Deaf-blind residents in Acadiana can now connect with the world through new technology

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IPhone's now equipped for deaf-blind citizens

Friday, August 2, 2013 - 3:25pm

For most people using a phone is easy, but what if you couldn't see or hear anything?

"Sit down in a room some time.  Close your eyes, turn off all the lights with no sound and sit there for ten minutes.  See how comfortable you feel.  Imagine that being the rest of your life," says Scott Crawford, supervisor of Instruction for Affiliated Blind of Louisiana.

Now imagine trying to communicate.  For a lot of people it's a reality.  But thanks to a grant, deaf-blind people all over the state can get the equipment and training they need to start connecting with the world.  This nationwide grant came out last year around July, and has opened up an entirely new world to the deaf and blind.  It's the National Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program Grant.  A grant that's already helping Jackie Broussard.  She's become so comfortable with the equipment that she is now teaching fellow deaf-blind people to use the new technology.

"I use this a lot.  It's very very important for me.  I can travel, I can bring it everywhere I go, I can use it as contact with my son, my co-workers," says Jackie Broussard, using technology.

And Jackie can even use it for something a lot of people take for granted, like checking the weather so she know what to wear, and keeping up to date on current events.  But the technology is different for each person based on their needs, so for some people this equipment is life-saving.

"Through these devices they can actually contact 911 they can contact a family member and say Hey I need help," says Crawford.

For Jackie, it's life changing.

"Before without this equipment life was very hard to communicate.  How to contact people to send messages it was real, it felt like isolation.  Now I have this equipment and it's so different my life has changed tremendously, it's improved.  I can communicate anywhere anytime it's very, very wonderful," says Jackie.


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