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Welcome to the

Helen Keller National Center

for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) 

Our mission: to enable each person who is deaf-blind to live, work, and thrive in their community of choice.

About HKNC Programs Field Based Services Professional Training Info Services Join our Team! Donate and Support Contact HKNC

WHAT'S NEW?

HKNC is on YOUTUBE!

Dr. Robert J. Smithdas, Former Director of Community Education, Passes Away at Age 89  CLICK HERE to read more...

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CELEBRATING SUCCESS AT HKNC!

REVIVING A CAREER – ED’S STORY  Photo: Ed B. works safely with large tool on piece of wood.         

Former HKNC student, Ed B. has Usher syndrome but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his dream of owning his own woodworking shop.  There were a few bumps along the road on the journey he took to fulfill this dream but it has now become a reality thanks mainly to Ed’s motivation and perseverance in the face of obstacles and the support from his team at HKNC.  Here’s how it happened:

In middle and high school, Ed discovered his love for woodworking and, when it came time for college, he enrolled in National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology where he studied architecture. As his vision began to decline, it became too difficult for him to see the drawings so he transferred to St. Paul Technical College in Minnesota where he earned a certificate in cabinetmaking.  For three years, Ed worked for a company that made cabinets but his continuing loss of vision became problematic.  He began to make mistakes and became fearful of hurting himself on the job.  He left the cabinet company and got a job with the U.S. Post Office where he worked for 15 years before he retired in 2012...(Click here to read more)

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MEET JILL GAUS, CHAIR OF HKNC'S CONSUMER ADVISORY COUNCIL
We are very pleased to welcome Jill Gaus as the newly elected chair of the HKNC Consumer Advisory Council.  For many Jill has been very active in the deaf-blind community on local, state, and national levels.  She is the director of the Michigan DeafBlind Workshop (DBW) and is a co-founder, past president and currently treasurer of Self-Help for Independence in Michigan: Equalizing the DeafBlind Community.  She is also currently a consultant for DB Central, MI Services for Children and Youths who are DeafBlind.   (CLICK HERE to read more)


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Helen Keller National Center Recognizes Congressmen with Inaugural “Dr. Robert J. Smithdas Award”

Photo: Dr. Robert J. Smithdas Award Certificate to Steve Israel

 

The Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC), announced its inaugural “Dr. Robert J. Smithdas Award.”  Coinciding with Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week, taking place from June 22-June 28, 2014, this year’s award recipients include Congressmen Kevin Yoder (R-KS), Mark Takano (D-CA) and Steve Israel (D-NY).  (CLICK HERE to read more...)

 

 

 

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HKNC FALL CONFIDENT LIVING PROGRAM for Senior Citizens:

 

October 20-26, 2014 -  Confident Living Program For Senior Adults Who are Hard of Hearing and Blind or Visually Impaired

 

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HKNC - EXPANDING OUR HORIZONS

HAPTICS

There has been lots oPhoto: Kristen, Stacey, Kathrine, Maricar, Hildebjørg, and Marilynf discussion lately about different touch systems being modified,  systemized, and formalized to be used by individuals who are deaf-blind. In an effort to better understand and educate HKNC students and staff about all the options that are available to enhance communication for deaf-blind people, two staff members from Hapti-Co in Norway, Hildebjørg Bjørge and Kathrine Rehder, came to HKNC headquarters to discuss the system they teach called "haptics."

Touch signals have been used by all people – including those in the deaf-blind community – well, probably forever! Nobody really invented them – most were created as a natural reaction to natural events.  Think about sports players giving each other a congratulatory "high five" when a score is made, or the toddler's tap on Mom’s leg for her attention.  (Click here to read more)

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NATIONAL DEAF-BLIND EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM (NDBEDP)

Read how the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program continues to change lives:

Government Technology article on NDBEDP featured the New York Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program

        "iCanConnect Helps Deaf-Blind Americans Access the Internet"

        "HIGH-TECH ITEMS GIVING DEAF-BLIND ONLINE ACCESS"

        CLICK HERE for Transcript of embedded video about the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.  

        "iCANCONNECT" - the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program

        If you are deaf-blind, you may qualify for free telecommunications devices and training!

        Click here to learn more. 

 

On August 1, 2014, the FCC released a Public Notice asking for comments about the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP). 

In this Public Notice, the FCC invites the public to provide feedback on ways that the FCC can make the NDBEDP more effective and more efficient.  This feedback will help the FCC establish rules to continue the NDBEDP as a permanent program when the pilot program ends.

Links to the Public Notice:

Word:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-1128A1.docx

PDF:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-1128A1.pdf

Text:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-1128A1.txt

The Public Notice includes instructions for filing comments.  If you need assistance filing comments or more information, please contact Jackie Ellington at 202-418-1153 or Jackie.Ellington@fcc.gov, or Rosaline Crawford at 202-418-2075 or Rosaline.Crawford@fcc.gov, of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Disability Rights Office.

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LEARN ABOUT TECHNOLOGY used by people who are deaf-blind through HKNC's new videos:

 

        CLICK BELOW  to view "Communications Technology for People Who are Deaf-Blind" (CC with descriptive video)

 

 

     CLICK BELOW to view "Communications Technology for People Who are Deaf-Blind" (with ASL)

 

           

        Text version of script

 

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 STAY INFORMED

 

        CONNECT!  with HKNC - Read our latest CONNECT! enewsletter

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 

        Join our Team - CHECK HERE FOR Employment Opportunities at HKNC

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FOR HKNC STAFF

Staff email access

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HKNC's website is UNDER CONSTRUCTION! A new and more informative website is in the works. Stay tuned!


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Updates: last modified 08/05/2014