Ms. Charlson worked with health agencies to increase walk-up testing options. She is now asking manufacturers for more home tests.
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Abbott, the company behind the BinaxNOW is one example. When developing new tests, said Aly Morici, an Abbott spokeswoman, the company will “continue to design with access and affordability in mind,” but she declined to give specifics about whether Abbott has plans for a redesign.
According to Mark Riccobono (president of the National Federation of the Blind), some fixes can be as simple as changing the test instructions. He and his wife, both blind, took coronavirus tests at home in November. Mr. Riccobono had the nerve to ask his oldest child to recite the instructions aloud.
Mr. Riccobono suggested that manufacturers could provide Braille numbers for people to call to get assistance. He suggested that a touchable template be placed on top of a test card or cartridge in order to help blind people know where to drop liquid or place their nasal swab.
“It’s not really rocket science, there’s some easy things we can do,” he said.
According to Michael Wordingham (a policy officer with Royal National Institute of Blind People), accessible instructions are already in place in Britain. These instructions can be found in Braille or large text formats. They also include audio formats.
“If you think about the swab, it would say, ‘Before you take it out of the packet, feel along for the thicker end and make sure you open it out of the other end so you don’t contaminate the swab,’” Mr. Wordingham explained.
Even the simplest solutions may take some time to implement. Some blind people, such as Karen Johnson, 37, from Fort Wayne, Ind. are staying home because they don’t have the right testing options.
Source: NY Times