Cold and flu season is well underway in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend at-home COVID-19 tests for any American experiencing symptoms or exposed to the virus.
Although at-home COVID-19 tests have been available for some time, individuals who are blind, have low-vision, or are living with other vision-related challenges still struggle with the accessibility of many widely-used tests.
Now, Ohio residents can call a state-sponsored support line through Be My Eyes to receive assistance with at-home COVID-19 testing. In partnership with the State of Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) and Accessible Pharmacy Services, any Ohio resident can download the free Be My Eyes app and connect to an experienced customer support representative who can:
“The State of Ohio Department of Health is taking an unprecedented step in becoming the first United States government entity to address accessible COVID-19 testing support through our platform,” says Hans Jørgen Wiberg, Founder of Be My Eyes. “We are hopeful that other states will join Ohio in providing their constituents with a free, user-friendly solution to safeguarding their health.”
“We are excited to be the first state in the country to partner with Be My Eyes and Accessible Pharmacy Services to help more than 280,000 Ohioans who are blind or have low vision receive the assistance they need to test for COVID-19, which is a critical first step to managing symptoms and seeking treatment if needed, and protecting their loved ones,” said Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, director of the Ohio Department of Health.
When a resident calls the State of Ohio profile through Be My Eyes, they will be connected on a live video call with an experienced representative from Accessible Pharmacy Services, a long-time Be My Eyes partner organization who has assisted hundreds of Be My Eyes users with at-home tests.
Accessible Pharmacy Services is a comprehensive, home delivery pharmacy service specializing in the needs of people who are blind, DeafBlind and have low vision. They are the only provider of its kind and the largest blind-owned healthcare company in the country.
“Our team of trained staff are experts in providing empathetic and knowledgeable visual guidance to blind and low vision people experiencing a range of health-related accessibility challenges,” says Andy Burstein, CEO of Accessible Pharmacy Services. “We’re proud to be representing the State of Ohio by providing all Ohioans with a safe and reliable channel for at-home COVID-19 testing assistance.”
The State of Ohio Specialized Help profile will be available to receive calls Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET. If you are an Ohio resident and have questions about how to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19, you can also reach out to the ODH COVID-19 call center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). ODH staff members operate the center Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET.
Together, Be My Eyes, the State of Ohio and Accessible Pharmacy Services are proud to establish this unique public-private partnership that addresses health disparities faced by the blind and low vision community in the United States.
Please note: The State of Ohio sponsored COVID-19 testing support profile is only intended for Ohio residents. If you do not reside in Ohio but live in the United States and need support with a COVID-19 at-home test, please contact Accessible Pharmacy Services, located in the “Specialized Help - Personal Health” section of Be My Eyes app.