Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

New Guidelines Issued for Accessible COVID-19 Test Kits

by Daniel Parker, RDPFS Intern


In December 2022, the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx®) Tech program of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) issued a document called “Best Practices for the Design of Accessible COVID-19 Home Tests.” RADx® Tech was created by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to shorten the timeline for developing diagnostics such as test kits from several years to months. It is part of an NIH initiative to expedite all steps of the process for utilizing COVID-19 tests, from development to commercialization and implementation. The document contains recommendations for manufacturers on how to make at-home tests accessible to those with disabilities, including people with vision loss. Areas covered include “accessible packaging and instructions of test kits, including general readability and layout; graphics and images; language; organization and identification of contents; and digital design, such as modality, assistive technology compatibility, and user interface features.” It forms part of a larger RADx® Tech program to make tests more accessible and easier to use, including for older adults, people with limited dexterity, and people with other disabilities. Experts held listening sessions with users, manufacturers, and disability advocacy groups in order to determine which best practices to recommend. An expanded version of the guidelines is set to be released during the first half of this year. You can read more information about this in NIBIB’s press release on best practices for the design of at-home COVID-19 test kits.