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Certified Entities of the Nat'l Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Pgm

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Released: July 2, 2012

PUBLIC NOTICE

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information: 202-418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 12-1050

Released: July 2, 2012

COMMISSION ANNOUNCES ENTITIES CERTIFIED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE

NATIONAL DEAF-BLIND EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission’s (Commission) Consumer and
Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) has selected entities in 50 states plus the District of Columbia,
Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands for certification to participate in the National Deaf-Blind Equipment
Distribution Program (NDBEDP).
The NDBEDP is a program mandated by Section 105 of the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) that provides funding of up to $10 million
annually for the distribution of communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-
blind.1 On April 4, 2011, the Commission adopted the NDBEDP Pilot Order, establishing the framework
for a pilot program to fulfill this CVAA mandate.2 In that Order, the Commission determined that it
would certify one entity per state as eligible to receive support for the local distribution of equipment to
low-income individuals who are deaf-blind.3 Each certified entity will have primary oversight and
responsibility for compliance with program requirements for its state, but certified entities may fulfill
their responsibilities either directly or through collaboration, partnership, or contract with other
individuals or entities in-state or out-of-state, including other NDBEDP certified programs.4 Participation
in the NDBEDP also entails the provision of related services, including local outreach, individual
assessments and training, as well as equipment installation and maintenance, that may be needed to
effectively provide a person who is deaf-blind with the equipment that he or she needs to access the
communications services covered by the CVAA.5
On September 22, 2011, CGB issued a Public Notice, inviting any public program or private
entity to apply to the Commission for certification to become the sole authorized entity for a state to


1 Pub. L. 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010); see also Pub. L. 111-265, 124 Stat. 2795 (2010) (technical corrections to
the CVAA). Section 105 of the CVAA adds Section 719 to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and is
codified at 47 U.S.C. § 620. The CVAA allows the Commission to allocate these funds from the Interstate
Telecommunications Relay Service Fund (TRS Fund).
2 See Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section
105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals
, CG Docket No. 10-210, Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd 5640 (2011)
(NDBEDP Pilot Order). The NDBEDP pilot will run for two years, with an option for the Commission to extend
the program for another year. Id., 26 FCC Rcd at 5649, ¶ 22.
3 NDBEDP Pilot Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 5646, ¶ 12.
4 Id., 26 FCC Rcd at 5647, ¶ 13.
5 NDBEDP Pilot Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 5667-5676, ¶¶ 63-79. The NDBEDP pilot will cover the reasonable costs of
such related services. See 47 C.F.R. § 64.610(f)(2).

participate in the NDBEDP and receive reimbursement for NDBEDP activities from the TRS Fund.6 In
response to this invitation, the Commission received applications from and supported by a wide range of
public programs, including state equipment distribution programs, vocational rehabilitation programs,
assistive technology programs, and schools for the deaf, blind, and deaf-blind, as well as from private
entities, such as organizational affiliates, independent living centers, and private educational facilities.
The Commission received a total of 58 applications from entities representing each of the 50 states, the
District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
In accordance with the NDBEDP Pilot Order, CGB reviewed each program’s application for its
ability to meet the following qualifications, either directly or in coordination with other programs or
entities, as evidenced in the application and any supplemental materials, including letters of
recommendation:7
·
expertise in the field of deaf-blindness, including familiarity with the culture and etiquette of
people who are deaf-blind, to ensure that equipment distribution and the provision of related
services occurs in a manner that is relevant and useful to consumers who are deaf-blind;
·
ability to communicate effectively with people who are deaf-blind (for training and other
purposes), by among other things, using sign language, providing materials in Braille, ensuring
that information made available online is accessible, and using other assistive technologies and
methods to achieve effective communication;
·
staffing and facilities sufficient to administer the program, including the ability to distribute
equipment and provide related services to eligible individuals throughout the state, including
those in remote areas;
·
experience with the distribution of specialized customer premises equipment, especially to people
who are deaf-blind;
·
experience in training users on how to use the equipment and how to set up the equipment for its
effective use; and
·
familiarity with the telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced communications services
that will be used with the distributed equipment.
The Commission received a single application for each of 48 of the jurisdictions covered by the
NDBEDP.8 The Commission received two applications for each of the five remaining jurisdictions
covered by the NDBEDP, specifically: Arizona, the District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, and Ohio.
Following its review of these applications, CGB is satisfied that each of the single applicants for the 48
jurisdictions is qualified to become certified for this pilot program. CGB also has selected one of the two


6 FCC Announces 60-day Period to Apply for Certification to Participate in the National Deaf-Blind Equipment
Distribution Program
, Public Notice, DA 11-1591, 26 FCC Rcd 13118 (Sept. 22, 2011). See generally, 47 C.F.R. §
64.610(b) (NDBEDP certification process).
7 See 47 C.F.R. § 64.610(b)(3).
8 After submitting their original applications, entities from the following jurisdictions supplemented their
applications with additional information about their ability to meet the certification criteria: Alaska, Kentucky,
Michigan, and Oregon.
2

competing applications received from Arizona, the District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, and Ohio
based on the following considerations:
Arizona: Two entities applied for NDBEDP certification, one a non-profit organization and the
second a state government entity that also operates an existing equipment distribution program. Although
CGB has determined that both applicants meet the Commission’s qualifications for certification, the non-
profit organization has closer ties with the deaf-blind community that the NDBEDP seeks to serve. CGB
also concluded that the state government entity may be less well suited to meet the needs of all eligible
consumers because it has expressed an interest in serving primarily individuals who are age 21 or older, at
least initially, which is only a segment of the population eligible to participate in the NDBEDP.
Therefore, CGB selected the non-profit organization in this jurisdiction for NDBEDP certification.
In each of the other four jurisdictions, two non-profit organizations applied for NDBEDP
certification. For each, CGB has determined that one applicant is better situated than the other for the
following reasons:
District of Columbia: The organization selected is collaborating and partnering with other
entities, both locally and nationally, which support its certification and evidence its ability to fulfill
program requirements. In addition, the organization selected has demonstrated greater support from deaf,
blind, and deaf-blind related community organizations than the entity not selected.
Florida: The organization selected has more experience distributing communications equipment;
it has demonstrated greater support from deaf, blind, and deaf-blind related community organizations; it
has the staffing, facilities, and a well-established network to conduct the program statewide; and it has
demonstrated greater familiarity with telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced communications
services and equipment.
Louisiana: The organization selected has demonstrated greater support from deaf, blind, and
deaf-blind related community organizations; it has the staffing, facilities, and a well-established network
to conduct the program statewide; and it has demonstrated greater familiarity with telecommunications,
Internet access, and advanced communications services and equipment.
Ohio: The organization selected is collaborating and partnering with other entities, both locally
and nationally, that support its certification and evidence its ability to fulfill program requirements.
Accordingly, CGB has selected the entities listed below for certification to participate in the
NDBEDP.9 Certification is granted to each of these entities for the duration of the NDBEDP pilot,
subject to compliance with program requirements.10 The NDBEDP Administrator is responsible for
overseeing the NDBEDP pilot11 and will work in collaboration with the TRS Fund Administrator, which,


9 Contact information for each of these certified programs, such as the program’s mailing address, phone, TTY,
videophone, fax numbers, and website address will be made available through the Commission’s website after the
NDBEDP pilot is launched.
10 NDBEDP Pilot Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 5647, ¶ 14. See generally, 47 C.F.R. §§ 64.610(a) – (k).
11 The Commission delegated authority to CGB to take the administrative actions necessary to implement and
administer the NDBEDP, including designating a Commission official as the NDBEDP Administrator. See
NDBEDP Pilot Order
, 26 FCC Rcd at 5685-86, ¶ 105. The NDBEDP Administrator is responsible for certifying
programs to participate in the NDBEDP; allocating funding and reviewing reimbursement claims with the TRS Fund
Administrator; establishing an NDBEDP website and overseeing other outreach efforts; assessing the pilot program;
3

as directed by the NDBEDP Administrator, will review cost submissions and release funds for the
reasonable costs of equipment and related services provided to low-income individuals who are deaf-
blind.12 The TRS Fund Administrator will also collect and provide related data for the effective and
efficient administration of the program to the NDBEDP Administrator.13
Initially, $9.5 million of annual funding will be used to reimburse NDBEDP certified programs
for the reasonable costs of operating their programs in compliance with the Commission’s NDBEDP
rules.14 The Commission has set aside the remaining $500,000 of the $10 million (annually allocated for
the NDBEDP) for national outreach efforts during each TRS Fund year of the pilot program.15 Funding
allocations for 2012-2013, also listed below, are calculated by allocating a minimum base amount of
$50,000 for each jurisdiction plus an amount available to each jurisdiction proportionate to its
population.16

Funding

Allocation

State

NDBEDP Certified Program

for 2012-2013
Alabama
Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind
$154,278
Alaska
Assistive Technology of Alaska
$65,692
Arizona
Perkins School for the Blind
$190,750
Arkansas
Perkins School for the Blind
$113,790
California
Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
$868,376
Colorado
Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
$161,097
Connecticut
Connecticut Tech Act Project
$127,745
Delaware
University of Delaware – Center For Disabilities Studies
$69,696
Florida
Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc.
$463,782
Georgia
Georgia Council for the Hearing Impaired
$263,110
Hawaii
Island Skill Gathering
$79,850
Idaho
University of Idaho – Idaho Assistive Technology Project
$84,414





conferring with stakeholders; working with Commission staff to adopt permanent rules for the NDBEDP; and
serving as the Commission’s point of contact for the NDBEDP. See 47 C.F.R. § 64.610(h)(1).
12 47 C.F.R. §§ 64.610(h)(2)(i); (ii).
13 47 C.F.R. § 64.610(h)(2)(iii).
14 NDBEDP Pilot Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 5677, ¶ 85.
15 See NDBEDP Pilot Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 5675-76, ¶ 80. Recently, the Commission announced the selection of
the Perkins School for the Blind to conduct national outreach efforts to promote the NDBEDP pilot. See Perkins
School for the Blind to Conduct National Outreach for the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
,
Public Notice, DA 12-910 (June 8, 2012). For this effort, the Perkins School for the Blind is partnering with the
Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, FableVision, Inc., and other national and local
consumer groups, parent groups, agencies, and associations. Id.
16 NDBEDP Pilot Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 5677, ¶ 84. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau may adjust
these initial allocations, as needed and appropriate, for subsequent years of the NDBEDP pilot. Id., 26 FCC Rcd at
5677, ¶¶ 85, 90. Population figures for these calculations are derived from U.S. Census data. See Table 1. Annual
Estimates of the Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011
(NST-EST2011-01), available at http://www.census.gov/popest/data/state/totals/2011/tables/NST-EST2011-01.xls
(viewed May 1, 2012). See also U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 for the U.S. Virgin Islands and the 2010 Census
for the U.S. Virgin Islands available at http://2010.census.gov/news/xls/cb11cn180_vi.xls (viewed May 1, 2012).
4

The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or
Illinois
$329,420
Visually Impaired
Indiana
Indiana State University
$191,497
Iowa
Iowa Utilities Board
$116,490
Kansas
Assistive Technology for Kansans
$112,341
Eastern Kentucky University Center on Deafness and
Kentucky
$144,869
Hearing Loss
Louisiana
Affiliated Blind of Louisiana Training Center
$149,330
Maine
Maine Center on Deafness
$78,838
Maryland
Perkins School for the Blind
$176,545
Massachusetts
Perkins School for the Blind
$193,030
Michigan
Michigan Commission for the Blind
$264,434
Minnesota Department of Human Services Deaf and Hard
Minnesota
$166,049
of Hearing Service Division
Mississippi
The Arc of Mississippi
$114,670
Missouri
Missouri Assistive Technology
$180,506
Montana
Perkins School for the Blind
$71,673
Nebraska
Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
$90,008
Nevada
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Resource Center
$109,129
New Hampshire
Northeast Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Inc.
$78,621
New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually
New Jersey
$241,527
Impaired
New Mexico
Perkins School for the Blind
$95,210
Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and
New York
$472,633
Adults
North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and the
North Carolina
$259,662
Hard of Hearing
North Dakota
Interagency Program for Assistive Technology
$64,850
Ohio
Ohio Deaf-Blind Outreach Program
$300,667
Oklahoma
Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
$132,322
Oregon
Access Technologies, Inc.
$134,067
Pennsylvania
Institute on Disabilities – Temple University
$326,677
Rhode Island
Perkins School for the Blind
$72,826
South Carolina
Perkins School for the Blind
$151,597
South Dakota
South Dakota Department of Human Services
$67,893
Tennessee
Tennessee Regulatory Authority
$189,031
Texas
Perkins School for the Blind
$607,455
Utah
Utah Public Service Commission
$111,168
Vermont
Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
$63,601
Virginia
Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
$225,795
Department of Social and Health Services – Office of the
Washington
$198,295
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
West Virginia
Perkins School for the Blind
$90,284
Wisconsin
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
$174,015
Wyoming Institute for Disabilities – University of
Wyoming
$62,336
Wyoming
Washington, DC
Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind
$63,418
5

Puerto Rico
Perkins School for the Blind
$132,331
U.S. Virgin Islands
Perkins School for the Blind
$52,310
The Commission is releasing a separate Public Notice to announce the exact starting date of the
NDBEDP pilot.

ACCESSIBLE FORMATS

: To request materials in accessible formats for people with
disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call
the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT

: Jackie Ellington, Consumer and
Governmental Affairs Bureau, 202-418-1153, e-mail Jackie.Ellington@fcc.gov; or Rosaline Crawford,
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, 202-418-2075, e-mail Rosaline.Crawford@fcc.gov.
-FCC-
6

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