Letter to NIH Director Regarding Accessible At-home COVID-19 Test Kits for Blind Americans (January 24, 2022)


January 24, 2022

Lawrence Tabak, DDS, PhD
Acting Director
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
[email protected]

RE: Accessible at-home COVID-19 test kits for blind Americans

Dear Director Tabak:

The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s transformative civil rights organization of the blind, was pleased to learn during The White House’s January 20 Disabled Stakeholder Call that the National Institutes of Health have been instructed to prioritize the creation and manufacturing of at-home COVID-19 test kits that are fully accessible to blind Americans.

As we shared in our recent letters to The President and Commissioner Woodcock1, the National Federation of the Blind offers our assistance for innovating and evaluating solutions that will allow the blind to independently conduct and read at-home COVID-19 tests. We know first-hand the importance and time-sensitivity in finding testing solutions that work for all Americans. Test instructions and results must be available nonvisually, so as not to exclude blind Americans from this potentially life-saving resource.

At-home COVID-19 test kits can be a crucial tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but they must be usable to be effective. We await your prompt response and stand ready to serve as your partner in making these test kits accessible to all.

Mark A. Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind

cc: Emily Voorde, White House Office of Public Engagement, [email protected]

1. https://nfb.org/programs-services/advocacy/policy-statements/letter-fda-commissioner-regarding-accessibility-home and https://nfb.org/programs-services/advocacy/policy-statements/letter-regarding-accessibility-home-covid-19-tests-and