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Deaf Blind Services

The Deaf-Blind Program coordinates services to individuals who have been identified as having a combination of significant hearing and vision loss. Several staff may work together to provide the services needed by an individual who is deaf-blind. Services may be provided by a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf (RCD), a Communications Specialist for hard of hearing consumers, or a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Blind (RCB).  The State Coordinator of Deaf-Blind Services (SCDB) can help with the process of finding the appropriate Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Counselor, or other staff to facilitate the application for and delivery of appropriate services from the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Deaf-Blind Services:

Deaf-Blind Services through the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) include providing assistive technology, employment services and specialized training to help people who are deaf-blind improve the quality and ease of their everyday lives.

Living with hearing and vision loss is challenging, but our specialists can help improve your quality of life. Some of the common problems experienced by individuals with hearing and vision loss include the inability to:

  • Communicate with others
  • Hear various alerts and alarms
  • Understand speech over the phone
  • Understand instructions at work

Adaptive Technology​

Assistance may be available to purchase adaptive technology to help you live a more independent lifestyle. Our Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living Counselors can help you identify the type of equipment that will best meet your needs.  In some cases you may be referred to the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, also known as the I Can Connect Program, for assistance in receiving technology to help you communicate with others.  

Hearing Aids and Assistive Listening Devices

Assistance may be available to you to purchase hearing aids and other assistive listening devices as part of your Vocational Rehabilitation plan or your Independent Living plan.  Additional assistance with hearing aids and hearing aid repair may be available through our KATS Network.

Job Placement

If vision and hearing loss has prevented you from finding or keeping a job, services provided through our Vocational Rehabilitation Services might be of assistance. The services that you receive are based on your individual needs and are designed to help you reach your job goal.

Specialized Training

If you have combined vision and hearing loss, your needs are unique. We can provide specialized training in the following areas:

  • Braille
  • Safe Travel
  • Adaptive technology
  • Low-vision aids
  • Amplified and tactile devices
  • Communication skills
  • Training required to get or keep a job
  • Personal Futures Planning (PFP)
  • Support Service Provider (SSP)

OVR also works closely with the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) in order to provide a variety of assessments, training, and other services some of which are available in state from a HKNC Deaf-Blind Specialist.

Additional Resources:

We also work with the following resources and agencies.

Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS)
Michelle Niehaus

Kentucky Deaf-Blind Project for persons and families from birth to 22 years of age
Donna Carpenter

Helen Keller National Center

iCanConnect National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program

KATS Network

Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Blind Services​

Orientation and Mobility Services

Independent Living Services and Older Individual Who are Blind

Bioptic Driving Program

Resources and Publications

Coca-Cola Scholarship​​

Find more information about classes and services offered at the McDowell Center for the Blind ​​​

Need more help? Contact Us ​​​

Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation​
Central Office
Mayo-Underwood Building
500 Mero Street 4th Floor NE
Frankfort, KY 40601
800-372-7172 (V/TTY )​​​