Blind Americans Face Roadblocks Booking Online Vaccine Appointments

“This has been a real rough year for folks with the kinds of disabilities that affect computer and internet use,” one expert said

A worker stands behind a plastic protective barrier to check-in people recieving the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a CVS Pharmacy location in Eastchester, New York, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021.
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Blind and visually impaired Americans are finding it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to schedule vaccination appointments because so many are being scheduled online.

Currently, about 12 million people above the age of 40 in the United States have vision impairment, including 1 million who are blind, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 3 million people who are top contenders for the shot — aged 65 and older — have a vision disability, according to the 2019 American Community Survey.

The booking problems are so widespread that a recent survey by nonprofit WebAIM and Kaiser Health News found technological accessibility barriers on all but 13 of 94 state webpages that included information about the vaccine, lists of providers and sign-up forms.

These barriers violate Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all state and local government programs, activities and services.

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