ACB Legislative Imperative: Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act
On March 1, 2023, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act in the House of Representatives. The goal of this act is to make home use medical equipment and devices accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals in the United States. If passed, this legislation would amend the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish non-visual accessibility standards for Class II and III devices with digital interfaces. Class II and III devices include devices that are more invasive and involve a higher risk of injury or death, so it is much more important that these devices are used safely and as directed. The FDA would, in consultation with the U.S. Access Board, set regulations and a final rule according to those standards. The passage of this legislation would make it easier for people who are blind and low vision to manage their health safely and independently by ensuring that product manufacturers incorporate accessible design in the beginning stages of development for home use medical devices. This bill has 32 original co-sponsors and is bipartisan with 3 Republicans and 29 Democrats.
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