Letter to FDA Commissioner Regarding the Accessibility of At-Home COVID-19 Tests and Test Requests (January 11, 2022)


January 11, 2022

Janet Woodcock, MD
Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs
United States Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993
[email protected]

RE: At-home COVID-19 Test Kit Accessibility for Blind Americans

Dear Commissioner Woodcock:

I write as a follow up to my January 3 letter to The President  and to urge the FDA to ensure that at-home COVID-19 test kits to be distributed by the federal government, and the processes for ordering and receiving them, are fully accessible to blind Americans.

Though the National Federation of the Blind has not yet received a response from the White House, we remain available to partner with the FDA and Biden administration in evaluating and innovating solutions to guarantee at-home COVID-19 test kits are equally usable by blind Americans. This window for collaboration is quickly narrowing, as we note that the US Department of Defense has already awarded procurement contracts to two vendors, with plans for tests to begin being distributed this month.

Because testing is a critical step in stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is essential that no one be excluded from testing opportunities. When blind and low-vision people cannot use the at-home COVID tests available to us, we bear increased risk and uncertainty. As we have learned, it will take commitment, innovation, and hard work from all involved to combat this virus.

We await your prompt reply and our pending collaboration on this important aspect of COVID-19 testing.

Mark A. Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind

cc: The President of the United States, [email protected]