July 31, 2023
Source: U.S. Access Board
Available now and hosted by the U.S. Access Board, the Best Practices for the Design of Accessible COVID-19 Home Tests document aims to ensure that more people can access and use COVID-19 home tests, including those who have no vision or low vision, have a reduced range of dexterity or motor skills, and are aging.
This comprehensive Best Practices document details recommendations for test designers and manufacturers to create user-friendly and accessible COVID-19 home tests. While the initial focus is on COVID-19 testing, the ergonomic and accessible design principles outlined can also be applied to home tests for other diseases and conditions.
Marcie Roth, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the World Institute on Disability noted, “Commitment to providing accessible products is good business. If these recommendations are put into practice, more people will be able to use home tests independently and these devices will be more usable by everyone.”
The document captures the knowledge accumulated during the RADx Tech program to improve the accessibility of home testing options. Launched in 2022 to address current and emerging COVID-19 test products, the Accessible Tests initiative sought out existing standards and collaborated with advocacy organizations and academic centers to find people with expertise in the needs and experiences of target user populations. These subject matter experts provided valuable feedback on usability and accessibility gaps and worked alongside design consultants and product manufacturers to develop potential solutions.
The updated Best Practices publication expands upon and refines the recommendations from an abridged version released in 2022. This comprehensive document strives to support the development of complete, accessible solutions from product acquisition through results and disposal. It addresses various aspects of the development process from design considerations and regulatory compliance to engaging end user advocacy groups and performing usability assessments.
“The American Council of the Blind commends the National Institutes of Health for working with the disability community to publish the Best Practices document for the creation of more accessible at-home tests. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became readily apparent that at-home COVID-19 testing products were not designed for people with disabilities. The utilization of these best practices by test manufactures will ensure that people with disabilities will have greater access to all forms of at-home medical testing and diagnostics privately and independently,” said Clark Rachfal, American Council of the Blind’s Director of Advocacy & Governmental Affairs.
The Best Practices for the Design of Accessible COVID-19 Home Tests document is available in HTML and PDF formats on the U.S. Access Board website. For questions or feedback, please contact AccessibilityInfo@POCTRN.org.