By Donald Judd and Maegan Vazquez, CNN
The Biden administration on Thursday rolled out free at-home Covid-19 tests that are designed to be more accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired.
White House Covid-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said the administration will provide more accessible, rapid self-tests to Americans across the country for free through Covidtests.gov, which ships tests through the US Postal Service. The specific USPS form to place orders for Covid-19 tests that are more accessible to individuals with low vision or who are blind can be found here.
Each residential address is limited to one order, which has two rapid at-home antigen Covid-19 tests. These accessible tests require access to a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone and an iOS or Android app.
“We developed this plan in close partnership with members of the disability community. An issue raised consistently was that individuals who are blind or low vision are often unable to utilize rapid self-tests on their own,” Jha told reporters during Thursday’s Covid-19 response news conference. “The President has made clear he is committed to addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities, regardless of where they live or the level of community transmission. Ensuring everyone has equitable access to Covid-19 testing and all other critical mitigation strategies is of the utmost importance.”
One in 4 adults in the US live with some sort of disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Individuals with a physical disability may find it difficult to perform at-home Covid tests, with those who are blind or low vision sometimes being unable to read the small print on the instructions or see the results.
Earlier this year, following an outcry from disability advocates, the CDC updated its list of those with increased risk of severe Covid to include people with disabilities.
And in mid-February, the National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Tech program announced an effort to create accessible at-home Covid tests, while the Department of Health and Human Services called on manufacturers to assess at-home Covid tests’ operability for those with disabilities.
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Kaiser Health News’ Lauren Weber contributed to this report.