I am totally DeafBlind and currently work as the coordinator of the National Outreach Technology Development and Training Program at the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) based in NY, but have a branch office in California. My responsibilities involve 1) training consumers and technology trainers from all over the nation who have a wide range of vision and hearing loss to use computers via braille access, screen magnification, and speech output, 2) evaluating and beta testing various Windows- and Mac OS X-based applications, prototypes of new products, and telecommunications equipment and services for people with access needs, and 3) communicating with key people involved with designing and manufacturing these products to ensure they are accessible, user-friendly, and cost-efficient.
I am also in charge of the Florida and Iowa DeafBlind equipment distribution programs and travel back and forth between these states every 2-3 months to provide technology assessments, distribute equipment, and training to all eligible consumers. In addition, I am responsible for researching, purchasing equipment, and installing and configuring equipment prior to distribution.
On the side, I run a digital online store business and am the chief executive officer of the company, Bapin Group, LLC. The company sells all digital products to customers with all kinds of backgrounds, as well as to educational and government establishments. For details, go to the website at www.bapingroup.com and my personal website is www.bapin.info. I also founded the first-known International DeafBlind Expo to serve as a venue for DeafBlind attendees to touch and feel various products and have access to interacting with vendors. Also, many professionals, government officials, educators, business people, etc. are enriched by the experience of interacting with DeafBlind people and learning more about products and services they rely on in their daily life. Two expos took place – Las Vegas in 2014 and Orlando in 2016.
I am a member of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) to make contributions and monitor legislative activities that improve accessibility for people with disabilities including DeafBlindness. In 2010 I, along with a representative from American Association of the DeafBlind (AADB), met with several members of Congress to push the passage of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act where 10 million dollars was designated for DeafBlind people to receive telecommunications equipment and services. I also served on the 2010-2014 Equipment Program Advisory Committee (EPAC) under Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP) in California to ensure that DeafBlind Californians receive adequate telecommunications equipment and services.