Disability: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 16th March 2021.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that home covid-19 testing is accessible for (a) people who are blind or partially sighted and (b) other people with a disability.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

NHS Test and Trace has worked with and sought feedback from a number of charities, including the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the Macular Society, Thomas Pocklington Trust and Visionary. We have worked particularly closely with the RNIB to introduce a range of service improvements including alternative formats of instructions in Braille; audio CD; large print; and an RNIB information line to hear a recorded version of the instructions. ‘Be My Eyes’ live video assistance will also be launched shortly.

The 119 booking service now enables people without access to the internet or an active email address, to book a polymerase chain reaction test and receive their results by phone. Hearing-impaired people can use their computer and webcam, or the ‘InterpreterNow’ app on a smartphone or tablet to make a three-way video call to a British Sign Language interpreter. COVID-19 test kit instructions can be accessed via GOV.UK in easy read, plain text, large print and accessible format for use via assistive technology. By the end of February translated versions of the easy read instructions in the 12 most common foreign languages used in the United Kingdom will also be available.

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