Lighthouse Guild Calls for States to Expand Access to Covid-19 Vaccinations for the Blind
March 12, 2021
Posted by Eyecare Business
Lighthouse Guild is calling for state officials to expand eligibility and access to Covid-19 vaccination for people who are blind.
In regards to CDC guidelines for those with underlying conditions who are now eligible to receive the vaccine, “blindness needs to be included among those underlying conditions,” says Calvin W. Roberts, MD, president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild.
“Isolation has been a challenge for everyone, and in many ways, even more so for those who are blind,” Dr. Roberts continues. “We all want to be able to navigate our neighborhoods, but the signs and signals that sighted people use to move about in this changed world are not available to people who are blind.”
The organization has shared that, for those who are blind, maintaining social distance is challenging, as they often use touch to navigate their surroundings. In addition, those who are blind may not be able to identify if people around them are wearing masks. The accessibility to vaccination sites is also a major factor, as the websites (and in-person arenas) are complex to navigate.
“We need to make sure that the over 1 million people in our country who are legally blind are not left out in the cold as our vaccination program moves forward,” says Dr. Roberts.
Amid Covid-19, Lighthouse Guild has shared several programs and services updates here.