In her October 28 Arizona Daily Star op-ed “I have impaired vision. COVID has made daily life much tougher,” AFB’s Director of Research Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum shares her experiences navigating daily life since the COVID-19 pandemic, and shares findings from AFB’s Flatten Inaccessibility report, which examined the impact of COVID-19 on adults with visual impairments in the United States early in the outbreak.
Dr. Rosenblum writes: “As a low-vision person, COVID-19 has impacted my life in the same ways it does my sighted counterparts. But it has also affected me in other ways. While my sighted husband, friends and family can take a solitary drive to see new scenery, I’m limited to areas I can walk or bike to, and can no longer use Uber or the city bus. I experience feelings of social isolation — I miss restaurants, hiking in groups, or traveling to conferences and visiting friends. Not driving has shrunk my already small world. My experiences are not unique however. This was confirmed as my colleagues and I reviewed the data from a research study called Flatten Inaccessibility, which examined the impact of COVID-19 on 1,921 U.S. adults with visual impairments.”
Though the Flatten Inaccessibility report was released in September, the data were collected in April, highlighting the systemic issues and challenges related to COVID-19 identified by the 1,921 participants that must be addressed in order to ensure equal access for all.