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Accessibility and Covid-19: Inequality and Challenges for People Who are Blind During a Pandemic

A woman and a man are wearing masks and he is showing his arm next to a vaccine symbol

Information is incomplete for vaccinations, prevention and treatment, and simply is not available for millions of users with a disability.

How can we change this?

By Daniel Lopez

It has been almost 18 months since the world faced a difficult emergency health crisis, where every day the number of cases has worsened and we all wish to wake up from this reality as soon as possible. But, according to the health authorities it is far from being over.

At the same time, new conflicts are occurring, especially from the perspective of people with disabilities who cannot access suitable information, and are being kept on the sidelines of vaccinations, hospital care and medical treatments required for their current circumstances.

Case Examples

Recently the morning edition of The Los Angeles Times, a US newspaper, published an investigation from the website Kaiser Health News, which gathered information from people who are blind and who tried to access Covid-19 vaccination programs. The study established that the information is not accessible and the format of the websites “strongly violated disability laws in the US.”

This serious discrimination is also repeated in Latin American countries, causing exclusion and increasing the risk that the number of people who contract the illness will also increase, and could collapse both public and private health systems, similar to what has occurred in countries like Brazil and Chile.

How Can This Be Resolved?

Based on the information gleaned from evidence and studies, as well as experience gained through the continuing work of Lazarillo on tools that create universal accessibility and better autonomy, we can also conclude that addressing this problem is essential for an inclusive viewpoint linking all organizations that wish to contribute.

Depending on the health recommendations for each country, the Lazarillo application can be implemented to schedule vaccination doses, provide tips for prevention and self care, and give information relevant to vaccinations and inoculation dates for age categories or groups at risk.

Other tools that Lazarillo has developed are the geolocation of specific sites combined with an internal navigation system that can facilitate the location of health centers and areas within them. With this assistance, users can quickly find medical attention and schedule vaccinations, decreasing their risk of infection from the virus.

A range of options is integrated with the Lazarillo application, Facebook, Instagram, a Youtube channel and an accessible website, where we can deliver messages to a growing virtual community. 

Implementing measures that seek to prevent Covid-19 by minimizing every risk that could set us back, encouraging the use of authorized vaccines, and also helping establish an approved strategy to decrease the number of active cases in the world can finally erase a pandemic from which everyone surely wants to quickly be free.

We are extending an invitation not only to health organizations to connect with a proven solution that gives answers and information, but also to people with a disability who demand compliance with international laws and treaties that guarantee their rights, which ultimately results in stopping the pandemic thanks to better access to information.

Finally, if you want to know more about the tools for accessibility created by Lazarillo and want to connect with our work, click on the following link https://lazarillo.app/business/

Users can download the app on Google Play, App Store and App Gallery, and together, we can start saving lives.