iCANCONNECT: THE NATIONAL DEAF-BLIND EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM
Provides free access to distance communication technologies to people with significant combined hearing and vision loss who meet federal income guidelines. In Tennessee, iCanConnect is administered by the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA). TRA has been meeting the needs and challenges of consumers in Tennessee since 1996 when they established the Telecommunications Devices Access Program. The agency is responsible for setting rates and service standards for privately-owned telephones, as well as natural gas, electricity and water. The TRA also assists and protects consumers unfairly targeted by utility practices or in need of phone assistance.
An estimated 4 percent of Tennessee residents are deaf-blind. With the assistance of the Helen Keller National Center and RLCB, Inc., the TRA has assessed dozens of consumers and provided those who qualify new communications technology to keep them connected to their world.