Deaf-Blind Equipment Program

Individuals with a combined hearing and vision loss may qualify for adaptive equipment for internet, telephone or videophone access through this federally funded program.Equipment that may be received through this program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Laptop or desktop computers
  • iPads or other tablets
  • Computer software (i.e. screen reader software text zooming software)
  • OCR (optical character recognition) devices
  • Computer accessories including specialized keyboards, speakers, microphones, and mice
  • Braille communicators
  • Amplified telephones and cellular phones

Eligibility is established through an application process which requires proof of annual income and proof of disability by a doctor or other trained professional. To find out if you are eligible or to apply, download an application (below) or contact Scott Murray at our Portland Office: 207.797.7656. After eligibility is approved, an in-home / at-work assessment may be conducted to ensure that we find the appropriate equipment match to achieve successful communication.  

NDBEDP Application (Word) - Use this version if you want to complete the application on the computer (don't forget to print, sign your name and send to DRM Deaf Services!).

NDBEDP Application (PDF) - This version is designed to be printed and completed by hand.


Watch: Overcoming Communication Barriers (Archived Webinar)

Learn How DRM's Telecommunications & Deaf-Blind Equipment Programs Can Help You

In this one-hour presentation, DRM Communications Technology staff will talk about programs that provide low- or no-cost adaptive telephone and distance communication equipment to Maine residents.

Elaine Williams, DRM Communications Technology Manager, will provide an overview of the Telephone Equipment Program (TEP), discussing the types of equipment available to Mainers with disabilities who are unable to use a standard telephone; how to qualify for the program and the application process; and support available to clients after they receive their equipment. She will also provide an overview of the relay services available in the State of Maine that assist with telephone communication for individuals who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, hard of hearing, or who have difficulty speaking.

Scott Murray, Coordinator of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) in Maine, will discuss how this program makes distance communication-related equipment available to people with dual sensory impairment (sight and sound); the types of equipment that are available; who may be eligible to receive equipment; and the application process. 

The presentation will also include general information on hearing loss and dual sensory impairment, including demographics, psychological impact of hearing loss, and tips and strategies to optimize communication.

Watch archived presentation

Download presentation slides (PDF)