chakowsky Reintroduces Legislation to Guarantee Home-Use Medical Devices are Accessible to Blind and Low Vision Americans

Carla Ruschival

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Subject: [Leadership] Schakowsky Reintroduces Legislation to Guarantee
Home-Use Medical Devices are Accessible to Blind and Low Vision
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March 1, 2023
Schakowsky Reintroduces Legislation to Guarantee Home-Use Medical
Devices are Accessible to Blind and Low Vision Americans

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), a Chief
Deputy Whip and Ranking Member on the Innovation, Data, and Commerce
Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, led 32 of her
colleagues in reintroducing the bipartisan Medical Device Nonvisual
Accessibility Act. This bill would ensure that home-use medical
devices are accessible to blind and low vision Americans across the

“I am proud to reintroduce the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility
Act, to ensure that medical devices, like insulin pumps and blood
pressure monitors, are truly accessible to people who are blind or
have low vision," said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky." Over seven
million Americans are living with uncorrectable vision loss and more
than one million Americans are blind. In many cases, a blind person's
ability to manage their health and livelihood depends upon the ability
to use these devices. As Americans, we cannot stand idly by while
people who are blind or have low vision are excluded from a full,
happy, and independent life due to these inaccessible technologies.
This bill will help foster more inclusive and accessible care.”

The Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act calls on the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) to create and enforce nonvisual
accessibility standards for home-use medical devices, so that devices
are fully accessible to blind or low-vision persons, out of the box.
The bill also requires the FDA to consult with the disability
community and manufacturers throughout the process.

"For millions of Americans who live with vision loss, visual
impairment, low vision and blindness, accessing the results of at-home
test kits, blood pressure and glucose monitors as well as other health
and medical devices that have a digital interface is vital for these
individuals to manage their own health and well-being and to meet the
challenges of daily living. Prevent Blindness believes that visual
accessibility is a matter of health equity and that addressing it can
lead to improved health outcomes for patients," said Jeff Todd,
President and CEO of Prevent Blindness. "The Medical Device Nonvisual
Accessibility Act is a necessary step toward ensuring people with
visual impairments can equitably access information and make decisions
about their own health and well-being. Prevent Blindness applauds Rep.
Schakowsky for introducing this legislation, and we urge Congress to
pass it swiftly."

“For far too long, inaccessible home-use medical devices and remote
monitoring equipment has posed a direct threat to the health, safety,
and independence of people who are blind and low vision. The American
Council of the Blind commends Rep. Schakowsky for introducing this
critical legislation, and we urge its swift passage,” said Eric
Bridges, Executive Director of American Council of the Blind.

"Life-sustaining medical devices used in the home, such as insulin
pumps and CPAP devices, have the potential to help blind people live
the lives we want, but only if they are fully accessible," said Mark
Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind.
"Currently, however, the inaccessible design of most of these devices
makes their controls and displays difficult, or even impossible, for
us to use them or monitor their operation. This is not a mere
inconvenience; inaccessibility threatens our independence, health, and
safety. Full access to all features of a device is critical and
achievable. We therefore commend Representative Schakowsky for
introducing this legislation and urge members of Congress to act
swiftly to pass it."

Joining Rep. Schakowsky as original cosponsors are Reps. Sanford
Bishop (GA-02), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Cori Bush (MO-01), Ed
Case (HI-01), Sean Casten (IL-06), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20),
Jesus "Chuy" García (IL-04), Gerald Connolly (VA-11), Angie Craig
(MN-02), Danny Davis (IL-07), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07), Jahana Hayes
(CT-05), Bill Keating (MA-09), Dan Kildee (MI-08), Annie Kuster
(NH-02), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), John Larson (CT-01), Barbara Lee
(CA-12), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Mark Pocan
(WI-02), Mike Quigley (IL-05), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), John
Rutherford (FL-05), John Sarbanes (MD-03), Pete Sessions (TX-17),
Terri Sewell (AL-07), Adam Smith (WA-09), Dina Titus (NV-01), Rashida
Tlaib (MI-12), David Trone (MD-06), and Marc Veasey (TX-33).


Web Version Here<>

Alex Moore
Communications Director
Office of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)



Carla Ruschival
Treasurer, Kentucky Council of the Blind
Phone: (502)895-4598