National Deaf-Blind Telecommunication Program

Finding the Right Tools to Enable Independence

The goal of the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) is to ensure that every qualified 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. 

In 2012, the Federal Communications Commission selected Access Technologies Inc. to implement the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) in Oregon and spread the word through a campaign called iCanConnect.

iCanConnect provides distance communication technologies, training and resources to income-eligible people with significant combined hearing and vision loss.

If you have significant combined vision and hearing loss and meet the federal income guidelines, you are eligible.


Make sure you qualify, meaning your income meets federal income guidelines (within 400 percent of the federal poverty level) and you have significant combined vision and hearing loss. You must have both a significant vision and hearing disability, or a condition currently affecting one of the senses that is likely to result in a combined disability.

Medical Eligibility: Applicants must meet the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) definition of Deaf-Blind which states an individual is deaf-blind when they have

  1. 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; and
  2. 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
  3. for whom the combination of impairments described in clauses (1) and (2) cause extreme difficulty in attaining independence in daily life activities, achieving psychosocial adjustment, or obtaining a vocation.
Financial Eligibility: Applicants must meet income eligibility requirements that do not exceed 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). If you receive any form of public assistance, including SSI, Medicaid, food stamps, etc., you are automatically income eligible. Otherwise, you must provide proof of household income that indicates it is within the program's income guidelines. The information you submit is strictly treated as confidential.

Download an application from the bottom of this page, contact Access Technologies, Inc. by phone 503.361.1201 or by email to request an application.

Then, identify a professional who can attest to your condition in writing. It can be an educator, healthcare provider, vision or hearing professional, speech pathologist, vocational rehabilitation counselor, and more.

Submit your completed application to Access Technologies, Inc. at 2225 Lancaster Drive NE; Salem, OR 97305. Then an Assistive Technology Specialist will schedule an assessment to determine what equipment will best suit you communication preferences and distance communication goals. Then your equipment will be installed, and training will begin.
iCanConnect was established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and is known as the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP). For more information about iCanConnect, including links to the FCC's consumer guide and program rules, go to

Oregon iCanConnect Application Fillable English 2024
Oregon iCanConnect Application 2024 (Word)