New York—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) announced the release of the Flatten Inaccessibility research report, the culmination of survey findings from 1,921 U.S. participants who are blind or have low vision. Of those who participated, 65 percent of participants were blind and 35 percent had low vision. Forty-three-percent reported having an additional disability, with diabetes, hearing impairment, and significant psychiatric disorders being the most frequently reported. The survey investigated the experiences of these participants during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to determine how they were affected in areas including transportation availability, health care, access to food and supplies, employment, education, and voting.

“While other research projects examine the risk to people with disabilities of contracting COVID-19, AFB and the other organizations behind this study had concerns about the quality of life for those most affected by community and public policy responses, such as reduced public transportation options, the quick transition mandating employees work from home, and school closings,” Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum, AFB director of Research said.

The survey was made possible thanks to the collaboration among 16 organizations and companies concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on adults with visual impairments in the U.S.