I Can Connect for Hearing and Vision Loss

Close-up of eyeball with the text Vision Rehab Podcast over itThe following is the transcript and links for the June, 2021 episode of the Vision Rehab Podcast.

Hello, and thanks for joining me today on the Vision Rehab Podcast.

June 27th is the birth date of Helen Keller, the writer, diplomat, and social activist who lost her vision and hearing from a childhood disease. A dual sensory loss, like Keller’s, doesn’t need to be as profound as what she experienced to interfere with daily tasks, like reading and communicating with others.

A dual sensory loss, may be a part of the aging process if a decline in hearing accompanies a vision loss from macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetes, or some other cause.

Fortunately, there is a lot of technology you may not even be aware of to make a dual sensory loss easier to manage—like hearing aids, amplified phones with large print, software to magnify the computer screen or read it out loud with text to speech—the list goes on and on.

Fortunately, a federal program called “I Can Connect,” is available to help pay for some of these devices, and to help provide some training to get you up and running with some of this technology.

You can find your state’s local provider of the “I Can Connect” services online at, www.ICanConnect.org or give them a call at 800-825-4595. To qualify, you’ll need proof of your vision and hearing loss, and meet certain income guidelines.

Remember, I Can Connect is just one of the services available to you with a vision loss.

Vision rehabilitation services are also available through both state and local agencies. Services for clients with a vision impairment include professionals like vision rehabilitation therapists (VRTs), orientation and mobility specialists (COMs) and low vision doctors. And you usually don’t need a doctor’s referral to check out one of these services.
If your doctor hasn’t suggested vision rehabilitation for your vision impairment, one of the easiest ways to find services near you is to use the VisionAware directory of services available online at www.visionaware.org, or call the APH Connect Center at 800-232-5463.

Happy Birthday Helen Keller and thank you for paving the way to a greater awareness of hearing and vision loss and how reducing barriers to communication always enriches all our lives.

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