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Organization helps Arizonans with vision, hearing impairments register for COVID-19 vaccinations

As more appointments for COVID-19 vaccines open in Arizona, an organization is helping people with vision and hearing loss register for vaccinations.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: The above video is from previous coverage of the COVID-19 vaccination sites.

The Arizona Department of Health Services recently announced that all Arizonans aged 16 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations at state-run vaccination sites. 

With more appointments opening up, one Valley organization is helping disabled residents get access to the appointments.

The Arizona Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired is set to help people with vision loss or combined vision and hearing loss and assist them with registration for COVID-19 vaccinations. The goal for ACBVI is to ensure that everyone who is eligible has access to the immunizations.

Steve Welker is the ACBVI board chair and is blind as the result of a car accident. He said in a recent release that he is very familiar with the difficulties of navigating an online registration system. 

"Every day situations that most people take for granted can already become very complicated for the blind," he said. "We want to make sure that being blind or visually impaired doesn't prevent anyone from being able to protect themselves from this virus."

Each person's situation is different, so the ACBVI offers flexible support and will provide whatever assistance they can. The support can be anything like navigating the online or phone registration system or helping connect applicants with resources for assistance in transportation to the vaccination site. ACBVI is also able to communicate in American Sign Language.  

People also can access to produced materials from the ACBVI that explain what to expect through each step of the process and provide information on resources for accommodations at the vaccination sites.

If you are interested in utilizing the ACBVI services, the best way to receive registration assistance is via email, at vaccine@acbvi.org. But if you prefer phone assistance, you can call 602-273-7411.  

According to a release from the organization, this program is made possible in Maricopa County thanks to a grant from the Valley of the Sun United Way, and throughout Arizona thanks to a grant from Season for Sharing.

MORE INFORMATION: 12News.com/Vaccine

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