I recently picked up my container of Lysol wipes on our kitchen counter and stored it back under the sink. I couldn’t think of the last time I had wiped down groceries or a doorknob. As a person who has low vision, I feel my life is progressing back to how it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet there are other ways it is not. For example, I’m still not comfortable taking a rideshare service like Lyft. I also shudder each time I consider the challenges I had getting myself, my husband, and my 86 year-old mother COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
I imagine as a U.S. adult who is blind, has low vision, or is deafblind, you’ve had many experiences in the last 16+ months where your visual impairment has intersected with the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of your experiences were ones shared by those without visual impairments, but I am wagering some were very specific to blindness or low vision.
As we look forward, we invite you to share your experiences. As a follow up to our Flatten Inaccessibility: Impact of COVID-19 on Adults with Visual Impairments (Flatten Inaccessibility) study from April 2020, we want to hear your story so we can see what has, and has not, changed.
How long will it take me to complete the survey?
We estimate our Journey Forward: Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic by Blind and Low Vision Adults survey will take you 30-45 minutes to complete. In the survey, you’ll be asked about how you obtained COVID-19 data, information about testing, and vaccines. We’ll check in on your experience with transportation during the pandemic along with topics including healthcare, education, employment, and access to prescriptions, food, and supplies. Using the same device you can return to the survey for up to one week to complete it.
Will I receive any compensation for taking the survey?
Those who complete the survey will have an opportunity to sign up for a gift card drawing. We will randomly select 20 individuals who will each receive a $20 Amazon gift card.
How will AFB use the data?
In May we were contacted by a national news outlet asking for current information about adults with visual impairments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We had anecdotal stories, but not hard data. This pivotal moment made our organization realize that as thought leaders, we need to take an active role in gathering current data to share with government officials, companies, organizations, and those with vision loss. In all probability, one day there will be another large-scale emergency. We know our country could have been better prepared for our current pandemic in general, and especially when it came to people with disabilities. The data from the Journey Forward survey will help AFB and others give voice to the needs of those like myself who live with a visual impairment every day.
We’re only asking for 30-45 minutes of your time. Please take the survey by August 9, 2021. And, while you’re at it, please help us reach more than the 1,921 participants we had in the Flatten Inaccessibility study. Forward this invitation to others who are blind, have low vision, or are deafblind.