iCanConnect in New York is administered by the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC).
Operated by Helen Keller Services for the Blind, the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults enables individuals who are deaf-blind and/or have combined hearing-vision loss to live, work and thrive in their community of choice. Established by an Act of Congress in 1967, HKNC operates a residential and training facility at its headquarters in Sands Point, NY. Across the country, regional representatives support youths and adults who are deaf-blind, their families and the professionals who serve them.
Meet New York’s iCanConnect Coordinator:
Two of Mr. Davert's passions in life are reading and technology. He says: "Braille and technology are two things that open so many doors for those who are deaf-blind. These two things allow a deaf-blind person to access information, communicate with others around the world, to have a higher chance of being gainfully employed, and allows those who are deaf-blind to lead more independent lives. As such, both in my career and in serving the deaf-blind community, it is my mission to do whatever I can to further the development of both services, and the technology itself that can help improve quality of life for individuals who are deaf-blind. As someone who was born blind and is now rapidly losing my hearing, I know that without either of these tools, I would not be as successful or as much of a productive member of society as I am today.”
Mr. Davert obtained his Bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology in 2005 with a minor in creative writing. He also holds a Masters degree in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy from Western Michigan University. Mr. Davert completed internships at the Helen Keller National Center in Technology, Case Management, and the communications Learning Center. He also completed his internship for his Vision Rehabilitation Therapy degree at the Denver Department of Vocational Rehabilitation's division of Blind Services.
Serving the deaf-blind:
Mr. Davert first served as a member at large for SHI-M=DB, a consumer organization which advocates to further increase the rights of the deaf-blind in the state of Michigan. He later became their webmaster and eventually served as the Vice president for this organization. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Association of the Deaf-Blind, a national organization designed to advocate for those who are deaf-blind.
In addition, Mr. Davert has published articles on various forms of technology and services for those who are deaf-blind in such places as the American Association of the Deaf-Blind website, the Visionaware blog run by the American Foundation for the Blind, and several other places. He also serves on the editorial staff for AppleVis, a web based community designed to promote and advocate for accessible applications and devices specifically for Apple’s line of products.