The iCanConnect program provides people with both significant vision and hearing loss with free equipment and training to help them stay connected with friends, family, and the world. Sending an email or chatting on the phone can be challenging for people with both significant vision and hearing loss. Equipment that iCanConnect can provide include: telephones, mobile phones, computers, screen readers, specialized software, braille displays, accessories, and more to people who meet federal disability and income guidelines.
My friend Mary Stip is on the iCanConnect program and recently acquired an iPhone 8 under this program. With her severe hearing and vision loss, Mary has struggled with using cell phones and was excited to try an iPhone with VoiceOver. The iCanConnect program purchased the cell phone, and Amy Osvold from ND Vision Services/School for the Blind provided the training.
Video of Mary
Amy Osvold is a Vision Rehabilitation Specialist who has worked at the ND Vision Services/School for the Blind since 2007. She works with adults with vision loss and her specialties include iDevice accessibility, lighting and its effect on vision and visual functioning, and daily living skills.
Amy told me, “One of the biggest challenges for people when they first get the iPhone is learning Voiceover. When a person needs speech output from their phone, the first step is to learn the gestures. There are a number of gestures to accomplish many different tasks. The biggest part of learning the iPhone, is mastering these gestures. If a person is willing to put in the time to learn the gestures, they have the entire world at their fingertips.”
How can you apply for the iCanConnect Program?
If you reside in North Dakota, please go to the ND Assistive website at https://ndassistive.org/icanconnect/ , email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-895-4728 and ask for Courtney.
If you reside outside of North Dakota, you can find contact information at http://www.icanconnect.org/