“Try to imagine…the anguish and horror you would experience bowed down by the twofold weight of blindness and deafness, with no hope of emerging from an utter isolation!
…I doubt if even the most imaginative and tender normal people can realize the peculiar cruelty of such a situation. The blind who are taught can live happily in a world of sounds, and the deaf can use their eyes instead of ears, but the deaf-blind have no substitute for sight or hearing. The keenest touch cannot break their immobility. More than any other physically fettered group, they need right teaching and constructive procedures to reclaim them to normal society.”
— Helen Keller
Underwritten by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act awards through Alabama’s Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS), the pilot program will become permanent, continuing another phase of AIDB’s 40-plus year partnership with ADRS.
Focusing on individuals with challenging employment obstacles, requiring long-term focus and community/employment support, “The Centre premise is to negate the ‘utter isolation’ experienced by individuals with dual sensory loss and/or multiple disabilities,” explained AIDB President Dr. Terry Graham. “The intense community supports translate into jobs, increased independence and enhanced quality of life – individual victories never quantitatively measured.”
Along with a dedicated staff, technology is the great equalizer.
With ADRS support, AIDB has applied to become Alabama’s site for the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pilot initiative to make telecommunications service, internet access and advanced communications accessible to low income individuals who are deaf-blind.
“Nothing is more gratifying than seeing an individual, provided essential supports and accommodations – transportation assistance, technology training, educational remediation and/or employment instruction – become a productive employee and involved community member,” states ADRS Commissioner Cary Boswell. “The Centre has the potential to overcome the isolation individuals with dual sensory loss face in Alabama and beyond.”
For more information or to refer someone to the Centre, contact E. H. Gentry Facility Executive Director Travis Fields at 256.761.3406 or email@example.com