In April 2020, in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the American Foundation for the Blind took the lead in the Flatten Inaccessibility study. The purpose of the study was to learn how those who were blind or have low vision were affected early on by the pandemic.

Download the Report (PDF)

Or read the entire report online.

Flatten Inaccessibility report cover - dark blue background with white text and a montage of photos. Research report September 2020, Impact of COVID-19 on Blind and Visually Impaired Adults in the United States

The authors examined the impact of COVID-19 on 1,921 adults with visual impairments in the United States. Though data were collected in April 2020, the systemic issues and ongoing challenges related to COVID-19 must be addressed in order to ensure equal access for all. Read the report online, or download and share the accessible PDF. Let others know how you are building on the study findings in your work, personal advocacy efforts, or policy efforts by using #FlattenInaccessibility.

Flatten Inaccessibility Survey Composition

The survey contained questions in 10 sections. The first two sections were required. After that participants could select which sections they wished to complete based on their own personal concerns. The 10 sections were:

Survey Participants

Over 2,400 people opened the survey link. After a careful analysis of surveys submitted, 1,921 surveys were found to be complete enough for analysis. At minimum participants completed the demographic and technology sections of the survey and many completed 4 or more additional sections.

Sharing the Study Findings

The study authors have shared the findings in multiple ways:

Participating Organizations

  • American Council of the Blind
  • Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • American Foundation for the Blind
  • Aira Tech Corp
  • American Printing House for the Blind
  • Be My Eyes
  • Council of Schools and Services for the Blind
  • Humanware
  • The Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute
  • National Federation of the Blind
  • National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation
  • Objective Ed
  • Prevent Blindness
  • Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness: NFB/Louisiana Tech
  • VisionServe Alliance
  • Vispero

Stay Informed

Please sign up to receive updates and information about research and policy initiatives at AFB.