Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information: 202-418-0500
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Released: July 16, 2013
COMMISSION ANNOUNCES ENTITY SELECTED FOR
CERTIFICATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NATIONAL DEAF-BLIND
EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM FOR NEVADA
Washington, D.C. The Federal Communications Commission's (Commission) Consumer and
Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) has selected the Perkins School for the Blind for certification to
participate in the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) for the state of
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 has 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
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.
, 26 FCC Rcd at 5646, 12.
, 26 FCC Rcd at 5647, 13.
, 26 FCC Rcd at 5667-5676, 63-79. The NDBEDP pilot will cover the reasonable costs of such related
47 C.F.R. 64.610(f)(2).
The Commission launched the NDBEDP on July 1, 2012.6 On July 2, 2012, the Commission
announced that it had selected one entity for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico,
and the Virgin Islands to participate in the NDBEDP.7
CGB selected the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Resource Center (DHHARC) as the
certified program to participate in the NDBEDP for Nevada.8 DHHARC served as the certified program
for Nevada until February 28, 2013, when it notified the Commission that it was relinquishing its
certification to participate in the NDBEDP, effective on that date.9
On May 8, 2013, CGB invited applications for certification to participate in the NDBEDP for the
state of Nevada.10 In response, the Commission received two applications, one from Easter Seals Nevada
and the other from the Perkins School for the Blind (Perkins). In accordance with the NDBEDP Pilot
, 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:
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
6 Commission Announces Launch of the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program,
CG Docket No. 10-
210, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 7403 (CGB July 2, 2012).
7 Commission Announces Entities Certified to Participate in the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution
CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 7397 (CGB July 2, 2012).
9 Letter from Martin Forsheim, Board President, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Resource Center, to
Jacqueline Ellington, Attorney Advisor, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC
(February 28, 2013).
10 FCC Invites Applications for Certification to Participate in the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution
Program in the State of Nevada
, Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd 6360 (CGB May 8, 2013).
familiarity with the telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced communications services
that will be used with the distributed equipment.11
Although CGB has determined that both applicants meet the Commission's qualifications for
certification, the Perkins application demonstrated significantly more experience serving members of the
deaf-blind community that the NDBEDP seeks to serve. As the NDBEDP certified program for Nevada,
Perkins will be partnering with the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults
(HKNC). Perkins and HKNC, collectively, have more than 200 years of experience working with
children and adults who are deaf-blind, both employ individuals who are deaf-blind, and both are
experienced in providing accessible services in a manner that shows cultural awareness of the deaf-blind
community. In addition, the Perkins application included letters of support from two additional
organizations that provide related services to individuals with disabilities and their families in Nevada.12
Accordingly, CGB has selected the Perkins School for the Blind for certification to participate in
the NDBEDP for the state of Nevada. Certification is granted to the Perkins School for the Blind
effective July 1, 2013, and continues for the duration of the NDBEDP pilot, subject to compliance with
To request materials in accessible formats for people with
disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to email@example.com
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
47 C.F.R. 64.610(b)(3).
12 Although not required, the Easter Seals Nevada application did not include letters of support or recommendation.
13 NDBEDP Pilot Order
, 26 FCC Rcd at 5647, 14. See generally,
47 C.F.R. 64.610(a)-(k).