Frequently Asked Questions for the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act (MDNA)

What does nonvisual access mean?

Nonvisual access means in a manner that allows blind or low-vision persons to access the same information, to engage in the same interactions, and to enjoy the same services offered to other persons with the same privacy, independence, and the same ease of use. 

Why is nonvisual access to medical devices important to blind Americans?

The lack of nonvisual accessibility in home-use medical devices prevents blind Americans with conditions like diabetes from being able to independently monitor their conditions and care for themselves. Adding nonvisual accessibility to these devices has the potential to help blind people maintain privacy, self-sufficiency, and keep them from having to prematurely live at government-funded nursing facilities.

Are prevalent are nonvisually accessible medical devices? 

While nonvisual accessibility is not difficult, manufacturers who produce medical devices that are nonvisually accessible are few and far between. 

How many will benefit from this legislation? 

According to the 2018 American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau, there are more than 7.5 million Americans who self-identify as being blind or low-vision.

What are the impacts to safety and efficacy if medical devices are not accessible to blind people and others with disabilities?

The inaccessibility of these devices can pose extremely serious consequences, including, but not limited to, overdose on injected medicine, avoidable hospitalizations, and death, in some cases. Additionally, lack of nonvisual accessibility impedes the use of such devices as home-based dialysis and chemotherapy treatments. 

Where can I learn more about this Act?

For more information about our proposal, please contact Stephanie Flynt, government affairs specialist at the National Federation of the Blind, by email at sflynt@nfb.org or by phone at 410-659-9314, extension 2210.