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Many people struggle on a daily basis to participate in life around them.  For many an inability to hear well makes life an ongoing challenge.  For some, isolation, depression and loneliness are constant companions because they cannot hear.  They wish for something different, but they do not know where to turn.

The Starkey Hearing Foundation may be able to help you brighten many futures by providing hearing aids to those who need them but have no other way to acquire them.

Hear Now is the US program of the Starkey Hearing Foundation.  As such, Hear Now serves low income individuals who permanently reside in the US that have no other resources to acquire hearing aids.  Anyone having any benefit for hearing aids, in part or total, through VA, an insurance plan, Medicaid, a state or any other program, may not qualify for Hear Now service, but they are encouraged to call to discuss their individual situation.

As a financially based program Hear Now considers income and assets for all those in the household.

All interested parties are advised to call Hear Now to discuss eligibility before completing an application for assistance.  Not everyone will qualify for the program’s assistance so making this phone call is highly recommended.

Hear Now works with local hearing healthcare providers throughout the US who volunteer their time and service to test, fit and follow up on the patient and their adjustment to the hearing aids.  The applicant is responsible for finding a provider in his/her area to provide the professional services through the process.

There is an application processing fee of $125 per hearing requested.  When an application is approved, aids are given to the applicant at no additional cost. The hearing aids provided are Behind the Ear models and are new.  Custom hearing aids are not provided by Hear Now. Please feel free to share this information with fellow colleagues and other professionals in your network.

To learn more about the program, or request materials for the program, call Hear Now at 800-328-8602 or email us at Hearnow@starkey.com.

An Introduction to Accessibility in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Thursday, October 20, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have undergone tremendous improvements in accessibility in recent years. Blind and sighted users alike are often unaware of the techniques available for unlocking the full power of features like collaboration with screen access software. Join us to learn more.


If you are interested in attending any of these boutiques, please RSVP to cvangerven@nfb.org. Space is limited.

The boutiques will be held at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

The CDC and NIDILRR recently created a fact sheet focused on traumatic brain injury (TBI), including long-term effects, research, and health care. To learn more about TBI and its lasting impact, read more at the CDCs fact sheet https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pdf/moderate_to_severe_tbi_lifelong-a.pdf

To learn more about assistive technology solutions for individuals with TBI, brainline.org maintains a helpful guide with suggestions such as voice recorders, key seekers, medication alerting systems and lots more.

If you or someone you love has experienced TBI and is in need of assistive technology to support daily living, school or work activities, please contact the Maryland Technology Assistance Program to schedule a visit to our assistive technology library.


Whether it’s little kids, senior citizens, or someone in between, technology (assistive or not) can make the difference between living wholly or simply surviving. Self-tying shoes, self-driving cars, and a whole lot more. AT in the news for the week of 10/3 thru 10/7.

Using virtual reality to help youngsters with autism into work

Fashion is how people express themselves; see how these ppl w/ disabilities are fighting for their self-expression

Son’s dyslexia diagnosis prompts mom’s search for answers

When Taking Robots Global, One Size Does Not Fit All

People with disabilities excited about self-lacing shoes

Technology gets disabled people back on their feet

Wearable diagnostics and self-driving cars signal future of tech in aged care

Gesture-controlled IoT extends freedom for the disabled

SynPhNe – Revolutionizing Stroke Rehabilitation In Patients, Enabling Them For Life

Search for new digital health technologies at NDRC

Designing for Accessibility: The Ultimate in UX

Former Indy Racing driver Sam Schmidt, paralyzed from the neck drives uses his head motions to control the car


With the rapid adoption of EPUB 3, a format is now available that provides some features that outstrip those of electronic setups originally designed to be a replica of print, such as PDF. You can create a better book, one that adapts to screen sizes and font size preferences. You can create a book that speaks to the user in every sense, including the most literal — text to speech. Embedded media and greater flexibility are only the beginning. With the accessible EPUB conformance requirements now out, a framework is developing to make this super-powered format work for all readers.

Join the National Federation of the Blind on Thursday, March 23, 2017 for a one-day training seminar that will focus on how to create and implement accessible EPUB 3 in a variety of different settings.   The upcoming release of the EPUB accessibility conformance specification will be a prominent topic. At this event, speakers will discuss how the accessibility specification can help you achieve greater ease of access. We will also address the latest updates to EPUB to be released in version 3.1.   As more information about this exciting event becomes available, we will update www.nfb.org/ebooks-and-epub-accessibility, so be sure to check back often.

This event will be hosted under the auspices of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access to Education, Public Information, and Commerce (CENA). The CENA serves to share the considerable knowledge that the NFB and its partners have of web accessibility and access technology in order to bring about greater accessibility in government, education, and business; to promote best practices nationally; and to build Maryland’s status as leader in the field.


The Technology Access Program (TAP) at Gallaudet University is conducting a brief online survey to learn about the types of alerting devices deaf and hard of hearing people might prefer to notify them to common sounds around the home (doorbell ringing, videophone call, baby crying, etc.), and emergency alerts (fire alarms, emergency weather alerts, etc.). Your responses to this short survey will help us in the development of better notification options for these common sounds and emergency alerts.

Learn more and take survey here.

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