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Blind Community Reveals Challenges With At-Home Testing, Calls For Changes

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The National Federation of the Blind, a Baltimore-based nonprofit, wants to see improved accessibility in at-home COVID-19 testing.

"It's clear when you go buy one of these tests that there's not even an expectation that a blind person would need to or be in a position to independently administer one of these tests," NFB President Mark Riccobono said. "If you can get an at-home test, and, obviously, they're very tough to get your hands on right now, no aspects of the test are accessible."

Riccobono said there are no at-home testing options that are "completely accessible and independently usable by a blind person."

It is unclear whether these barriers are affecting testing or vaccination rates. Riccobono said it often results in people not knowing their infection status and precautionary isolation.

Riccobono and his wife each had COVID-19 in November. He said the testing industry has an opportunity to improve at-home testing now and beyond the pandemic.

"To create accessible testing products in the home that have never existed anywhere," Riccobono said. "And that's the opportunity we don't want to miss."

The Maryland affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind is hosting a booster clinic Friday at the NFB headquarters in South Baltimore.

To learn more, contact the NFB.

Additionally, the organizations Accessible Pharmacy and BeMyEyes have partnered to provide home testing for blind people in the US.

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