Living with Diabetes As A Blind Person

By Danielle McCann: For Complete Post, Click Here…

In order to manage diabetes, you have to test glucose levels in the blood also known as “checking your sugar.” In order to test, you have to prick your finger so that it bleeds and transfer the blood on to a strip that is fed into the glucometer that displays the result on a screen. Additionally, if you are insulin dependent, there are numerous tools needed such as an insulin pump that electronically deliver medication based on the glucometer’s reading.

Almost twelve years later, my thinking has evolved and, to a point, so has technology. I take much better care of myself now and, thanks to the iPhone, I don’t have to manually test my blood sugar anymore. I want to pause to note that the iPhone, not an actual medical device makes it easier to test my sugars.

Today, there are devices called continuous glucose monitors or CGMs that we can wear that send a Bluetooth signal to a smartphone. But what if I didn’t have a smartphone? The CGM can also feed information to a standalone device that you can carry around with you, but it’s not accessible. So if you’re on a fixed income or not tech savvy, you’re out of luck. That is why the National Federation of the Blind’s Accessible Insulin Pump Taskforce is working with several insulin pump manufactures to provide independent access through both native accessibility to the devices and through the use of a smartphone.

 This lack of accessible medical devices isn’t limited to those that are used to manage diabetes. At-home care devices that deliver chemotherapy or dialysis continue to be produced with updated technology such as digital interfaces but without accessibility, and manufacturers are not currently being held accountable.


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