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Resolution 2007- 04

Regarding Development of an Accessible Insulin Pump

At the National Federation of the Blind annual convention, members recognized the importance of advocating for accessible technology so that blind and visually impaired diabetics would have the means to self-manage their diabetes. The following resolution was passed, stating that the NFB supports and commends the work of companies developing accessible technology for diabetes.

Whereas, many diabetics find that using an insulin pump results in superior control of diabetes, thus assisting them to remain healthy and to reduce their risk of diabetic complications; and

Whereas, currently available insulin pumps lack accessibility features for the blind; and

Whereas, notwithstanding this lack of accessibility, many blind diabetics successfully use insulin pumps although they may require sighted assistance to use the advanced features of such pumps; and

Whereas, new insulin pumps are constantly being introduced, employing increasingly complicated and sophisticated functions, including complex programs to administer bolus insulin doses, functions to predict correct insulin dosages based upon carbohydrate intake, and the like, yet the blind are unable to use these advanced functions independently; and

Whereas, miniaturization of electronics and advances in synthesized and digitized speech technology may make it possible to produce an insulin pump with all functions accessible by the blind using speech; and

Whereas, many insulin pumps can communicate with personal computers using programs that can change pump settings, display pump performance parameters, etc., yet such programs are not accessible to screen-reading software for the blind; and

Whereas, making such programs accessible using screen-reading software would provide another method to make insulin pumps accessible by the blind: Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this sixth day of July, 2007, in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, that this organization call upon manufacturers of insulin pumps to make these pumps accessible by the blind; and

Be it further resolved that the National Federation of the Blind stand ready to work with insulin pump manufacturers to achieve this goal.