Ellume tests available for people who are blind or who have low vision
At-home COVID-19 tests are again available at no cost through a partnership between the HHS Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response and the United States Postal Service. These tests will detect the currently circulating COVID-19 variants, are intended for use through the end of 2023, and will include clear instructions on how to verify extended expiration dates.
People who are blind or who have low vision can order Ellume COVID Home Tests, which are more accessible than other options. Supplies of the more accessible tests are limited, so people are asked to order them only if they do not have a way to use the other types of tests, such as assistive technology or a trusted family member or friend who can assist (in person or via video call).
How to order:
- Order regular tests or more accessible tests by phone: Call 1-800-232-0233 to reach the CDC Information line, and then:
- Select language: Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, 3 for other languages
- Press 1 to order COVID-19 at-home tests
- Press 8 to order the more accessible tests, or remain on the line to order the regular tests
- Additional options for ordering more accessible tests:
- Order regular tests online:
- Tests for people who are blind or who have low vision can be ordered through the Disability Information and Access Line.
Each household may place one order for the more accessible tests and one order for the regular tests.
What makes the Ellume tests more accessible
The test works with a smartphone app to provide:
- Audio step-by-step instructions for administering the test.
- Audio test results.
Supplemental instructions for blind and low vision users
The Ellume COVID-19 home test was found by blind users to be more accessible than the other at-home tests currently available. The test was not created specifically for blind users, and it is not perfectly accessible, but blind users have found that they could use this test independently.
Some of the app functions, parts of the test itself, and portions of the instructions have created challenges users have had to navigate around. Based on the experiences people have shared -- and their suggestions for addressing some of the challenges -- we compiled these supplemental instructions to help people who are blind or who have low vision use the test.
To use the tests, you must
- Have a compatible Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.
- Download and install a free app from the Apple App Store (for iOS) or Google Play Store (for Android).
Need more assistance?
The trained staff at the Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) can provide additional assistance with:
- Ordering the Ellume tests through this program.
- Providing alternative instructions for traditional at-home tests, which may make it possible for blind and low-vision users to use those tests.
- For those who cannot use an at-home test, DIAL operators can:
Assist with ordering “swab and send” kits to collect a sample and mail it back for results.
Connect callers to local organizations for assistance locating other testing options in their community, including in-home testing programs or transportation or companion support to visit a community-based testing site.