The confusing maze of websites, phone numbers, emails and paper documents required to sign up for a Covid vaccination in the United States is making it hard for people who are visually impaired or hard of hearing, the Boston Globe reports.
Systems can vary by state and even by city, often forcing the disabled to rely on others to help them get an appointment.
Federal law requires communications to be in an understandable format and accommodations to help people who might face obstacles, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has instructed local health departments to provide staff to address accessibility.
But the National Federation of the Blind wrote to every U.S. governor last month complaining about hurdles posed by sign-up systems and vaccine distribution methods including drive-up clinics, which are largely inaccessible to people who can’t see. The group has yet to receive a substantive response from any state, according to spokesman Chris Danielsen.
The National Association of the Deaf said confusing and complex information, phone systems that can’t be used by hard of hearing and a lack of interpreters are making it difficult for people who can’t hear to make appointments. Chief Executive Howard A. Rosenblum said the group has asked the Biden administration for help.