Deaf-Blind Awareness Week 2023

Today, June 26, marks the start of Helen Keller Deaf-blind Awareness Week. Typically observed during the last week of this month to honor Keller’s birthday on June 27, it gives us an opportunity to put a spotlight on the daily challenges faced by deaf-blind individuals and their remarkable achievements despite their circumstances.

NeedyMeds, a trusted healthcare assistance resource, plays a crucial role in connecting deaf-blind individuals with vital programs. Let’s explore how NeedyMeds positively impacts the deaf-blind community during and beyond this awareness week. But first, let’s take a moment to talk about deaf-blindness and why this week is important.

Why do we celebrate Deaf-Blind Awareness Week?

The week was first recognized in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan to honor Helen Keller. Born in 1880, an illness took away her ability to see and hear when she was only 19 months old. Despite this, she thrived in a time period with limited support for people with disabilities. Until her death in 1968, she made a name for herself as a lifelong author, lecturer, and advocate.  

Helen Keller’s perseverance is why we celebrate Deaf-Blind Awareness Week.

Understanding Deaf-Blindness and the Importance of Awareness

Deaf-blindness is a sensory disability that encompasses a diverse group of people. The level of hearing and vision loss varies and isn’t the same for everyone, as stated in the 2021 National Deaf-Blind Count Report.

Among children, only 1% have severe hearing problems and total blindness. The majority have some level of hearing or vision impairments. Around 79% of children with deaf-blindness have limited vision, legal blindness or difficulty seeing.

On the other hand, 21% have severe hearing loss, while others have milder challenges. More children than ever before are using glasses and assistive devices that help them hear better. Some children with deaf-blindess have cochlear implants. About 45% of these children use special technology to assist them, and many also have other disabilities.

Thanks to advances in technology and accessible resources, deaf-blind people can lead fulfilling lives. Devices like braille notetakers, communication apps, and navigation aids help with communication and accessing information, promoting independence in daily life.

5 Ways NeedyMeds Can Help

Assistive technologies for deaf-blind individuals have varying costs, depending on factors like device type, brand, and features. Insurance or funding programs can usually cover the cost for some devices. NeedyMeds can help by providing a comprehensive list of assistance programs for people with limited vision or hearing. By visiting our Healthcare Savings tab, deaf-blind individuals can find resources that help with the following:

  1. Diagnosis Based Assistance (DBA): Our DBA pages enable users to search for programs based on their diagnosis. This includes blindness and deafness. We provide our list of available programs on a regional or national level. Here, deaf-blind people can find programs that offer support animals or assistive technology at little to no cost.
  2. Scholarships: Our Scholarships section allows searching for scholarships based on specific conditions, easing the financial burden of academic pursuits. 
  3. Transportation: We offer programs for medical transportation and travel expenses, ensuring access to necessary healthcare and travel for deaf-blind individuals.
  4. Medication Assistance: Our drug discount card allows you to save up to 80% on your prescribed medications. We also have extensive databases of patient assistance programs and coupons
  5. Support for Healthcare Costs: NeedyMeds provides a valuable database of national free, low-cost, or sliding scale clinics. This allows deaf-blind individuals to enjoy accessible, affordable, healthcare. 

By utilizing the resources provided by Needymeds, the deaf-blind community can find support and assistance to enhance their quality of life. Beyond Deaf-Blind Awareness Week, NeedyMeds continues to play a crucial role in connecting individuals with vital programs and fostering inclusivity for all.

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Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.