing loss that, combined, cause extreme difficulty in attaining independence in daily life activities, achieving psychosocial adjustment, or obtaining a vocation (working).

    Specifically, the FCC’s NDBEDP rule 64.6203(c) states that an individual who is “deaf-blind” is:

    (1) Any individual:
    (i) Who has a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective lenses, or a field defect such that the peripheral diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees, or a progressive visual loss having a prognosis leading to one or both these conditions;
    (ii) Who has a chronic hearing impairment so severe that most speech cannot be understood with optimum amplification, or a progressive hearing loss having a prognosis leading to this condition; and
    (iii) For whom the combination of impairments described in . . . (i) and (ii) of this section cause extreme difficulty in attaining independence in daily life activities, achieving psychosocial adjustment, or obtaining a vocation.
    (2) An individual’s functional abilities with respect to using Telecommunications service, Internet access service, and advanced communications services, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services in various environments shall be considered when determining whether the individual is deaf-blind under . . . (ii) and (iii) of this section.
    (3) The definition in this paragraph (c) also includes any individual who, despite the inability to be measured accurately for hearing and vision loss due to cognitive or behavioral constraints, or both, can be determined through functional and performance assessment to have severe hearing and visual disabilities that cause extreme difficulty in attaining independence in daily life activities, achieving psychosocial adjustment, or obtaining vocational objectives.

  • Who can attest to a person’s disability eligibility?

  • A practicing professional who has direct knowledge of the person’s vision and hearing loss, such as:

    • Audiologist
    • Community-based service provider
    • Educator
    • Hearing professional
    • HKNC representative
    • Medical/health professional
    • School for the deaf and/or blind
    • Specialist in Deaf-Blindness
    • Speech pathologist
    • State equipment/assistive technology program
    • Vision professional
    • Vocational rehabilitation counsellor

Such professionals may also include, in the attestation, information about the individual’s functional abilities to use telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced communications services in various settings.

Existing documentation that a person is deaf-blind, such as an individualized education program (IEP) or a Social Security determination letter, may serve as verification of disability.

See Section 3 for the disability attestation information that must be provided with this application.

  • Confidentiality policy
  • iCanConnect is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Information provided on this application form will only be used to determine eligibility for iCanConnect products and services. iCanConnect will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless you give permission, or if the iCanConnect program is required by law to do so. iCanConnect is committed to ensuring that personal information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure, suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures are in place to safeguard and
    secure the information iCanConnect collects.