BOLD – Borrow-to-Own Low-Vision Devices

The BOLD program provides devices with a retail cost of $100 or less to individuals with vision loss or blindness. Some of the products available through BOLD include hand-held or stand magnifiers, talking watches, talking scales and other talking products, large print materials, and liquid level indicators. To ensure that products sought through BOLD are the right ones to meet an individual’s needs, applicants are required to borrow products they’re interested in from CDS’s DATI inventory before making requests through the program.

BOLD is intended for individuals who cannot otherwise afford the devices they seek. For more information, contact Sonja Rathel at 302.856.1081 or rathel@udel.edu. BOLD is funded by private contributions to the Tobin Fund. Interested donors to the fund can click here.

iCanConnect – National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program

Serving individuals with combined hearing and vision loss, iCanConnect provides equipment that enables access to telecommunications – telephones and the Internet – at no cost. The devices might include computers, tablets, adapted telephones, refreshable Braille devices, signaling devices, and other items. To see some examples, click here. DATI has many of the products funded through iCanConnect, enabling people to try the equipment before they request it through the program.

Applicants must provide evidence of their vision and hearing loss as well as income and other information. iCC is only available to individuals with a household income less than four times the federal poverty level. See those guidelines here. For more information, contact Sonja Rathel at 302.856.1081 or rathel@udel.edu. Applications can be found here. iCanConnect is funded by the Federal Communication Commission.

Nowhere Else to Turn

This program is designed to help individuals with paralysis-causing conditions remain in their homes safely and comfortably. Delawareans can acquire home modifications such as ramps and lifts, smart home technology that enables them to control lights, appliances, and security features, and other assistive technology.

A video of a husband and wife who received a chairlift through the program can be viewed here.

Applicants must provide a description of their needs in their home, evidence of financial need, and documentation that they have sought assistance from other sources and been turned away. This program is only available to individuals with a household income less than three times the federal poverty level. See those guidelines here.

For more information, contact Sonja Rathel at rathel@udel.edu. Click here for directions and an application. Nowhere Else To Turn is funded through a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

Tobin Fund

Serving individuals who are blind and have low vision, the Tobin Fund provides visual assistive technology with a retail cost over $100. Some of the products available through the Tobin Fund include closed circuit televisions, computers with specialized software (such as screenreading software), and Braille devices.

Applicants must provide evidence of vision loss, documentation from a qualified evaluator that the requested product meets their needs, and evidence of financial need. Applications can be found here. For more information, contact Sonja Rathel at 302.856.1081 or rathel@udel.edu.

The Tobin Fund was created through the generosity of the W.E. Tobin Foundation, and continues its operation through private contributions. Interested donors to the fund can click here.

U.S. Currency Readers

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is providing an iBill® Talking Banknote Identifier at no cost to eligible blind or visually impaired persons who request one. The device is small, compact and runs on a triple-A battery, which is included. To use the currency reader, simply insert a U.S. bill into the reader and press the button. The device will tell the note’s denomination. Its compact “key-fob” design allows it to be carried in a pocket or purse, clipped to a belt or attached to a keychain or lanyard.

DATI is authorized by the BEP to distribute these currency readers to any Delaware resident who is blind or visually impaired. Contact your local Assisstive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) to schedule an appointment to acquire an iBill®. You can also download an application in English or Spanish from www.bep.gov and mail your application to the Washington, D.C. address provided on the application. If you prefer, you can call BEP toll-free at 844-815-9388 and ask them to mail you an application.