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iCanConnect Missouri Participant Becomes Local Trainer for the St. Louis Area

Brett Wilhelm is a small business owner, iCanConnect participant, and trainer for iCanConnect Missouri. Read more to find out how the equipment and training he received through iCanConnect has given him the confidence to help others stay connected with their friends, family and the world.

In the photo, Brett (on the right) is training iCanConnect Missouri consumer, Gary Jones, (left) on a braille device with his iPhone connected. Brett is using hand-over-hand training with Gary.

Brett Wilhelm is a self-motivated small business owner, iCanConnect participant, and trainer for iCanConnect Missouri. iCanConnect, also known as the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, is a national program with local contacts that provides free distance communication equipment and training to qualified individuals who have significant combined hearing and vision loss.

Brett has always been interested in technology. The 29-year-old is hearing impaired and has been blind since birth so pursuing training in assistive technology came natural to him. When his old braille display stopped working, an acquaintance suggested he apply to iCanConnect. Brett was accepted into the program and a representative from Missouri Assistive Technology, the organization that manages iCanConnect Missouri, met with him to discuss his distance communication needs and goals. Through the program, Brett received a Braille Sense, iPhone, MacBook and a landline phone, as well as training on how to use his new equipment.

As his passion for assistive technology increased, Brett opened an assistive technology consulting business and later became a trainer for iCanConnect Missouri in and around the St. Louis area. “I love witnessing clients learn technology – especially the ones who think they can’t do it. Witnessing them be successful is huge. It’s when they don’t think they can do it and then they succeed – it means a lot to me,” said Brett.

“The progression from being a participant to becoming a trainer for iCanConnect has been exciting. It fulfills me to help others in the St. Louis area learn how to use assistive technology so they can stay in touch with their family, friends and community,” he continued.

Brett is also president of Sight And Sound Impaired of St. Louis, a social networking group for people who have both deafness and blindness, and he runs a monthly assistive technology peer support group called I CAN TECH.

“The equipment I received through iCanConnect has been a catalyst for so much in my life. I use it to keep in touch with family and friends; I use it for social media; I use it to create and share meeting plans and run Zoom meetings – which was especially helpful during Covid – and so much more,” says Brett. “Having this equipment has given me the confidence to help other people realize their abilities when it comes to technology and staying connected to the world around them. I recommend iCanConnect to everyone who has hearing and vision loss and needs help with assistive technology.”


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