Alice Eaddy is a whirlwind of activity and communications.
She serves as president of the National Federation of the Blind Deaf-Blind Division (NFB-DB), and president and secretary of the organization’s New Jersey chapter. She leads committees on technology and policy, and she’s in charge of social media for her state – tweeting, posting to Facebook and writing press releases to educate others on the issues individuals in the deaf-blind community face and the resources available to them.
"I’m going to be a guru of adaptive apps," said the 59-year-old Millville, N.J., volunteer, who was born premature, with limited vision and hearing. She has two processors that interface with her cochlear implant and wears a hearing aid. She also has a guide dog.
Although she works tirelessly to educate and mentor others with visual and hearing loss, her disabilities have slowed her down over time, she said. Equipment from iCanConnect – also known as the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program – has made communicating with others easier.
Alice first learned about iCanConnect at a state convention for the National Federation of the Blind a few years ago. Already tech savvy, she received a new iPhone, iPad, screen reading software, a Roger Pen and a braille display through the program.
Without her tools, "I would never be able to pull off all the magic I do on a daily basis," she said.
Alice travels around the country through her work with the National Federation of the Blind, carrying her "jet pack" of tools. She also works on local transportation issues, mentors youth with visual impairments, works out and participates in sports teams, including track and field competitions. (She throws the shot put and javelin, and she plans to take up surfing soon.)
"I get a lot done," she said, laughing, "And iCanConnect helps me every step of way."
She relies on the Skype and Google voice apps to communicate with other volunteers and to stay in touch with her niece in New York.
"If I didn’t have the apps and tools on my iPhone that I received through iCanConnect, I’d be lost," she said.
She has referred several other individuals to iCanConnect, and has helped with training.
"iCanConnect is fantastic," she said. "They give people a voice."